To the editor:
Every child deserves a qualified teacher dedicated to providing an excellent educational environment. When the regular teacher is unable to be there due to illness or family emergency, who is going to be making sure that our children are having good educational experiences?
Do you know who is in charge of your child's classroom? A shortage of substitute teachers is causing already overworked instructors to use their planning time to cover classes, or in the case of elementary schools, children may be doubled up for part of the day. Junior and senior high teachers are paid extra to cover a class period; however, elementary schools are expected to "work out" a way to handle a teacher absence if no sub is available. This knowledge comes from first-hand experience. After 35 years in the classroom, I retired. Now I occasionally sub.
The reason Lawrence has a shortage of substitute teachers? Poor compensation! One day of subbing pays $82; after deductions only $48. That's not much motivation to get up at 6 a.m. to be ready for a call to take on the responsibilities of teaching. I've been called at 10 a.m. to sub in a room that started at 7:50 a.m. Principals, counselors and librarians get taken away from their regular duties to "fill in." Teachers end up with 30-50 students for part of the day. This is not the educational environment our children deserve.