Cassia County short teachers before school starts

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BURLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Andrew Wray experienced "every principal's worst nightmare" when a teacher suddenly left their job at Burley High School.

"We had a teacher last week that had a change of plans, and basically resigned their job, so now we're looking for a science teacher, a week and a half before school starts," Wray said.

And unless that job gets filled in time, they may have to use a temporary solution.

"Typically we hire a long term sub," he said. "We leave the job open as long as we need to try to find somebody."

But that solution isn't perfect, Wray said .

"It's really hard on the kids to have a substitute, and then a new teacher. You know if we can have that consistency from the beginning, then it goes a lot better for the kids,” Wray said.

And it's not just the high school having a problem. Mountain View Elementary Principal Derek Johnston said that he needs a position filled as well.

"I have one position that I need to close in the next two weeks before school starts," Johnston said. "Just a general teacher to teach my fifth grade kiddos"

Coming from Nampa, Johnston hasn't experienced anything like this before.

"Over in the bigger cities, you tend to find a lot more teachers available," he said.

Johnston says there are a couple reasons for the shortage, pay being one of them, but to some, becoming a teacher is losing its appeal.

"A teacher used to be respected, and everyone wanted to be a teacher, and it was a job that everyone looked up to. But now, teaching doesn't seem as important,” Johnston explained.

"Now kids grow up wanting to be an NBA star, or wanting to be a musician, or whatever it might be," Wray said. "If we can get back to restoring that respect and that great reputation of teachers. Everybody can look back and find at least one teacher in their lives that just really impacted them."

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