School districts across the U.S. are facing substitute teacher shortages, which have worsened following the start of last year’s COVID-19 pandemic and an ever-growing gig economy mindset. To fill this increasing need, many subs are being placed in full-time positions, further shrinking the sparse pool of available substitute teachers.
How can school administrators attract and retain subs over the summer months and avoid substitute teacher shortages when students return in the fall?
The lack of substitute teachers is a complex problem that requires both preventative measures and innovative solutions. Each school district has individual needs and faces unique challenges. While there’s no simple, one-size-fits-all solution, administrators who proactively tackle the sub shortage issue during the summer months will mitigate staffing shortages when the semester begins.
Here are some ways to identify qualified substitute teaching candidates for the classroom:
Address and counsel permanent educators with chronic absentee issues by asking how they can be supported. What do they need to perform their jobs? How can you help them? Is more training required? Red Rover’s partnership with the American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA) helps keep subs motivated and engaged with continued learning.
To avoid an unexpected substitute teacher shortage, ask your pool of available subs what support they need before returning to the classroom in the fall. Convenience must also be prioritized. Subs should have an easy way to communicate with administrators, manage their schedule online, and make schedule requests using an easy-to-learn interface such as Red Rover.
Providing incentives and perks may also convince subs to stick with your school district. There are many ways administrators can do this.
Holding recruitment campaigns in the summer can help prevent substitute teacher shortages in the fall.
Hi [First Name],
We hope you’re having a great summer!
I’m [Your Name] from [School Name]. We’re reaching out to let you know how much we appreciate all the hard work and effort you’ve contributed to [School Name] as a substitute teacher. Subs have a huge impact on dynamic student learning, and we’re grateful for your many contributions and the positive impact you’ve had in our district.
As the fall semester nears, we hope you’ll come back to work with us! We enjoy collaborating with you as you encourage, educate and nurture our student body. Please feel free to reach out to us as the school year approaches, we’re happy to alert you of any short-term teaching opportunities and long-term vacancies.
(Red Rover Clients) We’re also excited to share that we’re now using Red Rover to oversee absence management. We encourage you to download the app and explore its many features - we promise it will make your life as a substitute teacher much easier!
Thank you for being a passionate educator at [Name] School District! We truly appreciate you and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the upcoming school year!
[Your Name, Your Title]
[Your School Name]
[Your Contact Information]
While there may be no quick fix to your district’s substitute teacher shortage, proactively planning ahead can help you avoid stressful staffing deficits in the fall. Need help finding and retaining qualified substitute teachers? Red Rover can help. Contact us today for a free demo.
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Insights | March 16, 2021