Breaking News
More () »

As teacher shortages persist, California makes it easier to become a substitute

As the omicron variant continues to spread, substitute teachers throughout San Diego County and California are in high demand.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — As the number of coronavirus cases surges throughout San Diego County, some local schools are dealing with the fallout: a dire shortage of teachers and substitutes.

To help keep schools open, Governor Gavin Newsom has taken action to make it easier to become a substitute teacher, and some community members are also joining in to help.

The need for substitute teachers is greater than ever and in response, the state is making it easier than ever to get your credential.

Encinitas mom Christina Warmerdam decided to take the leap last year to become a substitute teacher in the San Dieguito Union High School District, where her two kids attend.

"It was something I could do to help the schools re-open," said Warmerdam. "It's been great. The kids are great! I was a little nervous at first,"

To help keep schools open as the omicron variant continues to spread, substitute teachers throughout California are in high demand.

Though that’s not the case in the San Dieguito Union High School District, in some districts, like San Diego Unified, the teacher and substitute shortage has led to some classes being combined and moved into larger indoor spaces.

In response to this statewide crisis, Gov. Newsom this week signed an executive order, expediting the process to get an emergency 30-day substitute teaching permit.

"We want to do everything possible to keep the schools open," said North County mom Allison Stratton, who created the website “San Dieguito Substitutes,” to encourage people in her community to become subs, breaking the sometimes-complicated process down step-by-step.

The first crucial step, she said is sending your college transcripts to the County Department of Education and submitting your fingerprints to acquire your credential.

"The county is turning it around in about 10 days, as long as you don't have anything on your criminal background, " said Stratton. "And then you just apply to the school, and it's however quickly the school can turn that around."

"Take that one, first step," Warmerdam said. "It's almost like a domino: you get it started and it's easy going."

Stratton launched the site last year and in the past few days, she said there has been a resurgence in interest.

As part of his new executive order, Gov. Newsom is also cutting out the red tape for retired teachers to return to the classroom temporarily.

"It's really an easy way for teachers to come back and help out during this time," Stratton said.

Warmerdam urged anyone considering a new career as a sub who may qualify, to go for it.

"Don't be scared," said Warmerdam. "The kids need it; the community needs it and you can do it!"

For more information on becoming a substitute teacher thru this expedited process, click here

WATCH RELATED: San Diego school districts taking extreme measures to deal with teacher shortage (January 2022)

Before You Leave, Check This Out