For the past 17 years, I have been the owner of an online tutorial service. I have taught 38,000 students in 82 nations. Prior to that, I was a research chemist. I was a Washington state certified teacher, I hold two bachelor degrees and a masters in online science education, I have written seven online curriculums and plan on writing five more.
I recently applied to reinstate my teacher certification so that I can substitute teach this fall: times are hard for independent tutorial services. I applied to five districts and two online public-school programs. I was met with a mountain of paperwork and hours of redundant form preparation. It has taken two weeks, working six hours per day, to submit the required minutiae.
I would tender that there is no substitute teacher shortage in Washington state. There are simply those willing souls that grew tired of all the bureaucracy. Jumping through OSPI, ESD, and school district employment hoops needs to be streamlined. Being state certified, background checked, fingerprinted, and well-educated should be more than enough grounding to substitute teach within our public schools. I certainly should not have to bother my friends, family, and former employers seven times for references.
The substitute recruitment system needs revision and new direction.
Steven Rosenoff, Lacey