Same Song, MUCH Longer Verse
We’ve been talking about a teacher shortage in Oklahoma for a few years now. Years before the pandemic began, the number of people entering the teaching profession started to dwindle, so that in today’s world, those graduating with real-life teaching degrees are sought after by school districts with reduced duty schedules and promises of plum classrooms (our values are a bit different from the corporate world!).
The pandemic exacerbated the problem, as more teachers retired early or left the profession altogether as COVID wreaked its havoc.
Well, it’s not done. We’re in no better place than we were a year ago — in fact it’s worse. Vaccinations reduced the number of teachers who must quarantine when they’ve come in close contact with a symptomatic person, but the problem is so deep, this caveat offers little respite.
Principals are yet again combining classes, pulling TAs and librarians to cover, and even subbing themselves. What can be done about all this? Ask our community for help!
Putnam City offers competitive pay, and recently added a stipend for teachers who are vaccinated before October 1st and work a certain number of days.
All the issues of the pandemic are hitting our students hard. They need a caring adult in the classroom consistently, especially after last year’s chaos. But absent that, they need someone who cares about them and their education.
Though one gets paid to sub, at this point, I see this as a patriotic duty. I’ve said it a dozen times in this blog — our nation’s democracy depends on having a strong public education system. If you have the time and inclination, you can actually help preserve our democracy by helping our children.
Visit the district’s substitute page to learn the particulars, and please give it serious thought! We need you!
by Jennifer Seal
September 9, 2021