Sub shortage lowers education quality

By Kelly Murphy
December 8, 2005

After begging mom for five more minutes numerous times, sitting on a crowded bus for what seemed like hours and frantically copying a friend’s homework from the night before, the bell rings, which means the start of another day. Eight hours of school. Well, only four until recess.

But today is a lucky day. A new face enters the classroom and writes their name on the board. All the students hiss amongst each other, “Yes! A substitute!” A “sub” may have been good news in the third grade because of the possibility of having a night with out homework was the coolest thing that could happen.

For college students, every class counts and there is an acknowledgement of the importance of a college education.

According to the National Education Association, there is a shortage of substitute teachers. There are many factors that have caused this new trend. First, they are called at 5 a.m. to sub at a school while being paid $40 to $45 a day. Another factor, according to NEA, is that, “school districts are facing an increased demand for teacher professional development opportunities, fueled in part by the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.”

The lack of substitute teachers is causing a decline in the degree and quality of education that children are receiving today, according to a recent article on also said substitute teachers in minority-based schools are the quick fix to the vacancy of long term certified teachers. Even if substitute teachers come prepared with lesson plans or are left with instructions on what to cover in class, many times, the ideal plans fall through. “Unfortunately, the essence of the job itself is the biggest recruitment hurdle. Low pay, poor training, lack of benefits and inadequate professional support reduces the number of available substitute teachers,” President of NEA Reg Weaver said.

At Cabrini, one of the more populated majors is education Most education majors are unaware of the problem. A sophomore education major, Christina Siderio, said, “You never really think of the negatives of being a teacher because if you did many people would change their major.”

That is exactly what sophomore psychology major Davena Stevenson did. “Basically I didn’t want to be a babysitter for thirty kids and end up making what a babysitter makes,” she said.

Sean Dugan, a Cabrini graduate, has performed various substitue teacher positions throughout the Philadelphia area.

“Not all substitute teaching is a bad experience and teaching is a rewarding field for those who are passionate about it; however, changes must be made in the system so that the quality of education children receive is not compromised,” Dugan said.

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur . The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Kelly Murphy

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