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Substitute teacher shortage leaves Tampa Bay teachers overworked – Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida 2021-09-15 19:04:39 –

Polk County, Florida — Local school districts are struggling to find alternatives to fill out when teachers are absent.

“The more teachers quit and the fewer agents we have, the more we run into deficits,” said Octavio Hernandez.

Hernandez is an algebra teacher in the Pork County Public School District. He said there was an urgent need for a substitute teacher in Pork County.

“I died, and I was ill myself, but it was very difficult to find a submarine,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said she had to pull teachers out of other classrooms to make up for the teachers who were absent.

“We have created a group of teachers who volunteer to drop out during class, or we use school coaches and other resources, including teachers, to cover these classes,” Hernandez said. Stated.

He said this was already overworking and causing additional stress on low-paying teachers. Hernandez believes that low wages are a major contributor to the shortage of substitute teachers.

In Pork County, substitutes are paid $ 80 a day. The district has approved an additional $ 25 daily incentive.

“If you want more people, you have to pay more,” Hernandez said.

Stephanie Yocam, chairman of the Pork Education Association, said there was a shortage of teachers before this year.

“People call it a teacher shortage, but it’s a huge outflow of people who really leave the profession,” she said.

There are about 120 teacher positions in Pork County. Yocum said the surge in COVID-19 cases at school made it more difficult to fill these positions. So far this year, a total of 444 employees of Pork County Public School have been quarantined.

“COVID has just exacerbated the problem with a shortage of teachers. It spills over into the shortage of alternatives and to support the shortage of staff,” says Yocum.

She said the students would end up suffering. “There are no qualified or qualified teachers in front of them. To place a class in front of a good teacher who does not help anyone, you need to increase the size of the class. “Yocum said.

ABC Action News contacted nearby school districts and stated that schools in Hillsborough, Sarasota, and Pasco County all handle a smaller pool of substitute teachers. Kelly Education is the company used by the Hillsborough, Polk, and Hernando County school districts to recruit agents.

“I think he’s a passionate person for the next generation of education, which is exactly what is right and helps students succeed,” said Cheryl Courier, Vice President of Education for Kelly.

Courier said the agent does not require educational experience and can work on a flexible schedule.

“There are a lot of people from different disciplines working for us. They share knowledge and experience and help us overcome the situation we are with with our community at our school. We need a community. Anyone who listens can step up and help inspire and teach the next generation, “said Courier.



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