2018-01-17 / School News

County schools hoping to attract substitute teachers

by Kate Evans

Morgan County Schools has an ongoing need for substitute teachers and has posted a request for substitute teacher applicants.

The school system has had difficulty finding certified applicants for some teaching positions especially in the fields of math, science, foreign languages and special education and has filled those vacancies with long-term substitutes in some schools. School Superintendent Erich May said when that occurs those long-term substitutes are no longer available as regular substitutes.

May would like to attract more people to become substitute teachers for Morgan County Schools. He said the daily substitute teacher pay for someone with a bachelor’s degree is good money. The position has great flexibility where someone could work several days a week and have a couple of days free for caring for children, family members, other work or a long weekend.

May noted that not as many people are pursuing education degrees in college these days and fewer kids are entering college to become teachers. He said when he first applied for an English teacher job years back there were 30 applicants for the job. Now there would be five applicants.

Ten to 20 years ago there were many students pursuing careers as teachers, but the pendulum has swung the other way. Many clever, creative kids have lost interest in teaching, May said. He felt the emphasis on testing may have cut into some people’s desire to teach.

May said the school system had a second grade teaching position in the fall where no certified applicants applied. He thought that the difficulty in staffing Morgan County classrooms is due to geography and teacher pay being more competitive in surrounding counties and states.

In Morgan County they’re trying to prepare kids for the tests but are also trying to provide teachers with autonomy and creativity that allows them to play to their strengths, May emphasized.

RESA 8 substitute training

The next RESA 8 substitute teacher training class is scheduled for January 24-25 with a January 26 snow date. Information on how to register for the class and requirements that must be met to be eligible to become a substitute teacher in West Virginia are posted on the RESA 8 website under the link substitute teacher training. A bachelor’s degree with a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) is required.

There is a non-refundable registration fee cost for the training and candidates must attend both days’ training to renew or obtain their certificate of completion. The training is the first step in becoming a substitute teacher in West Virginia.

Six hours of classroom observation in a state public school setting is also required along with applying for open positions and being hired by a county before one is eligible for a West Virginia substitute teacher permit.

A maximum of 25 participants are permitted for each substitute teacher training session. If interested, the RESA 8 contact person is Melissa Acquino, who can be reached at mgaquino@k12. wv.us.

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