WEBB, Ala. (WDHN) — For Cas Haddock the classroom setting is not his typical work environment.
“The last time that I have taught a classroom for Houston County School was may of 2009,” Haddock says.
As the District Assessment and Accountability Director for Houston County Schools, he rarely sees the inside of the classroom. But when a crisis hit he decided to step up and take on the role of a fourth-grade teacher.
“Mr. White said we need four administrators or four directors, or four warm bodies to go to Webb Elementary for shortages and I said however I can help,” Haddock said.
The ongoing staff shortages caused by COVID-19 have not spared Houston County Schools, but with all employees stepping up and taking on new roles they are fighting to keep all kids inside the classroom.
“We wanted to make sure that we kept our schools open as long as we could with in-person learning,” Haddock said. “So that those students have access to our high-quality instruction and our teachers here because it is a lot more effective and efficient to have them here.”
Houston County Schools is not the only school district seeing employees taking on a new jobs to fill the void left by staff shortages.
As we first reported, Ozark City Schools are also moving staff members to buildings they don’t usually work, including the superintendent.
“People from different buildings are working to support each other,” Ozark City Schools Superintendent, Reeivice Girtman said. “I’ll be in a classroom tomorrow trying to help and support staff and teachers as well.”
The shortages are causing a strain on all school districts, but the perseverance of the staff is vital to keeping kids in classrooms.