‘It’s rewarding:’ CMS guest teachers encourages adults to apply for guest teacher, substitute roles to fill vacancies

CMS is searching for 89 guest teachers and has a pool of 1,020 total daily active substitutes.
New numbers from the district show there are currently 377 teacher openings that need to be filled.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 6:44 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is still searching for qualified adults with a passion for education.

In less than three weeks, nearly 141,000 students and more than 9,000 teachers will return to their home schools. The district is still trying to at least 370 teacher positions with the help of new hires, guest teachers, and substitute teachers.

Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh addressed the teacher vacancies at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled board of education meeting.

Previous Coverage: ‘They are the essential ingredient:’ CMS leaders discuss teacher, staff vacancies at board meeting

He assured that qualified staff will be in place as they work to fill all open positions.

“We will have guest teachers in place who will be supporting, and we’ll be using different staff, facilitators, and interventionists that have been formally in the classroom,” Hattabaugh said.

376 guest teachers were hired and 58 have four-year degrees and have current or expired teaching certificates.

Karen Stokes is one of those guest teachers working in the district. She first got her start as a substitute teacher at West Mecklenburg High School in 2019 and took her career a step further as a full-time guest teacher during the 2021-2022 school year at Olympic High School.

“I feel like it’s a rewarding career, I feel like I’m giving back to my community,” Stokes said.

The position was created to help schools fill daily vacancies. It is full-time with benefits. These teachers are assigned to one school.

“We had so many vacancies so wherever they needed me that’s where I go,” Stokes said.

According to the CMS career website, certified guest teachers will get paid $180/day and the non-certified rate is $150/day.

CMS is searching for 89 guest teachers and has a pool of 1,020 total daily active substitutes.

According to the district’s career website, substitute teachers can earn a $2,500 critical shortage bonus and a Title I bonus is $10 extra per 1/2 day and $20 extra per full day.

There are also other bonuses for substitutes:

  • $200 bonus if 5-9 substitute teacher assignments are worked in a calendar month.
  • $500 bonus if 10 or more substitute teacher assignments are worked in a calendar month.

In order to apply for a non-certified substitute or guest teacher role, you must be at least 21 years old and have a high school diploma. If you want to apply for a certified role you must have the previous requirements and a valid teaching license (current or expired) from N.C. or another state.

Hattabaugh says the district is working to renew licenses for employees and is preparing guest teachers for pre-planning and other responsibilities.

Stokes was thrilled when CMS increased the guest teacher bonus to $5,000 earlier this year and she believes these incentives will encourage more people to apply.

“I think that that’s going to really bring people in, it’s very hard out here today. The cost of gas, the cost of food, everything is expensive, and as I said it’s a rewarding job,” she said.

At the end of the day, Stokes says being in this position is more than filling a role, it’s about helping students reach their full potential.

“I’ve spoken to several parents and they’ve said my son or daughter has learned so much from you this year. Thank you for being a part of this village of taking care of our students,” she said.

The first day of school for CMS is Monday, August 29. If you are interested in applying for a teaching position, click here.

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