If you sat down in the dentist chair, you would think it crazy if the receptionist barged in to say, “Good morning, we’re still trying to hire a hygienist. So between phone calls and scheduling appointments, I’m here to clean your teeth.” It sounds like a Three Stooges skit, but something similar is happening in our public schools. It’s not funny at all to educators like us.

Many North Carolina students are going back to school to find classrooms without qualified teachers. Because of a widespread teacher shortage, schools are filling classrooms with substitutes, teaching assistants, and unlicensed instructors. North Carolina has zero education requirements to work as a substitute teacher.