Sunday, October 22, 2017

Dazed and Confused

Well this school year is off to a great start and by that if you mean as always then yes it has.

Few have read the book, Making the Unequal Metropolis by Ansley Erickson, so they are sure that it is not a historical problem or know and don't care.  More of the latter versus the former frankly as the minute you tell someone I have told you the response is the Nashville Face - part lemon meets frowny meets icky.  We like our tea sweet and our bullshit less smelly.

I have actually worked with more new Subs this year and they were alarming.  One did not understand how to read a lesson plan, one a retired Gentleman who was nice, the other confused as to what was going on in the district and how subs were placed.  This includes being aware of the new Staffing Agency and the requirements to work there, along with the structure of pay including the bizarre extortion pay of $25/day. That is IF you work consistently within a two week pay period.  Miss a day miss the payment! Half days, half the payment.   And of course if you work for the 22 schools on the placement list you cannot qualify, it is either/or here in the "ville.

So when I read this from our local rag I see the reporter failed to mention of even know of the 24 schools on the "watch" list - that they are largely elementary and middle schools, one alternative and no high schools at all (but they too suffer a shortage) and all are (but one) high risk schools.  Good reporting! No interviews with Subs to discuss their job and what it is like and in a City that has more help wanted signs than people who can read to fill them what does that mean when it comes to staying in the gig and in turn why would an Educated professional do so?  To get a gig in these fine schools. Well yes that is what two Teachers told me and the one was the woman on Friday who said she only subbed at the two good high schools until a job opened.  Choices she had few and apparently the income to enable her to be particular.

There is little I can say anew that lends to the article, I have written and will continue to write about these Schools as a way of self therapy.  I cannot imagine ever wanting to work full time in as fucked up a district as this one.  Nightmares I have a few and this is one!

But apparently now we are just going to get paid the extra bonus if we work every day in a week!  Wow okay then.  And that I an educated professional makes $15/day more. I knew that already but by the way if Jason was an actual reporter and knew of the staffing agency and their role in subs the day rate they are billing for sub is $20/day more that the MNPS rate as their cut of pay.  I see this working out well.

Few days I leave a school not feeling just a little angry, just a little confused and almost always in a daze. And why? The children and adults here are almost complicit in making lives a living hell. The nature of what defines hospitality here seems to center on the belief that as long as your piece of the pie is edible and marginally intact that what's the problem?  Well the problem is that you have those going hungry and why do they have to.  This city is the perfect example of income inequity on steroids.

I have never encountered in 20 years of professional life children so hateful, adults dismissive and abusive.  Again if this is the Nashville Way then you need to find a new way.

Substitute teacher shortage: Nashville schools part of 'nationwide epidemic'
Jason Gonzales, USA TODAY NETWORK – Oct. 11, 2017

Metro Nashville Public Schools is facing a substitute teacher shortage for the third year in a row.

District officials, however, said they have a better handle on the issue this year after restructuring substitute teacher pay in March and launching stronger recruiting efforts.

"Things have improved a little," said Amber Tyus, Metro Schools recruiting and staffing support specialist.

District officials also hope further changes will make the job more attractive, including restructuring bonus pay.

The district is set to announce that it will begin offering $30-a-day bonuses for substitutes that work a full week.

Before, the district would offer a $25 a day bonus for substitutes that worked a full two weeks. Less than a quarter of substitutes were meeting the requirements.

The district pays over $100 a day to substitutes with a professional degree, and made changes to its pay structure in March.

"We hope the changes certainly will keep us competitive and maintain that edge we have as the highest paying district for substitutes," Tyus said.

► More:Nashville schools face substitute teacher shortage, too

In total, Tyus and the district want a roster of about 2,000 substitutes. That number is far below where Nashville started the school year — at 900 substitutes.

The list of substitutes has grown to 1,100, Tyus said.

But the district also cleared its roster of about 500 substitutes at the beginning of the year. The substitutes either didn't meet requirements to work in schools or weren't answering calls to work, Tyus said.

Metro Schools also hired about 100 substitutes from last year as full-time employees.

"We want the substitute job to serve as a pipeline," Tyuss said.

As well, Tyus has been busy recruiting, she said, reaching out to students at universities. The district is even targeting students that are pursuing degrees outside of education.

"This is a nationwide epidemic and other districts are battling this issue," Tyus said. "It is not unique to Metro Schools, and we are trying to be creative and inventive in the way we are going about things."

Reach Jason Gonzales at and on Twitter @ByJasonGonzales.
Metro Schools' substitute pay

Metro Schools is looking for more substitutes after starting the school year with only 900 fill-in teachers. The district offers bonuses for substitutes that work a number of consecutive days.

For more information on how to become a substitute, email

Certified substitute teacher — $115

Substitute teacher with bachelor's degree or higher — $100

Substitute with two-years of college — $90

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