Substitute teachers are increasingly needed in Carter County Schools

Published 3:51 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2020

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There is a need for substitute teachers in Carter County.
According to Kathy Ledford, Human Resource Specialist, the growing need for substitutes in the county can be attributed to a couple of reasons. The first being guidelines surrounding COVID-19.
“The requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and the Carter County Health Department for quarantine with people who are exposed to COVID-19 and stuff like that, has increased the number of days and time that teachers are out of the classroom,” she explained.
Another reason for the growing need can be attributed to a decrease in the number of enrolled substitutes. 
“Last year we ended the year with between 150 and 160 subs on our list, and over the summer they are supposed to fill out a form stating they wish to stay on this list. We lost about 55 off of that list,” said Ledford. 
As the school year began this year, Ledford said there hasn’t been as much interest from people in becoming substitutes. 
“Usually in August we will do a sub-training class and pick up anywhere from 15-20 new subs,” she said. “This year we didn’t even get to have one.”
In previous years, these training classes for substitute teaching take place once a month, before tapering down to every other month after January. Ledford said she was able to have a class at the beginning of October. 
The requirements to become a substitute teacher in Carter County include the following:
– Pass a background check (there is a fee of $35.15).
– Be at least 18 years of age to work in an elementary school and at least 21 years of age to work in a high school. 
– Have a GED or high school diploma.
Ledford spoke on how important substitutes are for successful learning.
“We have to have someone in the classroom that’s qualified to fill-in if a teacher has to be out,” she said. 
All age groups (past requirements above) are welcome in substitute teaching.
For those wishing to apply for substitute teaching, please see Ledford at 305 Academy Street Elizabethton, TN 37643 or call 423-547-4023. Applicants can also go to the school system’s website and click on employment on the left in the menu, and can then click on substitute teacher application and print it from there. Applications may be submitted 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  
“This school year has been one of the most trying school years for all school systems, and I feel like we have some of the finest teachers and staff in the area,” said Ledford. “We look for that in our substitutes, and we have been very fortunate in the past. We value their services and we value the relationship we have with anyone who works in the school system. I’m not going to say it’s a great paying job, but it’s a rewarding job.”

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