Clark Galloway is trying to find people who have never even considered being a teacher to fill a community need. "Money doesn't grow on trees anymore for education, and people are scrambling to find people who are willing to work, at this point it's basically become a gift of service for our public schools," Galloway, President of EDUStaff, LLC, which handles substitute teaching staffing for most of mid-Michigan's schools.
He needs substitute teachers and he's not just recruiting young guns with teaching degrees - he says most of the members of his workforce are women with an average age of 43. "If people are good at working with children, typically this would be an excellent opportunity for them," Galloway said.
Now, the Department of Education has changed the requirements so more people can apply. The 90 college credits required to be a substitute teacher used to have to all have been toward a bachelor's degree at the same institution, but now community college credit counts.
"We're constantly bringing in new candidates into the substitute pool so obviously the beginning of the year now, October, November it starts picking up and definitely the spring time," Galloway said.
Eaton RESA Superintendent Cindy Anderson says she's noticed it's harder to find substitute teachers now that the economy is better, and more people are working full-time jobs. "We're looking for people who are willing to work, so we're looking in the same job market or job pool looking for people who are willing to work," Galloway said.
Anderson says that, though they may be short staffed, students never go unsupervised. Other teachers sometimes fill in during their planning hours, and, in emergencies, administrative staff and counselors can substitute teach.
If you are interested in applying to be a substitute teacher, you can go to EDUStaff's website for more information.