I usually try to write to a more national audience, but today a local news story caught my eye: “Substitute Shortage Leaves Six Classes Uncovered.”
The story explains that there was a flu outbreak and 8-9 substitute teachers were covering classes (aside from the 6 uncovered classes). While that sounds like a one-time thing, finding substitute teachers seems to be a continuing problem according to the town officials.
What really caught my attention is that substitute teachers are paid $70 a day. A quick search tells me that the school day goes from 7:30AM to 2:30PM.
At 7 hours that works out to be $10/hour. The minimum wage in my state (Rhode Island): $9.60/hr.
Let that sink in…
Let’s Look at Dog Sitting
I’ve been writing about my dog sitting gig for a couple of years now. I love dogs to the extent that I believe they are better than people. That’s a topic for another day.
I have to make that clear because I don’t want to diminish the value of dog care.
Some of the competing dog sitters in my area charge $55 a day. That’s for an overnight stay. It’s not worth doing an hourly rate, because dogs don’t need hourly care.
Would you rather have a dog (playing with your dog) in your home for 7 days or spend 5 days teaching 20 children? If money is a motivator, you’ll make more sitting the dog.
Dog sitting isn’t for everyone, but neither is being a substitute teacher. In order to be a substitute teacher it seems you need a Bachelor’s degree and certification (according to the article). Dog sitting doesn’t require either.
As a result of this incident (6 classes going uncovered), the town officials voted to raise the rate for substitutes to $90/day. That seems to be competitive with other surrounding towns. It still doesn’t seem enough, does it?