Subbing through COVID-19

Substitute teachers help keep classrooms running


Photo by Peyton Sims

Substitute David Persons patrols his temporary class of students at the desk. Subs are being hired by the dozen due to the increase of teachers being out due to COVID-19.

Story by Reese Langdon, staff writer

You know the feeling. You are headed to your next class, dreading having to sit quietly and listen to your teacher lecture about mitochondria this and slope-intercept form that. You walk in, and then you see them. Subs. All your grief goes away knowing that you will be able to do little classwork and sit by your friends with no questions asked.

However, a sub’s role should be reconsidered this year since they put their own lives in danger during this pandemic for the sake of education just as much as the teachers do. 

Substitutes like Willie Conner who have been subbing for years haven’t let the coronavirus stop them from doing what they love, as long as safety precautions are being made. 

“Well, basically the difference between this year and last year is we have to be more careful this year because of the pandemic,” Conner said. “We have to make sure that we are clear [of the coronavirus] to keep the students safe.”

Besides the safety precautions, the subs notice a change in the number of students attending school versus online school.

“When we first started, we didn’t have many students,” Conner said. “Now, we’ve got the students coming back, and we’ve got to keep the safety measures in place since they’re back, hopefully until the pandemic is over. That’s why we hope we can go ahead and get the pandemic over with, so we can return back to normal.”

Conner has noticed these differences in the past two grading periods in which he has been subbing. However, he is not the only observant substitute who has noticed the differences of this year. In all of the changes and negativity, Patty Rogers has been able to find the bright side to subbing this year. 

“Of course, good for the subs, we’ve just found out that we’re going to get a little bit of a raise for a couple of months, which is an awesome thing because you know everybody’s got to chip in and help,” Rogers said.

Rogers understands that her position here is needed especially this year, and is more than willing to help out the teachers when they need it.

“I would hate to see teachers and administrators having to fill in for classes where teachers are out and don’t have enough subs,” Rogers said. “[Not having enough subs has] been an issue a lot for a long time, but this year has been worse because I’m sure that there are substitutes that aren’t comfortable.”

Substitute David Persons, like Rogers, has found the positives to subbing this year as well. He has noticed that the school has been taking appropriate precautions, causing him to feel safe while subbing.

“I think Texas High is doing everything they can as far as the safety protocols,” Persons said. “I noticed the cafeteria is a little different. [For example], the mask rule that’s in effect and the social distancing particularly during lunchtime. ”

Persons believes that not just the precautions, but also the staff and students, are the reason that he feels so safe substituting here. 

“I like working up here, everybody is first rate,” Persons said. “Also, [the students] listen to me. I think [coronavirus] is something that will soon get behind us. Fortunately for me, I’ve been OK, so think as long as I adhere to what they say and you all adhere too, it will be good.”