Substitute Teacher Pay

To the Editor:

Thoughts on Substitute Teacher Pay….

Having just graduated from college, unemployed and with no money to stay in Boston, I returned home to Mattapoisett. Needing some income, I signed on as a substitute teacher at Old Rochester where, only four years before, I had graduated. Over a year and one half, I taught over one hundred days then left for a “real” job. The experience would pay dividends years later when, after 30 years successfully doing something else, I became a full-time high school teacher. The experience was like money in the bank, but the paycheck, $20 per day, was not.

Since 1968, 47 years ago, the pay for a substitute teacher in the district has just recently risen to the princely sum of $70 per day, $75 for licensed teachers. Substitute teaching is clearly not a growth industry. Five years ago when I retired, the day rate for a licensed substitute at the school where I taught was $90. For a non- licensed teacher it was $85. Today, it is $75 for a teacher with an Associate Degree, $85 with a Bachelor’s and $95 if one is licensed. They prefer to hire retired teachers who taught in the system, who know the school culture and often know the students or have taught their brothers and sisters. A win/win for the school, the students, and the subs.

Substitute teaching is a real job and a very difficult one. Few people who are qualified want to get a call at 5:00 am to face a group of usually unknown students to teach an unfamiliar lesson for little money, no benefits and a 20 minute lunch break. Though I know all the tricks a good sub needs to know (that’s another story for another time), don’t call me. I sleep late.

Richard Morgado, Mattapoisett


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