APS Job Openings Update, 12.11.14: Have You Considered a Career in Substitute Teaching?

“We have retirements, things happen. People move. Change of life plans, whatever it is. This is pretty average for us – this many openings this time of year,” said Deborah Dominguez-Clark, Director of the District’s Special Education Department.

“We usually have our applications and everything online and then we call people for interviews. But, right now, we wanted to be boots on the ground and have people come in and do some interviews.” —Deborah Dominguez-Clark, Director, Albuquerque Public Schools, quoted in “APS Hosts Job Fair for Special Education Teachers,” KOB-TV, 12.2.14


Another couple of months have wildly careened out of control in K-12 education, and it’s time for another Burque Babble update on job openings in Albuquerque Public Schools.  To make things a bit easier to follow, let’s simplify the screenprint of current job openings below

APS Job Openings 12.11.14by looking at numbers in the “Big Four” categories of Elementary, Middle, High and Special Education over the three data points we have this Semester.  Apologies as WordPress and your humble blogger aren’t very good at such formatting:

  • Elementary (August:  70, October:  29; December:  19)
  • Middle (August:  15;  October:  12;  December:  12)
  • High (August:  19;  October:  17;  December:  17)
  • SpEd (August: 97;  October:  69;  December:  60)
  • Totals (August:  191;  October: 127;  December: 108)

APS employs about 6,300 teachers.  So what to make of 108 current opening in these categories?

Well, first I’m going to, once again, respectfully disagree with Director Dominguez-Clark.  I admire her trotting out the above quote over and over, fully expecting, correctly, that the local press will dutifully write it down and publish it with zero further examination.  That takes gumption, well in places not called Albuquerque it takes gumption, I guess.

Second, the numbers above do mean something and something damaging to our kids.  They also indirectly imply an even bigger damage, the deleterious effect of experienced teachers leaving the profession in disgust to be replaced by far less experienced teachers.  In grandly proclaiming her desire to raise starting pay yesterday, Governor Martinez not-so-indirectly implied that she doesn’t care one whit about experienced teachers.  She’s fully in favor of them continuing to go away.

Trust us, Governor, we experienced teachers will continue to go away.  And it won’t always be because of the nasty tendency for us to get old and die.   Personally, I kinda hate doing the Governor a favor in this regard, but looking out over the charred post-apocalyptic vista of K-12 teaching right now, and the kids suffering because of it, doing her a favor by getting the Hell out of this Teaching Mad Max landscape is psychologically necessary.

In sum, APS Director Dominguez-Clark should be able to roll out that tired quote about “pretty average for us” month after month after year to come.  Well, at least until she retires (although KOB would probably continue to dutifully just use the quote even after she retires).



4 thoughts on “APS Job Openings Update, 12.11.14: Have You Considered a Career in Substitute Teaching?

  1. I find it interesting, too, that the job fair was just for special education teachers. The total number of regular ed teachers needed is just about as great. And, in fact, the regular education teachers represent many more students without a qualified teacher–not that any child should be without a qualified teacher.

  2. Also take a look at when these December retirees must have given notice, starting November 5th. There has been a steady increase in the number of educators leaving!

  3. Eloise: You’re right on about that. The number of openings has almost made it back to 200, with much of it in the “big four” mentioned above. But remember, “this is normal” and “nothing to worry about.” I mean, what parent really cares about a long-term sub teaching their kid, let’s say, Chemistry for five months? Or Algebra? Or kindergarten? So stop whining about having less than expert fellow teachers and just keep prepping kids for the standardized tests that will determine how bad a teacher/person you are and how destined for failure your kids/students are. And don’t, whatever you do, look around the Library at your next staff meeting and wonder: “How the Hell did the standards to become a teacher get as low as this?” and shake your head. Don’t do that, either.

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