LAWTON, OK (TNN) - Starting next week, Duncan Public Schools will begin their substitute teacher training, something they’ve never done this late in the school year.
Normally, they find their substitutes during the summer before school starts, but currently they have several positions that need to be filled.
“We’ve not ever done an extra drive in this ring before. This is the first time we’ve decided to do this, so we’re hoping we get a lot of new applicants and people who are interested in coming to help,” said DPS curriculum coordinator Allison Lovett.
When teachers are out sick or missing school for professional development combines with a substitute shortage, DPS’s only option is to put a strain on teachers by increasing their class sizes, or pulling teaching assistants away from their assigned classrooms.
“Whenever we do that we divide the children that are coming out of that particular class, put them in a room with other teachers. Which means that teacher now has way more students than she has. It could be that they have somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 to 50 children in the room,” said Vicky Nighswonger, Horace Mann’s principal.
At the training course, participants can expect to learn a variety of things inside and outside the classroom. DPS wants to put the focus on the students, so providing the students with a trained substitute can continue the learning process despite their regular teacher being gone.
“We will leave detailed plans for them so they will know what to teach, but we never want to have them babysitting or biding their time. We want to make sure that that educational experience for that child would be just about the same of a certified teacher or their certified teacher was in the room,” said Nighswonger
People interested in becoming a substitute teacher will need a high school diploma or G.E.D and pass a background check. There are three scheduled training days. The first one begins Wednesday the 27th at 930 am in their central office. Anyone interested can find the future dates on Duncan Public Schools Facebook Page.