Lack of Guest Teachers Causes Stress

Camille Phillips, Writer

This year looks different from previous years in multiple ways – one being the substitute teacher crisis that both SVHS and the rest of the country are facing right now.

Living in a world with the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person school has drastically reduced the number of available substitute teachers in California. According to a Cal Matters study, “In the 2018-19 school year, the agency issued about 64,000 substitute teaching permits. In 2020-21, it issued close to 47,000.” California has updated their emergency 30-day permit requirements, because the state schools are so desperate.

However, the decrease in substitute teachers hasn’t lessened the need for them. If anything, they are needed more now than ever. School administrators and teachers who have a prep period are filling in for absent teachers, taking away from their own duties and setting classes off track.

When asked if she felt that there are enough substitutes at SVHS, science teacher Ms. Weiner said, “There is definitely not enough.” She went on to say that as much as teachers try not to miss class, sometimes it’s inevitable which makes these times even more difficult because, “…when we don’t have that sub support, it’s hard to continue [with the curriculum].”

This crisis isn’t just affecting California, but the entire United States. An NBC News article stated that “In Missouri, a barrel company’s employees serve as substitute teachers. In Connecticut, a superintendent turns to recent high school grads.”

While looking for solutions to this rapidly growing problem, SVHS could follow suit with states like Missouri and Connecticut or take after some other California schools who, as mentioned in another Cal Matters article, “…started the year with some classrooms being assigned a long-term substitute.”

Noted by Scoot Education, a substitute teacher in California must have a bachelor’s degree, take a TB test, complete a Live Scan test (fingerprinting), take a CBEST test, and obtain a 30-day permit. There is more information on how to be a substitute on sonomaschools.org.