National Guard Members Brought in As Substitute Teachers

National Guard Members Brought in As Substitute Teachers

( – Perhaps no one has felt the impact of harsh pandemic-related quarantines and restrictions as much as America’s children. School provides a social as well as educational experience, and being locked at home for weeks, sometimes months, at a time has taken its toll. As the country attempts to reopen, the lack of qualified school teachers due to COVID-19 cases has created a new problem for kids.

On January 19, New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham unveiled her “Support Teachers and Families” initiative. The measure called on National Guard members and other state workers to volunteer to obtain the licensing credentials to fill in as substitute teachers for K-12 classrooms.

“Schools are a critical source of stability for our kids,” Grisham stated. Teachers, parents, and children deserve as much stability as possible “during this time of uncertainty.”

Grisham also noted that all volunteers would need to fulfill the same requirements to teach as regular substitutes and childcare workers, including attending a New Mexico Public Education Department-approved workshop and passing a background check.

News outlets reported that as of February 2, at least 78 members of the New Mexico National Guard started working as substitute teachers throughout the state. Specialist Austin Alt, 25, told reporters he volunteered to teach after observing his younger brothers having a hard time learning from home.

Online teaching “just doesn’t get [through] to them correctly,” Spec. Alt noted. He also expressed concern that school closures have led to some parents leaving their children at home alone.

The governor has also volunteered to work as a substitute.

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