Published on Nov. 6,2019
Learning is Being Wasted
High number of substitutes causes a number of problems for the school.
In eighth grade, I didn’t have a science teacher. There was nobody to teach me how gravity worked, or how different temperatures interacted with each other. Instead, I had a substitute teacher the entire year. I thought that those types of problems might be resolved by the time that I got to high school.
But the problem still persists.
“In a day, the most subs I’ve had was four,” senior Chris-Michael Velasquez said. “We didn’t even do anything in class, like math, science, english; I didn’t learn anything,”
According to Alexis Neideffer, the Absence Control Specialist for our district, we have about 50 to 70 substitute teachers working in the district at any given time. On high teacher absence days, AHS has 12 teachers working. To put that into perspective, that’s about 14% of the teachers on campus being replaced by subs.
The problem now is that with the large amount of subs working at AHS, we will end up having more instances like Velasquez’s, where an entire day of education is interrupted.
The district needs to tackle this issue head-on before it gets worse by having quality substitutes. Though it is true that in order to work as a substitute teacher in California that you need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree, substitutes in classes should at least have some background knowledge in the area that they’re subbing in for, so that they can provide help to students who might need it.
And teachers, you need to make these days with subs more productive. If you planned days when you are absent ahead of time with lesson plans, students wouldn’t have wasted days like Chris-Michael had.
If substitutes are going to be present on campus, they should at least be doing something to help with the students education. After all, it’s our future that’s affected. •