There is a desperate need for substitute teachers at many Green Country schools.
Some districts are offering higher pay than usual to try to get subs into the classroom. Jenks Public Schools bumped up the pay by $25 a day in some cases. Depending on experience and availability, a sub could earn up to $140 a day from the district.
Thirteen teachers were out Wednesday at Jenks Middle School, not necessarily because of COVID-19, but the absences still left some classrooms without teachers. People like Heather Fisher, a school counselor, are stepping in because there are not enough substitutes.
"I can't help in Spanish. I can't help in Chinese. But I'm in those classrooms and not available to kids to do my actual job,” Fisher said.
Dr. Nick Brown is the principal and said the situation is dire. He is also stepping back into the classroom when needed and directing teachers give up their planning time to fill the void.
"We're no longer just asking teachers if they're willing to do that, we're having to tell them that they have to go and they have to give up that plan time,” Brown said.
Librarians are filling in too; everyone is chipping in to make it through the school day.
"It's a crisis. I feel like it's a crisis over here,” Fisher said. “We aren't able to do everything we need to do thoroughly. And that's sad to me for the kids. It's sad to me for the parents and it's sad to me for the staff.”
Fisher is calling on anyone willing and able to sub, to help out.
"We're desperate. That's the bottom line. We want education to be better for our kids," Fisher said. "We want this to be better, but we need help. We need a lot of help to make that happen."