Maguire: Stand up for Boston students

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I invite you to join me — if only for a day — in the best job a person could have: teaching. This year we are back to in-person learning, a goal for which the teachers have long strived. However, many teachers with underlying health concerns took leaves of absence. Some teachers in their 60s took early retirement. And the rest of us often have to take time off to either care for our own children and/or to quarantine due to close contact situations.

This year the Boston Public Schools is in great need for both short- and long-term substitute teachers. The need for substitute teachers in some schools is desperate as they need coverage for one in five classrooms.

Therefore I ask my fellow Bostonians to substitute for at least one day in our schools. Applicants can choose what days they work, where they work, what grades or subjects they would cover. Such selectability allows applicants to tailor their work with their personal responsibilities. Let me assure you, whatever time you have available, the BPS will have a spot for you.

Our traditional substitute pool is retired teachers. This year that pool has all but dried up. Concerns over COVID keep many of our retirees at home. Those who are still subbing are not enough to fill all of our vacancies. So who can help us now? I believe we have untapped resources in our local universities and in the Boston business community.

When the pandemic burst upon the scene in 2020, many medical and nursing students were fast-tracked into full-time positions to meet the sudden and enormous need for more doctors and nurses. I am asking the local schools of education to do the same right now to help us fill our vacancies. The colleges have eager aspiring teachers. Putting the two together is a classic win-win.

I am also calling upon the Boston business community. Over the years, many businesses have used their corporate retreat time for community building. They come into our school for a day of service. Such days traditionally…