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The Sanford School Department is looking into bringing kids back to school four days per week, but the biggest barrier to this happening is staffing, especially the need for substitute teachers who can step in when a teacher is out or has to quarantine after Covid exposure.

Despite what you may think, it’s not necessary to have a college degree to be a substitute teacher. A high school diploma or GED, and a love of kids are the primary requirements. A Maine criminal history records check (CHRC) is required of each applicant, who must be a US citizen, or have US residency or a work visa. The Department pays $120 per day for retired teachers, or subs with a four-year degree or teaching certificate. Subs without a degree or certificate earn $100 per day.

It’s a great job for anyone who wants to keep busy and make a difference while the kids are in school. It can also be a springboard to a new career in education.

Substitute ed techs are also needed. An ed tech works in the classroom with a teacher, providing support. The greatest need for ed techs is in special education classes.

But it takes more than just educators to keep the schools open. The Department also needs substitute food service workers, custodians and administrative assistants to keep things running. These positions are paid on an hourly basis, and hours vary.

For more information about all the department’s job openings, visit

Think you might be interested in substitute teaching, but don’t feel quite ready to jump into a classroom? Sanford Community Adult Education has a course for you! A two-night class, “Become a Substitute Teacher,” with Sandra Thompson, will give you the foundational skills to be a successful classroom sub. Discover the basic responsibilities of a sub, such as the process, duties, school and classroom orientation, interpreting/implementing plans, health & safety information, professionalism, and legal & ethical considerations. Explore how to work in the educational community, including behavioral and classroom management tips, age-appropriate learning strategies and more. The next session is scheduled for Monday and Friday, March 15-19, at the Anderson Learning Center in Springvale. Fore more information and to register, visit:

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