MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Nationwide there’s a shortage of teachers. Many factors have contributed to the shortage including the pandemic, low pay, and older teachers retiring.

Teacher shortages have school districts all over the country struggling to staff schools, leading to a need for substitutes.

Substitutes are needed to cover those vacancies and also for teachers who take a day off every now and then.

Morgan County Schools Director of Human Resources & Transportation Cliff Booth spoke with News 19 about the substitute numbers within the county.

“It’s not been a major issue, but I’ve seen the numbers dwindle and there have been a few times that there have been schools that have had trouble getting subs for teachers that have been out for various reasons.”

Despite it not being a huge issue, Morgan County Schools is getting ready for the new school year by hiring and training new substitutes.

The school district hosted a substitute training on Thursday.

It brought in new subs like Hannah Mann.

“It was definitely helpful” she said. “They explained everything on the app, and you can see what the available positions are open and the pay and everything and answered all your questions.”

Mann said she is excited to get in the classroom and start substitute teaching.

“You know, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher so I guess I just wanted to get my foot in the door with the schools,” she said. ” I have little kids so it’ll be good hours, and I figured it’d be a good job.”

In the last year, Morgan County Schools upped the daily pay for substitutes.

“We raised the pay for substitute teachers last year” Booth said. “From $80 dollars a day to $90 dollars a day.”

The Director of Human Resources & Transportation joked, “For a 7-hour day, $90 dollars a day, that’s not too bad.”

Morgan County Schools had a big showing at the substitute training.

“This is the biggest group I’ve had in 12 years I’ve been doing this,” Booth said. “There’s a lot of interest in this and it’s great news cause there’s been a shortage of teachers and there’s a shortage of substitutes and everything in human resources there’s a shortage.”

While Morgan County is hiring new subs, it said it hasn’t been hit quite as hard as other districts. However, it has felt the impacts of the pandemic.

“Since COVID, everything’s changed in every way” Booth said. “I feel like today, for me, was a breath of fresh air to see this many people show up interested, of all ages, and of all backgrounds interested in being a substitute teacher.”

Booth said they do mandatory substitute training at the start of the fall and spring semesters.

However, if you missed this training and are interested in subbing in Morgan County, to reach out.

The first day of school for Morgan County Schools is Monday, August 8th.