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?
The issue is not whether it is enough money, it is whether or not the life style is what you are looking for. By definition, a substitute teacher is not a permanent position. No benefits, no retirement, etc. Who would do that? A retired person, an older person, a housewife/husband not looking for a career? It takes a special kind of person and unfortunately it is not necessarily a desired “career path”.
Lazy Man says
There are per diem nurses and pharmacists. A while back I read about one health care professional who traveled the US in an RV taking per diem gigs.
I agree it isn’t a desired, “career path”, but then shouldn’t supply/demand pay them more?
It is an inefficient marketplace, right?
Troy @ Market History says
Substitute teachers do get it pretty tough. A lot of schools let the teachers choose their subs, so the young guys/girls just out of teachers college don’t have a lot of options. And since the economy is pretty bad in Canada, the wait list to become a full time teacher is 7 years!