(© Can Stock Photo / tomwang)

LKDSB Looking To Hire 100 Substitute Teachers

A local school board is so short of substitute teachers it is starting a campaign to fill upwards of 100 positions.

The Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) issued a release stating it’s having a hard time filling occasional teaching positions to cover staff absences.

According to Phil Warner, superintendent of education in human resources, the district sees a need for substitutes every year as full-time positions are filled by the pool.

“It’s more drastic this year,” Warner said. “We seem to have a shortage of qualified teachers. It is a complete change from five years ago and that’s due to the implementation of a two-year bachelors of education program.”

The increase from a one to two-year program caused a yearlong hiatus in qualified teachers according to Warner.

The superintendent said while next year will be great for teachers to get into the workforce, it leaves the school district in a bind this year. Warner said LKDSB generally hires around 50 occasional teachers a year, but now they are aiming to get closer to 100 along with 25 full-time positions.

“Usually we only add once or twice a year to our roster, but this year we are going to put out a posting that we are calling a perpetual posting,” It will stay up indefinitely and as we get enough [applicants] to warrant interviews we’ll have teachers come in in different phases, opposed to a one time event.”

Warner said the major complications of being short substitutes are that sometimes professional activities have to be cancelled or in a worst-case scenario, teachers have to cover for one another.

“It definitely interrupts the flow of a program if we can’t cover their classes.”

Warner added students aren’t impacted as much in the short term, but if programs are cancelled they can be affected in the long term. Students are also affected by teachers being forced to cover for others during their prep time, making them less prepared to teach.