Summit School District teacher describes current staffing shortage in Colorado – CBS Denver

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado (CBS4) – Liz Waddick loves teaching her students at Summit High School, but she doesn’t like the position that work puts her on a daily basis.

“If you’re a primary teacher and you’re teaching second grade and another second grade teacher is away and there’s no one to fill the job, they’re going to ask you to take the second grade class. ‘other teacher,” Waddick explained. “The work doesn’t stop, the children don’t leave. We just take on more responsibilities. We’re taking on more jobs, so that part, that part is tough.

(credit: CBS)

Waddick said due to the lack of alternate options in the district, when a teacher calls, there’s a real possibility no one will be available to cover their class. Then it falls to a colleague to do the work twice or the educator to step in anyway.

“How can I make doctor’s appointments?” How to take children to their doctor? So that kind of stress and that guilt compounded by me covering for my friends has been a lot,” Waddick said.

Summit County teachers are being compensated for the extra work, but the district said it knows this is an unsustainable pattern. He is making serious efforts to fill vacancies for teachers, sub-staff and several support positions like paraprofessionals and bus drivers and attendants, but the high cost of living in a tourist economy is creating a pinch. difficult for employees.

“Our underpay is about $17.25 an hour. I mean Target pays more,” Waddick said in frustration.

She thinks the school board has done what it can to make salaries more competitive, and the district boasts that it pays educators among the highest of any public district in Colorado.

Coupled with higher spending here and an additional housing crisis, this negates any serious upside. Waddick thinks some of his colleagues left for this very reason.

“Looking for jobs with less stress, with better pay,” she said.

Waddick thinks full state funding would be a good step to help alleviate many of the shortages they’re seeing, though the Colorado Educators Association told Mountain Newsroom reporter Spencer Wilson that shortage is a battle. for years now.

In the meantime, Waddick asks people to be extra patient and understanding with an educator or school staff who may be taking on additional responsibilities to ensure children get the education they deserve.

“I would definitely say we are in crisis, there is no doubt in my mind that we are in crisis.”

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