School district makes public plea for substitute teachers

Education News

MECHANICVILLE, NY (NEWS10) — All school districts are currently grappling with staffing shortages right now. But one Capital Region district is making a public plea to find much-needed substitute teachers. NEWS10’s Anya Tucker spoke with Bruce Potter, Superintendent of the Mechanicville City School District.

“It’s a perfect storm in a negative way,” said Potter.

He says the problem began in COVID relief funds to hire more educators. But that, in turn, has dried up the pool of substitute teachers. Then, pile on current employee absences due to quarantining, and you’ve got that perfect storm Potter is talking about.

“For example, last Tuesday we had nine faculty out district-wide with zero subs for coverage. Wednesday, we had 10 faculty out,” he said.

When they had to shift to remote on Thursday and Friday, Potter took action by sending out a plea asking if anyone might be interested in joining their team.

“We have a lot of capable folks in the community who might not be in line to be a substitute teacher because they have regular employment. But they may be on shift deployment. They may have a day here or there during the week.”

The district is offering $125 per day for any qualified certified substitutes who are currently licensed to teach. They are also offering $100 a day for non-certified substitute instructors. Those candidates must have a high school diploma or GED and pass a background check.

Potter says they would offer support to incoming substitutes by providing training and detailed lesson plans and instructions.

“The lesson plans would be there, the resources,, books, what have you would be available, and they would take attendance and give the students the instructions per the request of the classroom teacher.”

Potter says they have already heard from nine people who are interested. So, does he think this could work for other districts?

“I think we are all struggling with the same issues. So if they can tap into their own network of community members who have flexible schedules. they may already be doing it,” he said.

Interested candidates should contact Cathy O’Brien via email at cobrien@mechanicville.org.

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