Neighborhood resident Dan Matassa loves the “freedom and variety” that come with substitute teaching.

“I like going to different classes,” he says. “And I don’t want to have to do this every day.”

The Dallas Independent School District is looking for more people like this Golden Gloves boxer who spends his days at J.L. Long Middle School.  A robust economy and a training schedule that pulls a large number of teachers from their classrooms have created a shortage of substitutes, says Graciela Escobedo, assistant superintendent for personnel services. Schools are often forced to combine classes or rely on other staff to provide instruction in the absences of regular teachers.

Escobedo hopes that scheduling training for non-school days and actively recruiting substitutes at local colleges will stem the shortage. She also encourages parents and neighborhood residents to apply.

A college degree or teaching certificate is not required. Compensation, between $39 to $60 per day, is determined by the substitute’s educational background. The school board is considering a pay increase.

Substitutes may choose which schools to work and the days they will be available. The district provides training on policies and curriculum and suggestions for troubleshooting problems substitutes may encounter.

Matassa says substitute teaching is not for everyone. Some substitutes, he says, aren’t able to “roll with it.” But for those who can and who like the ability to determine when and where they will work, substituting is a “walk in the park.”

Applications for substitutes are available at Personnel Services, 3807 Ross Avenue. The office will be open throughout the summer. For more information, call 214-989-5530.

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