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WEST JORDAN — The Jordan School District doesn't have enough substitute teachers to cover all its classes.
Administrators say it's a trickle-down effect from a tight job market, but they have an idea to get more people interested in filling in.
The school district is now offering up to $500 on top of normal daily wages in an effort to entice more people to try teaching.
"It's a great opportunity for people who need just a little extra money for the holidays or if you haven't tried this is a great time to step in and see if you like it," said Sandy Riesgraf, the director of communications for Jordan School District.
The district says it needs anywhere from 200 to 300 substitute teachers every day and it's falling short by about 20%.
"We find ourselves really pulling from our resources, asking teachers to cover their colleagues' classes during their prep periods," said Principal Bryan Veazie of Copper Hills High School. "Oftentimes asking our hall monitors to step into classrooms to make sure they are monitored until we can find someone to cover the class. Even sometimes having my assistant principals go to the classes."
Administrators say the pandemic took a toll on teachers last year and this year they're working hard to reduce learning losses due to the disruption it caused.
"Obviously that level of work creates a lot of work and a level of exhaustion," said Veazie.
And with that exhaustion comes a need to take time off and more sick time; but when there's nobody to fill in, administrators say, it's hard to take a day off.
"It's a team effort. Everyone is pitching in right now to cover those classes," said Riesgraf. "We don't want to leave those classes unattended and we are managing to do it, but it's putting a lot of stress on our teachers, our administrators and a lot of others in the building right now."
People interested in substituting need a high school diploma.
It's a part-time job, with the flexibility to choose which grade level and subject to teach.
The incentive program runs from Oct. 25 through Dec. 15.
Anyone interested can apply online at employment.jordandistrict.org.