Lakeland Faces Shortage of Subs


Lakeland Students walking down the science hallway

Annaliese Naas, Staff Writer

Idaho schools are facing a shortage of substitute teachers — especially at Lakeland High School. It affects classes drastically, leaving teachers and administrators with more work than necessary.

There are currently 125 substitutes in this district this year, and they make $110 a day. Long-term guest teachers make $120 a day.

“It gets really difficult, because teachers are like anybody else, they get sick, or have things come up but that doesn’t mean we cancel class,” Brian Etchison, the Principal Assistant said.

“We have to keep educating, and having those guest teachers plays a huge role in this big wheel to be able to spin, when we fall short on that, we have to pull people from other places like myself, or Mr. Hoffman to fill in. It creates a backup, because we aren’t able to do our jobs,” Etchison said. 

Etchison suggests what could be done to increase the number of subs is to make sure students are following instructions and have good behavior, so the substitutes have a good experience and come back when a job opens up and that’s one thing the teachers and administration can control. 

“When we are short on subs, sometimes I end up covering the classes so it directly relates to me in those circumstances,” Melissia Brumbaugh, the school librarian said.

Brumbaugh  doesn’t have to substitute as much this year, but in previous years she had to cover for detention.

“When I am subbing and have 30 individuals to be responsible for, I can’t focus on the priorities of my job,” Brumbaugh said. 

“Raising the pay would help us recruit some more qualified substitute teachers.” Brumbaugh said about what could be done to get more substitutes in the district.

Morgan Speer, a guest teacher coordinator for this district said, “This is my first year as guest teacher coordinator so I am unsure how the number of this year’s subs compares to previous years.” 

Speer hires new guest teachers weekly to try and combat the needs of our teachers. The district leadership team has budgeted to bring on new guest teachers more regularly.

“As the guest teacher coordinator I do my best to hire quality subs every week. I also hold bimonthly guest teacher orientations to equip our new subs.” Speer said.

With that, many people have their ideas as to why there are shortages of substitute teachers, it’s a whole lot of things from income, to job requirements.