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Leon County Schools look to community for substitute teachers

Posted at 11:13 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 23:13:08-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — If you've ever considered a career in teaching, Leon County Schools' efforts to increase substitute teachers might be a great way for you to get your foot in the door.

The district is inviting parents, guardians and other family members to apply as subs amid a nationwide shortage.

Leon Classroom Teacher's Association president Scott Mazur said he's on board.

"I think it's a very creative way in trying to make sure that there are people in place to help serve," said Mazur.

However, he, and some parents question how qualified these new candidates will be to teach.

"Personally I would say it's a little alarming, simply because you don't necessarily have to have the proper education," said Leon County Parent Kera Smith.

Smith says helping her children through digital learning last year showed her how challenging it might be for others to lead an entire classroom.

"Technology is being used that, when a substitute comes in, it's difficult for someone to just pick up right where the teacher left off with all the new things going on in public education, so that has a profound impact on student learning," added Mazur.

Mazur is now looking to the legislature to help keep those losses in check, as superintendent Rocky Hanna works to fill positions across the board.

"We're having to be creative and combine classes which we don't like to do," Superintendent Rocky Hanna said. "We're asking our paraprofessionals to go in and act as a substitute teacher, which we would rather not do because we're pulling them off of their assignments."

LCS currently requires applicants to be 21 years of age, have a high school diploma and pass a level two criminal background check.

Additional training will be provided, and applicants can select the school of their choice.

The district pays substitute teachers $14 an hour and generally guarantees a seven-hour work day.