TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — "We don't have enough substitute teachers."
Dr. Deborah Gist, Tulsa Public Schools superintendent, lays the problem out on the table this morning for all to see.
"The pressure that it puts on our schools when we don't have substitute teachers, which is a daily occurrence, is immense. It causes tremendous anxiety for a teacher who has to be out, and I assure you, our teachers are only out when it's absolutely necessary," Gist said.
TPS currently has about 500 people on their substitute teacher roster, which covers anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of the teacher-less classrooms each day. They want to see at least one hundred more sign up.
"So, this morning I logged into the interface where you can go and find a class or a school where you can sign up to be a substitute teacher. There were still, on my way here, 80 positions that needed to be filled," said substitute teacher August Freistedt.
Today, we heard from several people who say signing up to be a substitute has been great for them and for the students.
"The most rewarding thing is whenever I get to connect with kids, and maybe inspire them or open them up to an opportunity that maybe they didn't see," said Freistedt.
"What made me interested in becoming a sub was the idea of meeting a need. Seeing the need and meeting it," said Renee Benson.
"My niece is just graduating high school and going to college now. I'm trying to encourage her, because it's just a great part-time job for her. As she's going through college, she can do this on her days off," said Jenny Tudor.
With an application process that doesn't take long, the school and these substitutes hope that more will join the ranks as soon as possible.
A link to the application can be found by clicking here.