Substitute teachers needed in the Northshore School District

Northshore School District Superintendent Michelle Reid had to fill a void for a P.E. instructor at North Creek High School on Nov. 12. because the district is having trouble hiring substitute teachers. Courtesy photo.

By Hannah Saunder

The Northshore School District has a shortage of substitute teachers. According to District Superintendent Michelle Reid, a couple of things factor into this.

“Fewer college students are receiving degrees in education and returning to school to substitute has not been sought after by retired educators,” Reid said. “Many substitute teachers are also older in age, which puts them at an increased risk for contracting COVID-19.”

The impact of COVID took its toll and nearly closed schools on Nov. 12 across the district. But school administrators and staff members filled the void of teachers and schools remained open. One of the fill-ins included Superintendent Reid.

“I substituted for P.E. class at North Creek High School. I got to play some basketball and volleyball,” Reid said. “It was a great day to be with students and staff at North Creek.”

Other school districts in the vicinity, including Bellevue and Seattle, closed schools that Friday after feeling the impact of the substitute shortage.

“I think we realized it was an all-hands-on-deck day,” Reid said. “We felt that canceling school for that Friday on really late notice wasn’t going to be supportive of our working families, in particular. We’ve missed a lot of school, so we wanted to do everything possible to cover as many classes as we could.”

Reid said teachers, principals, and support staff worked hard that Friday to prevent schools from closing, but the substitution shortage has been felt for quite some time now.

“For the past number of years, there have been fewer and fewer substitutes available,” Reid said. “We had a number of retired staff members that weren’t feeling comfortable to return to school buildings and work during pandemic times such as now.”

As a result, the school district’s human resources department is making a concerted effort to find more substitute teachers.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of work doing outreach to the community and we’ve had a number of community members who’ve signed up who need to be credentialed,” Reid said. “I’m confident we’ll be able to maintain our schools being open as long as our health and safety stay in place. At the moment, I think we’ve got that under control.”

People interested in becoming substitute teachers can visit and apply.


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