These excerpts from Greg Childress’s Herald-Sun article regarding DPS's short supply of substitute teachers (April 5) prompted me again to consider the long-term picture of DPS schools, backwards and forwards:
* “There are a lot of substitutes who don’t want to pick up jobs because of behavior problems,” Jarmon said. “There are some schools substitutes just don’t want to work at, and the children know it."
* “There are some cases where school administrators are on top of it, but a lot of them are not,” Jarmon said. “You can tell the ones who don’t have it together because they’re always short on subs.”
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* [L’Homme] also said DPS is going to provide professional development to schools staff to help them “build a strong, consistent core of substitute teachers who know the school and become part of the community.”
* “We’ve got to pitch in,” Forte-Brown said. “I know it’s hard, but if you’re a team player, you have to be down for the kids.”
DPS should investigate these schools that are “always short on subs.” If teacher turnover rates are high, the Durham PTA Council should be consulted regarding those schools. While many DPS schools have wonderful school communities, I’ve experienced schools whose cultures have, for years, inhibited inclusive parent and community involvement. Until DPS addresses this wound, starting with the leadership and key players at these schools, it’s going to be hard to get DPS families to pitch in. Even team players need collaboration on the field.