Substitute Teacher Shortage Is Real

Classroom Teachers Filling Gaps

Luke Benson ('23) and Noah Young ('23)

RMHS has been experiencing a substitute teacher shortage that has been a factor since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020. 

Substitute teachers have been scarce within Massachusetts schools, and for a long time, the Reading Public Schools have had to deal with this problem, since there are not enough educators willing to fill the roles. As a result full time teachers have had to fill in during non-teaching periods, and act as a substitute for absent teachers.

Covid-19 had an impact on the teachers of RMHS and other school districts, according to Assistant Principal Buckley. “It’s definitely a problem. Since the pandemic we have had so many educators leave the profession.” Since  the pandemic, RMHS has been reaching out to the community, providing job opportunities as new substitute teachers.

Other districts are also in need of subs, which puts up competition amongst schools. Buckley stated, “ There are competing organizations that are hiring for just as much money so it is hard to keep subs.”  The current pay for substitute teachers in MA is $16.26 per hour. This forces our school district to raise the pay or risk losing substitutes.

RMHS wants to hire substitute teachers, but there are requirements that the teacher must fulfill, so that they fit the role.  Ms. Buckley said, “They must enjoy students, and love to help students learn, they also have to have a high school diploma.” It is important that RMHS hires the right kinds of people so that our students have a comfortable learning environment. 

Even though the lack of substitute teachers has been a growing problem, Ms. Buckley is still hopeful that this turmoil will be resolved. She stated, “We hope that more young people will choose the education path for their employment plans.”