MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — A shortage of substitute teachers in Wilson County Schools prompted that district to email parents about subbing.
According to public information officer Bart Barker, the point of the notice was to alert families about the subbing shortages and ask them to apply if they are interested.
On Tuesday, 156 teachers employed by the district called out. That is fewer absences than some days last week, but about 50% higher than the normal number of absences, pre-pandemic.
"We are prepped to go remote if necessary, but ultimately this is where we want to be," said Chris Plummer, principal at West Elementary School in Mt. Juliet.
Getting substitutes in schools will prevent schools from having to suspend in-person learning.
At one point in the fall, West Elementary had roughly 40% of the teaching staff out sick for reasons related to COVID-19. Plummer said those large absences can present challenges.
"The whole environment of the classroom changes slightly. Typically, behavior goes up slightly, maybe some of the work that gets sent home is different," Plummer said.
Tyler Hager is currently subbing at West Elementary in a second grade classroom.
"Honestly it's perfect. It's the perfect little thing for me to do," Hager said. "I'm home early enough to get all my school work done, and I get to help them with their school work."
Hager is actually a college student. Although it is preferred, subs do not have to have a teaching certificate to work. In most cases, subs need only some higher education, an approved application and a passed background check.
NewsChannel 5 checked in with school districts in close proximity to Wilson County. Metro Schools, Rutherford County Schools, Williamson County Schools, Franklin Special School District and Trousdale County Schools all said they need substitutes.
If you would like to apply to sub in Wilson County, Education Solution Services is handling their applications.