Perry faces issues with substitute teacher shortages


Photo by Rachel Smith

As the school year continues, many teachers have been quarantined. With the substitute shortage, teaching from home can be more difficult.

As Perry High continues with in-person learning, more and more students and staff have begun quarantining. One big cause of quarantines has been contact tracing. According to the CUSD Health Services website, “Any student deemed to have been in close contact with the positive individual is required to stay home for 14 days from exposure date.” 

With the rising number of students and staff staying home, many teachers are choosing to stay home to keep themselves and their students safe. When Junior Dorian Kahn was asked how many teachers in his classes have been out this quarter, he stated, “Three of my teachers have been out, including my English teacher who has been out on multiple occasions.” 

As a result of the increase in teacher absences, the school has started facing troubles with filling in teacher’s spots. This substitute shortage means some teachers are unable to receive substitute teachers for their absences, affecting not only staff but the students as well. The big question is: when a teacher is unable to get a sub, what happens? 

If a student in a teacher’s class is quarantined, the teacher of that class is not required to quarantine themselves, but many teachers still choose to. Once a teacher has been quarantined, there are a few options they can choose from. 

Math teacher Heidi Trollope decided to teach over zoom meeting. “I taught a live lesson but had to have a teacher or an adult to monitor the class,” Trollope explained, “I had all the technology I needed but the hard part was class participation and gaging if students could hear me.” 

The problem with this choice is that teachers can run into technical difficulties that could affect their lessons. Problems with video or audio can make the lesson significantly harder to teach. Additionally, this option also still requires an adult monitor to be in the room with the students, which can be difficult during the pandemic.

Another option for teachers is requesting a substitute teacher to monitor their class. Junior Adia Harsen had one teacher choose this method; “I had one substitute for a week while my APUSH teacher was quarantined. Most of our assignments were online and the sub just supervised.” 

The problem with this choice is the limited amount of substitute teachers. There are currently 10 substitute teachers available on campus. If a sub is not available, security guards can also monitor classes and supervise the students while lessons are being taught online. 

As the school continues to traverse this unpredictable landscape, many staff have helped fill in the missing positions left by the sub shortage. Ranging from other teachers to security guards, people are working hard to keep our classrooms running throughout this pandemic.