Substitute teacher shortage hurting the kids... Who is teaching the kids?

Since school resumed following the teachers strike, a growing number of schools have been noting a shortage of substitute teachers. The question is: Who’s Teaching the Kids? Principals are complaining that they can’t get subs for their teachers. Teachers call in to sub center to request a sub when they are going to be absent. There is a large pool of subs out there especially with the displaced teachers, yet the principals get told “There are no subs available.”

Is it a matter of no subs or CPS not wanting to pay for them? So, the question of who is teaching the kids becomes very important. In preschool, it’s the assistant. At other grade levels it’s whoever can be found, the PE teacher, librarian, art teacher, music teacher, or other resource staff. Sometimes it’s even the AP, clerks and security — or no one?

Garfield Humboldt Park Network was holding professional development on teacher evaluation on October 25, 2012. It was scheduled from 8:30 – 11:30 for all pre-k to 5th grade teachers and repeated in the afternoon for the 6th-8th teachers.

So half the teachers were scheduled to be out of the building at all times, yet the students were still there. Principals struggled to staff their classrooms as a result, all resource classes were cancelled. No one got their hour prep, but they do get lunch and recess, however part of this time will be spent traveling from Cather to their home school.

So once again, who’s teaching the kids? The resource staff has the primary grades, security, the AP and payroll clerk have the upper grades. All this is a result of a longer school day put in place without any thought to the needs of the students. Ironically the PD is on teacher evaluation and requires 3 hours, which they now have to take away from teaching since they took away full day PD. Just like the longer school day, CPS chose a new evaluation system without proper preparation. So while teachers are learning how to be evaluated, who is teaching the kids?


October 26, 2012 at 7:42 AM

By: Bob Busch

CPS sabotage is creating its sub shortage through arrogant mismanagement

To sub in Chicago? For years, retired teachers were allowed to work 75 days a year as substitute. Here is the story from one recently retired veteran teacher:

December 28 , 2010 the emergency room doctor tells me I have to have a quadruple by-pass operation.

January 2, 2011 operation successful.

February 2, 2011, I retired after 41 years as a Chicago Public school teacher.

By July 2011 I felt better than I had in years and decided to sub. But the Board is not

hiring subs, or taking applications. Finally, in March 2012 the Board web site

opens for online sub applications. By March 12, 2012 everything the web site

requires from me is submitted and accepted. One would think a world class organization

like CPS would reply, or reject this application, but as of today (October 26, 2012)

not one word.

What has occurred since September leaves me wondering just how screwed up is the Board?

First I called sub center where they gave me a e-mail to write. No reply!

Then a young man told me I would hear something. That was a month ago.

Now I want you to realize only two of the many calls I have made resulted in

talking to a human being. Most result in voice mail. Several times the voice mail was "full" and I was not allowed to leave a message.

This week I tried Monday and got a human who gave me a number to something called the "Talent Bureau" who are now in charge of hiring, I guess. Low and behold I got the voice mail of a student parent lady. Nothing from her yet.

Yesterday I tried Sub Center again because a sub told me to punch "Option 4". Low and behold, it told me to apply on line.

Finally I called Human resources where after four minutes of busy signals somebody hung up the phone.

Are other potential subs experiencing this problem? If they don’t want me just say so.

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