Area school districts say substitute teachers are needed now more than ever during the COVID era

School districts prepared to continue instruction no matter the situation

While some teachers have to call in sick or remain in isolation, substitute teacher requirements have been expanded to fulfill classroom instruction.
While some teachers have to call in sick or remain in isolation, substitute teacher requirements have been expanded to fulfill classroom instruction.

SAN ANTONIO – If there was ever a need for substitute teachers before the pandemic, it’s now.

Aubrey Chancellor, executive director for North East Independent School District, calls the challenge amid the coronavirus pandemic a perfect storm, a situation district officials have been preparing for since last spring.

While some teachers have to call in sick or remain in isolation, substitute teacher requirements have been expanded to fulfill classroom instruction.

Chancellor said they are now allowing substitute teachers to come in with 60 college credits instead of having a degree.

The increase in COVID-19 cases has affected school districts across the area.

Mark Ruston, Northside Independent School District’s director of human resources, said the challenge is not necessarily finding substitute teachers, but finding substitute teachers that are willing to work the length of a quarantine period.

“Five days a week substitutes, which we are in need of, that’s an area that has proven to be quite a challenge,” Ruston told KSAT.

If an in-class instructor cannot be made available, the districts are well equipped with alternative measures that will allow students to continue instruction through asynchronous learning.

This worst-case scenario would allow students to continue with programmed lesson plans through a recorded format.

Both school districts said no matter the situation they will have their bases covered to ensure their students remain in good hands and receive quality instruction.

If you are interested in applying for a substitute position and meet the minimum requirements, visit www.neisd.net.

Related: Researchers gather data to learn how COVID-19 pandemic affects teaching, learning in San Antonio


About the Authors:

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT's Nightbeat. Jonathan speaks English and Spanish and is a veteran of the United States Navy. Previously, he worked in South Texas.