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As Valley schools struggle to staff classrooms, one sub says she's seeing 'unprecedented things'

Many Arizona schools are struggling to staff their classrooms during the pandemic, including with substitute teachers; this following the teacher shortage Arizona has had for years.

The state Board of Education last week voted to remove some administrative barriers to subs getting in front of students. That includes removing a 120-day limit on substitutes working at the same school each year and extending the one-year emergency certification subs can get to two years.

Raquel Mamani has been a sub in elementary and middle schools in the Madison School District in Phoenix for four years; she also has eighth-grade twins in the district.

To get a sense of what it’s like to be a substitute teacher in Arizona right now, The Show spoke with her and started the conversation by talking about the biggest differences between subbing pre-COVID-19 and during the pandemic.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.