Help...Teacher Aide on Vacation! About to Blow a Gasket!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Teacher234, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Feb 3, 2019

    Hello. I thought I would be fine without a teacher aide for the three weeks she is on vacation. There are limited substitute aides. Last week, I had some difficulty with supporting all of my students who need 1:1 assistance (I have 5-6 one-on-one students who need 1:1 help for varying degrees). I have taught a lesson in my special education class before. However, I have 3 different lessons and grades to teach and student needs to juggle. Would look some advice relating to how I could work closely with all of my students and still teach all the lessons. While I have been teaching for a long time, in the 10 years that I have been teaching my special class......I have never encountered this challenge.
    To be honest, I am a little overwhelmed by this situation. Is this even a normal feeling to have?
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Feb 3, 2019

    Three weeks sounds like a long time to be in violation of an IEP that specifies a 1:1 aide.
     
  4. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Feb 3, 2019

    To clarify, my classroom does not actually require a 1:1 aide for the students, but a teacher aide for all students. Almost all of the one-on-one students do not have it specified in their IEP's, although it has been deemed helpful for those particular students to receive 1:1 support.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 3, 2019

    In this situation, can you do group lessons with skills that are common to all the grade levels?
     
  6. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    I hope I am not appearing difficult. This is NOT my intention. However, unfortunately, I can not do this for the core subjects. I am required to do grade-level groups/lessons (although for reading, my students learn a year below their grade-level).
    With that said, I can always discuss this matter with the special ed coordinator to see if your advice is an option.
     
  7. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Feb 3, 2019

    I wouldn't worry too much about what you are required to do. Your special education coordinator knows you are short staffed. Your district probably is bound by past-practice in the aides contract. They probably didn't want to give the 3 week vacation but probably didn't have a choice. They probably did everything they could to replace the aide but simply couldn't. So I think if you do what will work for the kids and what is viable that everyone will understand. If you can't do grade level groupings because you lack the staff to do them, you can't. Do what you can do to make sure your students are as content and productive as possible and that leaves you standing at the end of the day.
     
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  8. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    So, basically.....I should keep doing what I am doing and what I have been doing for over a decade. Thank you for the advice!
     
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Feb 4, 2019

    If they aren't giving you the proper staff then just do what you can. It's not your fault. 3 weeks is an excessive amount of time to be without your aide. Do people normally take such long vacations at your school??? This sounds like poor planning on their part so as someone else stated, just be productive as possible. Don't work yourself do death over it.
     
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  10. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    thanks! Today, I did my class schedule backwards and my students were more on-task that way. I was able to help my students better this way. My lunch had to stay at 10:45 am, though
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Feb 5, 2019

    I have to rearrange my schedule all the time due to lack of assistants. It usually works out but it's frustrating to put all that effort into your class and then, because of others, have to change things. Hope it goes well for you for the rest of the time your aide is away.
     
  12. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Yes, me too. I can say today was a little in ELA. Students were a little more on-task and I was able to check-in with all of the students. Math....I do not want to talk about it..lol.
     
  13. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Feb 7, 2019

    What age is this?
     
  14. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Feb 8, 2019

    My class age is 7-10. I teach 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade in the same room (yes, each grade has their own lesson.)
     
  15. Special Teach

    Special Teach New Member

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    Feb 9, 2019

    Teacher234-
    Two more weeks without your aide? I will be facing that situation in April. I understand! I have an amazing support staff and I am blessed, but it is quite difficult when someone is out a day, or several days. I have only had two or three days this school year when my whole staff was present! We do get good subs in, but then they take permanent positions, and we have to see how new people work. Three weeks seems to be an excessive amount of time for vacation alone. One of my staff members is currently out 6 weeks for maternity leave.
    Is your administration supportive of you? Have you shared your concerns? Or, have you spoken to HR or someone else at your district office? Are there assistants working in other rooms on your campus that you could "borrow?" I would try that. As far as day to day with a sub or no sub, change your plans as needed and keep documentation about it. Then discuss it with your PLC and ask for their tips on running the program in this circumstance. Maybe you have a parent or two who would help in your classroom?
     
  16. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Out of curiosity, what grades/special education setting do you teacher?
    I have discussed this matter with my administrator, special education coordinator and director of special education. Unfortunately, there is no substitute special education classroom aide available. My greatest difficulty would be teaching my three grade-level groups and being able to overlook all of my students. (4 in each group/grade, 12 in total)
     
  17. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Anyways, @Special Teach , I am glad I found another special education teacher on this forum. Would like to possibly discuss our classrooms.
    I have taught special education for over a decade, although have been teaching since the late 90s.
     
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  18. Special Teach

    Special Teach New Member

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    Feb 10, 2019

    Teacher234, I am teaching in a mod/sev self contained classroom, with grades K-8th. I currently have 15 students. A younger group with 7 students (K-2nd) and an older group with 4 students. There are also three students who have 1 on 1 assistance all day,so they run their own schedule. My staff is amazing, there are 12 other adults in my room throughout the day! We are a good team. But sometimes I am overwhelmed with their absences. I lack good subs who can come in and work with the students 1 on 1. There was a day when two of those students did not have any of their regular adults with them. It's frustrating, especially since I am not their direct supervisor. The staff members only have to give district one hour notice of their absence.
     
  19. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Feb 10, 2019

    Thank you for replying. That is quite an expansive grade range. An hour notice seems a little unfair, but then again.....my teacher aide is taking 3 weeks off for vacation and personal needs. I do have 12 students, although next year....I believe the 3 academic delay classrooms (in my district, students are placed in a 12:1:1 SDC, if they have difficulties with academics and/or a need for additional support/modified instruction that can not be provided in Inclusion. This is at least the case for elementary. Not fully sure about Middle and High School) will be changed to 10:1 classrooms. I think some students are moving to general education next year.
     
  20. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    To clarify, a 12:1:1 SDC in my school district is slightly more restrictive than a resource room program and includes modified instruction and constant support.
    I feel this is a better way of explaining it.
     
  21. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Feb 13, 2019

    Update: Today was relatively successful. I have an altered routine where I circulate more often instead of direct one particular group. Was nervous to try it out, but it actually worked with a few issues (but that's expected!)!
     

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