Utah school districts rush to fill substitute teacher openings before 2021-22 year begins

Ogden High School is pictured on September 29, 2020. School districts across the state, including Ogden School District, are searching for substitute teachers for this school year. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

OGDEN — The need for substitute teachers across Utah is at an all-time high.

With COVID-19 cases rising, school district officials said they were preparing for possible quarantines among staff as students return for the 2021-22 school year.

Last fall, the need for substitutes increased as many teachers and staff were required to quarantine. A nationwide teacher shortage, coupled with Utah's growing population, are also contributing to the substitute teacher shortage.

The Ogden School District still has 50 substitute teaching spots to fill before classes resume at the end of August. Danette Albright was just hired to fill one of those spots.

"They are going to teach me probably just as much as I am going to teach them," she said.

Albright does not have a professional background in education and is not required to have one to fill the substitute position. She signed up to teach elementary grades and is optimistic the experience will be a positive one.

"We will see how it goes," she said. "You know, if I have to pull a calculator out, I'll pull a calculator out."

So far, districts across the state have seen applicants of all ages and from various backgrounds, with opportunities still available to teach all grade levels.

"As for new hires, we are seeing, so far, a mixture of retired educators and people that are looking to make a career change," Jeremy Poorte, Education Management and Staffing Solutions manager for the Ogden area.

The goal, Poorte said, is to train each and every one of the new hires before the school year.

"Getting as many hired as possible, as soon as possible, it will benefit our schools, our students and our teachers," he said.

2021-22 school year hiring needs:

  • Alpine & Provo School Districts — goal is to hire 120 per month, each month
  • Ogden — 50 at the beginning of the school year
  • Tooele — 25 per month, each month
  • Washington County — 50 per month, each month

Full-day pay rates range, for daily substitute teachers in these districts pay is as follow:

  • Alpine — $80-120/day
  • Ogden — $95-150/day, additional pay of $10/day after 20 full-day assignments fulfilled
  • Provo — $80-120/day, additional pay of $10/day after 25 full-day assignments fulfilled
  • Tooele — $87-165/day, additional pay of $10/day after 20 full-day assignments fulfilled
  • Washington County — $75-165/day, additional pay of $8/day after 30 full-day assignments fulfilled

Anyone interested in applying can visit the ESS website.

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Ashley Moser

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