BLAKELY, Ga. (WTVY) – Seeing a guidance counselor working as a school nurse, vice-principals as substitute teachers, and the school principal working at the high school reception is a common sight in early schools in the county.
“In a larger system, there may only be eight people dedicated to a small area, but there are only eight people in our entire office,” says Dr. Bronwyn Ragan-Martin, Superintendent of Early County school system. “So we all have to participate and do a lot of different jobs, so we wear a lot of different hats. “
It may sound bizarre, but it is a reality for early county schools and other rural school systems every day.
“We have a hard time, like most school systems, finding replacements,” says Dr Ragan-Martin. “We have teachers absent for various reasons. It may be for the quarantine. Maybe it’s for some disease. Maybe it’s just for regular reasons.
Early County Elementary School says they have two consistent substitutes, but they need around five each day. With teachers dispersed, this has led to burnout.
“It’s just more difficult,” says Dr. Ragan-Martin. The stress of having to go out with children. They may have an illness or quarantine in their own family that they might have to see. We have had children and teachers who have lost family members. It’s just emotionally draining for everyone.
In order to attract more people to the job, the county proposed a salary increase from $ 55 per day to $ 65 and created the floating replacement position.
“He is someone who would come every day without knowing exactly where he would be that day,” says Dr. Ragan-Martin. “Since there is a need, that person would be moved to any class that has a need.”
Dr Ragan-Martin says their goal is to stay focused on educating their students in any way they can.
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