BIG SPRING, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – “Substitute teaching is at a premium right now across the state because of the lack of teachers. We would be in a world of hurt without our substitute teachers, and I just really appreciate them,” said Big Spring ISD’s Superintendent, Jay McWilliams.

Substitute teaching is becoming more of a vital necessity for school districts around the country as the teacher shortage continues. West Texas is no stranger to this issue.

Each school district has its own specific substitute program; At Big Spring ISD, district staff say they welcome all who are interested in making a difference in the classroom.

“They have to fill out all the paperwork, we do a complete background check, and fingerprint check, on everyone that substitutes at Big Spring ISD,” said Superintendent McWilliams. “Be here be on time, be professional, please do what the teacher of records asks you to do.”

Districts across Texas are facing a teacher shortage and that carries over when existing teachers are out of the classroom. That’s where subs come in and makeup all the difference for these kiddos

“People who really love kids, they want to come to the school, they enjoy being around the kids. Sometimes they have children here or grandchildren here, we have subs of all ages,” said the Principal of Marcy Elementary, Treena Foster.

“Do you have to be a college graduate? No, but we would like you to have a high school diploma, those questions are asked on the paperwork,” said McWilliams.

Foster says that they love to see people from all different career paths help out in their local schools.

“We have people who sign up at the district level and they’re on a list, they can either pick up jobs that we have teachers put in for or we call them, it just depends. Then we have some that are campus-specific,” said Foster.

Marianne Rodriguez is a substitute teacher at Marcy Elementary and says her passion lies with helping students.

“This gives me a purpose in life, I love working with little kids and it gives me something to do,” said Rodriguez. “Just knowing that I’m helping mold their future and how important it is to learn at this stage and do the best we can.”

“I’m telling you it’s a challenge to be a sub but I think it’s also rewarding. Were lucky when we get a sub like Mrs. Rodriguez, who loves what she does. And the kids know it. Kids you can’t fool them, kids know if you care for them or really want the best,” said McWilliams.

Texas is the second highest-paying state for substitutes in the United States.
If you’re interested, give the district a call or check out their website.