Gregory Bull / AP
Previously, when Cordelia Watson received an automatic call for a substitute teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, there was a specific script containing the name of the teacher to be replaced that day.
Currently, she says the system can’t keep up with so many sales and so many teachers calling for illness and quarantine with COVID. Messages often do not contain references to a particular teacher.
“The phone comes in the morning and the voice says,’We … have vacancies,’” Watson told NPR. “That is, the actual trained teachers are no longer working in the district and they are no longer taking turns.”
Watson, an unqualified agent with a degree in theater arts at the age of 25, said burnout teachers and experienced agents have abandoned the field, increasing calls for “vacancy.” increase. On the other hand, fill requests surged from 1 day or 2 days to 20 days with a single allocation.
Those phones fill her with anxiety and give many warning signs about what she can expect as an alternative in the country’s second largest school district. Unfortunately, Watson says he believes the phone will never end as soon as the district continues to conduct weekly tests for all staff and students.
This week – the first after winter vacation – more than 65,000 students and staff test positive for COVID-19, and staff are scrambling to find substitute teachers and other staff.
The same applies to the national school system, which faces an unprecedented shortage of qualified teachers. In addition, Omicron variants and the continued decline of winter surges are pushing public school leaders to the brink of despair.Some have even called on parents who do not have an educational background Take on a long-term agency mission.
The current crisis has forced local and state officials to temporarily rewrite the rules to make it easier to hire agents and other necessary staff.
Congressman rewrites rules to send children to school
In California earlier this week, Governor Gavin Newsom Presidential directive This speeds up the hiring process and gives you more flexibility in school staffing decisions, such as extending substitute teacher contracts and removing barriers for recently retired teachers to return to the classroom. .. Your order will expire at the end of March.
Mr. Newsom said he hopes the move will allow him to “face the children safely for the rest of the year and survive the next three to six weeks.”
In Kansas, state officials are open to entrusting students to teens with no college experience.Wednesday State Board of Education announcement It lowered the requirements for obtaining an emergency substitute education license as a “last resort”.
Under the new Declaration, proxy applicants do not have to have completed at least 60 semesters of credits from a locally accredited university as they do today. They must have a high school diploma, are 18 years of age or older, have passed a background check, have a confirmed commitment from the district for employment, and submit a completed application to the state education department. Must be submitted.
The bill is set to expire on June 1.
As of this week, Kansas Board of Education Randy Watson said some school districts are on the verge of new closures without enough staff to run them.
Throughout the Kansas City Metro area, teachers and managers have already sacrificed breaks and lesson planning periods to fill vacancies. This is a temporary gap that schools across the country have adopted in recent months.
Watson called the current situation “the tip of the iceberg,” adding that “we are at the forefront when we see this. I think this helps.”
As KUT’s Claire Makinani report, Texas-wide school districts – Schools cannot be funded without face-to-face options – Austin Independent School District said, “Last week there were more than 100 subrequests compared to the same week last year. “. The nearby Hayes Integrated School District has run out of its thin alternative role, and authorities are now seeking alternatives from parents.
Florida sun sentinel Report The Palm Beach County school district had 348 vacant teaching positions as of October 4, compared to 221 open spots in 2020.
The problem is so serious in Broward County that in November multiple unteachered classes were kept together in a cafeteria, auditorium, or gymnasium. In these situations, it is not possible to teach, so students are given coursework to complete on their own or are asked to watch a movie.
“There are these vacancies in addition to the lack of agents who do not want to be educated during the COVID period,” Justin Katz, president of the Palm Beach County Teachers Union, told Sun-Sentinel.
Oregon’s educational authorities are trying to seduce new alternatives by withdrawing college degree requirements. The new rules also exempt those who will be educators who will bear the costs associated with the shoulders of the school district or charter school they hire. Candidates must pass a background check and submit a fingerprint. An emergency license obtained in the state is valid for 6 months.
The alternative is not a babysitter
But having adults in every classroom is not the same as having a teacher in the classroom, Watson said.
“It doesn’t mean that the students really intend to learn something, it means they have a babysitter,” she said.
Watson says he’s happy to have the governor intervene, but I don’t think the recently announced changes will have a significant impact on LA Unified. Even before the latest round, when state-wide rules change, the district has already asked agents to extend contracts for up to 20 days in any class.
“I go to a classroom where my students have never been assigned a qualified teacher. We are at the beginning of the second semester,” she said.
The constant turmoil put a lot of stress on the children and the adults sent in to get them on track. Shortly before winter vacation, Watson was invited to a three-week mission to teach a high school art class with more than 40 students at one time.
“I didn’t know what they knew or what they were doing, so I was supposed to give them a final grade. That’s an impossible situation,” she resented.
She observes that the constant rotation of new people also causes serious behavioral problems, stating that classroom management has become one of the most difficult aspects of work for her and many of her colleagues. rice field.
“They aren’t right now,” says Watson, explaining the children she has taught over the last two years. “They are violent and difficult.”
“On Thursday, a staff member from the school came to the class to sit down and support me because … it was too much for me,” she said.
“This wasn’t what I applied for when I first applied,” Watson said, explaining that her first day of employment was two weeks before the state-wide closure in March 2020.
She stayed there when an educator was called in to adapt to distance learning. When the student returned to face-to-face learning, she hung out there. But now she says, “I think it’s time for parents to honestly discuss what they want their children to get from school. Do they really want their children to be educated? Because that’s not happening. . “
Legislators are rewriting rules as schools tackle teacher shortages: NPR
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