Ozarks school districts face sub shortage during COVID-19 outbreak

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 4:51 AM CST
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NIXA, Mo. (KY3) - Several school districts in the Ozarks face a substitute teacher shortage.

The lack of staff is one of the reasons many districts went on a wellness break. With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, more teachers are calling in sick, leading to increased stress in teachers.

“Without a doubt, the increased absenteeism with the sickness has caused a greater need for subs,” said Nixa Public Schools Director of Human Resources Mark McGehee. “It is a real stress on our staff when we do not have enough subs to cover. They are giving up their plan times and meeting times so they can cover unfilled absences, and that is difficult.”

In Missouri, to become a substitute, all you need is a high school diploma and complete a course through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Once you are certified, you can choose what grades you want to work with.

“We have substitutes that will sub, they may sub as a first-grade teacher one day or kindergarten teacher one day, a sixth-grade teacher the next day and maybe even jumping up to the high school the next day,” said McGehee.

One of the perks of being a substitute, the job is flexible. You can work every day or once a month. In Nixa, a sub teacher gets paid $100 per day.

“We definitely can always use more subs,” said McGehee. “We’re onboarding subs every day.”

For more information on becoming a substitute teacher, CLICK HERE.

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