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Substitute teacher shortage continues as recruitment picks up in Tampa Bay

Posted at 5:52 AM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 08:33:43-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The substitute teacher shortage reached an all-time high at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The need is still great today, speaking to an even bigger issue.

“We recruit every day,” said Cheryl Courier, Vice President Practice Lead for Kelly Education Southeast.

Kelly Education has been working around the clock the help supply Tampa Bay area school districts with substitute teachers.

“We are providing the school district with about 1,000 substitutes a day,” said Courier.

RELATED: Sarasota County Schools sends email to parents asking them to be subs

“There weren’t enough bodies to fill the openings during the pandemic,” said Courier.

The need is still great today, speaking to an even bigger issue.

“I think we’re always going to need substitute teachers with education losing teachers at the rate they are,” said Courier.

Teachers across the country have retired early or quit during the pandemic, worsening a long-standing teacher and substitute teacher shortage.

“Without a substitute teacher, a teacher is just stretched beyond anyone’s expectations for anything we should expect really of our teachers,” said Courier.

Even though the end of the school year is near, the recruitment for more subs continues.

“We don’t stop. We continue recruiting right up to the last day of school and then through the summer trying to increase our pool and make sure we have enough substitutes to cover for teachers when they’re out,” said Courier.

RELATED: Substitute teacher shortage leaves Tampa Bay teachers overworked

Districts want to be ready. With COVID-19 still in the community, they want to stay prepared in case there’s another surge in cases that could cause teachers to quarantine.

Kelly Education is actively looking for people in the community who may want to be substitute teachers.

“This is a great opportunity to try teaching out and see if it’s something you would like to do,” said Courier.

The number to call if interested is 813-518-5999.

“We certainly would love for the members of the community to reach out and try substitute teaching,” said Courier.

Kelly Education is looking for K-12 subs, they offer flexible schedules and weekly pay.

“People forget just how important substitute teachers are to the success of our community, not just our schools. Because really substitute teachers just like teachers are helping to educate our next generation,” said Courier.