WHS struggles to find substitute teachers

Finding a substitute teacher is becoming increasingly difficult for Wabaunsee teachers.

The district find substitutes through an automated website program called Frontline, formerly known as AESOP. Teachers and staff use the program to submit a need for a sub and it automatically calls out to a list of substitutes until someone accepts the position. When the subs receive the call they can either accept or deny the request.

WHS secretary Jeanne Perry said that the program usually works out great, but can be a problem with a small amount of substitutes that the district has. The district has around 15, and long term subs minimize that small number.

A problem with the program is that it doesn’t always fill the needed substitute position. When this occurs, an extra step is taken to fill it. “It is Carrie (Boeckman) and I’s job for the high school  to personally call a few people and ask them to maybe pick up at least half a day,” Perry said, “But if we can’t convince someone then we have to look at the different plan periods and piece it together.”

The number of times the school has been unable to find a sub has increased this year. First semester included multiple interim teachers that were gone frequently. The district has also suffered from losing a few good, reliable substitutes due to retirement and other jobs. Long term subs will also make an impact this spring for maternity leave along with many teachers needing subs for fourth hour to leave for spring sports and activities.

In desperate situations, some classes are supervised in the library, or a teacher may watch multiple classes.

Becoming a substitute teacher in the state of Kansas requires a substitute teaching license. These requirements include having a degree, completing a teacher preparation program and passing a background check to be able to apply. Anyone interested can apply at usd329.com.

Substitute Peggy Adams has been subbing for more than 20 years. She said she receives calls 3-4 times a week. “I enjoy being around the students,” she said. “I learn something from them or the lessons every day I work.”

— Kaytlyn Meseke, @Kaytlyn_nelle

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