Springfield Schools to host fair to hire much-needed substitute teachers

The Springfield City School district is looking to recruit more substitutes by the beginning of the school year as it has seen a higher turnover rate amid the pandemic.

The school district will be conducting its first Substitute Fair in eight years, hoping to attract substitute teachers, classroom aids, secretaries, cooks, bus drivers and custodians. The event is slated to take place on Wednesday at the district’s Clark Center at 1500 W. Jefferson Street and is expected to last from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Substitute Fair follows a number of staff members leaving the district in recent years primarily due to the stressors of the pandemic. However, Springfield City Schools has been able to fill 100 vacancies, constituting full-time positions, for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. That includes teachers, principals, administration staff and a variety of other roles, said Jenna Leinasars, a spokesperson for the district.

“Some teachers decided that teaching was not for them. The pandemic was very hard for them. It put a lot of strain on people in a lot of different ways,” Leinasars said.

“There are still some vacancies that have not been filled yet. The plan at this point, until we can get full time staff members in those positions, is to use our long-term subs. We are always actively recruiting for subs, but we are really trying to make a push now to fill some of those positions that we foresee will still be empty at the start of the school year,” Leinasars added.

The goal is to get substitutes to fill those vacancies in the short term. Representatives of the district say that they also want to build up their pool of substitutes due to the uncertainty of the pandemic and the possibility of further vacancies.

The district is still actively looking to permanently fill vacant teacher positions and other roles. Leinasars said that substitutes could work their way towards a full-time position.

“If a substitute is able to come into a building, perform well and establish relationships within the building, that certainly makes a good impression if they were to go for a full-time job as one becomes available,” she said.

The district is currently looking for both short-term and long-term substitutes. The event on Wednesday is meant to serve as learning opportunity for those who are thinking of applying. Those who attend could be interviewed as well.

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