31 Aug Teacher Staffing Solutions – 5 Questions to Consider When Looking for a Substitute Teacher
School districts are already gearing up for the new school year, and some are faced with severe financial cutbacks, which have forced them to reduce headcount substantially. A particular staffing problem that many schools face is the timely placement of substitute teachers when the regular teaching staff cannot be present.
Whether you need long-term or last-minute replacements, it's good to know in advance how to fill those positions, and the quality of the person who will be working with your students. Many employment agencies have a database of personnel they can suggest; however few employment agencies specialize in the educational sector. For those that do, you are assured that they have taken the time to offer teacher staffing solutions that will provide highly qualified teachers, substitute teachers and school support personnel.
Understanding the process and the accountability in advance can make those days easier as a school administrator, when you are faced with staffing a class schedule at the last moment. Here are five common questions to consider when looking for a substitute teacher:
Why should our school district consider a teacher staffing service?
Using a qualified staffing service saves time at both the administrative level in your school, as well as during classroom placement. Normally when there is a teacher absence, a designated staff member calls a list of substitutes who have registered in the school district, to find one that may be available. This may take hours! Or, a substitute is found, but must work in a position that is different in the subject matter or specialty that they've been trained. Using a staffing service, one call is made to that service, and they immediately sort the criteria and find someone who is already in their database, qualified, and ready to fill the vacancy.
How do you recruit substitute teachers?
Find out if the staffing agency has a recruiting department, and how frequently they actually recruit. Some may seek candidates only near the beginning of a new school year, while others may recruit year-round. Staffing agencies pre-screen, test, and interview candidates before their services are needed.
What is the process to follow when a substitute teacher is needed?
Staffing agencies operate differently. If time is a critical issue in your vacancy replacement, then consider using a service that is fully automated. They can use a variety of methods to expedite the process, including their own telephone notification system, Internet alerts to candidates, and a detailed scheduling system. The representative from a school district calls the staffing agency, and often, within minutes, a replacement can be found.
Will the candidates meet our specific needs?
Often, the candidates who are recruited to become available through a staffing agency have specialized skills, and these are highlighted in the agency database. Whenever specific skills are needed, the recruiting department can work with the school district to determine those needs and find qualified candidates.
Can we request a specific substitute teacher?
Talk with your teacher staffing agency representative, because they can often develop a preferred list for your school district. If the need arises for a particular substitute, that would be noted in the database.
Budgetary restrictions needn't diminish the effectiveness of the teachers within your school district. Qualified teacher staffing solutions are available to fill in the gaps. Many also offer the additional services of full-time teacher recruitment, testing, training, and payroll services to assist school districts with many staffing solutions.