Thursday, December 14

Here's Why A Certified Teacher Probably Won't Be A Substitute In Jacksonville

I don't think I'm currently licensed in Wisconsin as a teacher anymore. However, I'm not entirely sure, since Governor Scott Walker wanted to make my teaching license a lifetime one, partially as a result of the teacher shortage in my home state (caused by the policies of Scott Walker, but the that's a long story). Either way, I have a degree, a teacher certification, and nearly double the college credits of most people with a Bachelor's degree. But I don't think I'll be signing up to substitute teach in Jacksonville any time soon.


Mostly, it's about the money. Subbing is kind of a dollar to stress ratio. Back in 2000, I was a sub in Milwaukee, and I made over $100 a day. I think once I got to a certain number of days, it was like $120 a day. Today, I'd get $160 a day in Milwaukee. In order to get me to go back into an MPS middle school, I'd probably need more like $200 a day. But $20 an hour isn't too bad. All you need is a college degree and some ear plugs.

I asked a friend on my baseball team about maybe venturing into Duval Schools to sub. I don't make a ton of money every day, and something extra might help pay the bills. He told me there were two pay rates, one around $65 for an associates degree and the other ten dollars more for a four-year degree. He was off by a ten-spot, since I looked it up, and the district pays $85 a day for folks with art or philosophy degrees.

I literally made more money than that when I subbed at my kids' Lutheran school last year. In a suburb in Kansas. This is a big city with, I assume, some tough schools. The cost of living is basically a wash compared to Milwaukee or KC, so that means someone like me would need to be enticed to use my skills as a teacher in the local public schools. The suburb I lived in near KC pays $135 a day. And that was considered a fairly good school district (Shawnee Mission).

I know, both Kansas and Wisconsin share the longest school day / year, and maybe I'd work a half-hour less teaching in Jax, but the commute times here make up for shorter school days.

I am sure there are other jobs I can get around here for $10 an hour that don't require me to try to control 30 kids I don't know. At least I hope so. In the end, I don't want to dissuade people with associates degrees from signing up to make $8 an hour, but I'm just wondering if perhaps Duval could get more people willing to venture into the schools if the pay was slightly higher. In fact, it looks like school bus drivers make more per hour than subs. I guess if the job is just to babysit while the teacher's sick, then this all makes sense, but my theory is that students should be expected to learn on those days, and it's probably worth paying for people who can follow a lesson plan and command attention in a classroom.

As a side note, actual teacher salary in Jacksonville is very similar to Milwaukee, so that means the schools value their full-time teachers about the same as a school district that pays TWICE as much for substitutes. I just don't understand it, but I'd love to hear from someone who has subbed here. Maybe it's a lot easier than I imagine.