BENTON, Ark. – Flu season can be unpredictable for both students and teachers and with the state’s employment rate rising – it means there are fewer people to take on substitute teaching jobs.
“Shortage in substitutes just across the district and even across the state of Arkansas,” says Jennifer Hulsizer, a first-grade teacher at Caldwell Elementary in Benton.
Hulsizer says with a shortage in substitute teachers, sometimes administrators are asked to help.
“There’s a sub especially this time of year every day,” she says.
Last year’s economic report released by Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office showed recent gains in the state’s rising labor pool.
With more people back to work it means there are less to take on substitute jobs.
Hulsizer is staying prepared by ensuring her students are healthy.
“So we’re making sure that our kids blowing her nose are getting Germex,” she says. “We’re trying to keep it as healthy as possible in our classroom.”
The Governor’s Office responded by encouraging people to consider substitute teaching saying;
“During this flu season, I encourage qualified individuals to consider signing up to be a substitute teacher. Substitute teachers are critical to the continuation of learning for our students anytime a teacher must be absent from the classroom.”
Arkansas does not require a Bachelor’s Degree to become a substitute teacher, making it fairly easy to become one.
The state requirements are that the person applying has a high school diploma or GED equivalent as well as complete a fingerprinting and state and federal background checks.