Aide to classroom teacher?

Discussion in 'Paraprofessionals' started by lindsey923, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. lindsey923

    lindsey923 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 12, 2011

    I began a job in a really great school district as an aide this September, hoping it would lead me to a full time position. I haven't even made it through month two and I am already realizing that this district hires basically only leave replacements to fill their open positions.

    I feel almost like a "second class citizen" every day.. most of the time I am barely acknowledged by the classroom teacher unless photocopies or laminating or some other menial task is needed. I am going crazy from boredom and feeling like I could be doing so much more.. to make matters worse, the teacher that I work with for most of the week is going out on leave for the rest of the year starting in December, and the replacement is barely old enough to have graduated college! The highlights of my week are the four periods during which I get to teach social studies to a small group of LLD students. I cannot stand sitting/standing in a corner while someone else does the instruction.

    I am seriously starting to wonder if I am wasting my time here.. do aide positions ever lead to teaching jobs? One of my best friends just started a second grade position this year after spending two years as an aide in a different district. Should I just start looking for something else, like a maternity leave?
     
  2.  
  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Oct 12, 2011

    I am glad you have a position at all, but I imagine it must be very frustrating. I hope you can make the most of the four periods you get to work with small groups. Maybe you could really "shine" in the process and impress administration? I realize it would be best go have the regular teacher there so she could observe your abilities, but I think you can still make a good impression.

    We just don't have that problem here...I don't know of anyone with a teaching degree not teaching in a permanent, full-time position. Sorry. :(
     
  4. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 19, 2011

    Did you apply to take over for your teacher when she went on maternity leave? Sounds like that would have been a golden opportunity to get out of your para job and move into those ranks.

    You're working, nothing is stopping you from applying other places to work. Why don't you apply for long-term sub positions when they pop up in other districts or apply for their full-time positions that will creep up because of mid-year retirements/resignations?

    Keep your head high. If you want to keep working the job you are, for a while to get in this "great" district, volunteer like crazy. Offer your help after school, put yourself in the ring to do sub jobs (they can get a sub para for your job), tutor, just do anything to get your credentials out there.
     
  5. stepka

    stepka Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 13, 2011

    I'm having the same problem Lindsey and teaching jobs are scarce in this city right now. I'm thinking about getting out of schools altogether if something doesn't turn up soon. Most of the teachers I work with are great but there are a couple who are really making me miserable. Don't knock the young fresh out of college gal though--she might be someone who's really willing to work with you and you'll enjoy your day more if nothing else. Whenever I have free time I slip in and help out the young ones just for fun. And yeah Pete, I do all that stuff and I'm still a TA.:(
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 13, 2011

    From what I see on these boards, there are differences among every region or district. Having said that, I was an aide and became a teacher. My school would not place an aide in a leave replacement position. The reason being is that it is confusing to the kids and doesn't provide stability. The aide leaves that position, changes a position and comes back to their original position. That's not ideal. Ideal is to keep as many people in their original position (for that year) as possible. I did do ONE long term sub assignment in the middle of my aide days but it was because I had the unique skills that were difficult to find.

    I highly believe the reason I got a job teaching at my school is I went above and beyond ALL THE TIME. I started with word study centers. I made it shine and shine and shine. I even did some PD and lesson development at home (depending on if the teacher allowed some of my own ideas). I also showed the school that teaching was me. I tutored on my own time (not related to our school). I ran an after school club (in the community, not at our school). Then one year I did a ton of research for a PD and requested to go to a certain workshop to further my understanding of that topic. They did not send me, for monetary reasons, but they asked me to host a year round PD on that topic! Again, I treated this like a full time job on my own time and really shined. Only one person was from my department but I had other people go to people higher up and compliment my workshop! That helped. Advocacy is big in my field as is giving back to the community. One week for two years in a row I asked for the week off (without pay) to participate in a process to advocate for special needs. Another clue was to network as much as possible and talk about professional topics. Every opportunity I got, they saw my passion. The truth was, I couldn't help it. I loved it! I also listened to teachers. If I saw an opportunity where I might be able to be more help, even if it seemed small, I offered that help. Before you know it, others were asking for my help as well. As long as it didn't interfere with my own teachers' needs for me, I helped. (I often stayed after school to help). Most of the time the help people wanted was computer related or editing. Over time my teachers got to really know me and started inviting me in on idea meetings that ordinarily I wouldn't be invited to because it wasn't part of the normal culture for aides to attend. Beyond that though, I respected the teachers if they wanted me to do it in a way that was different than I would do. Just because I worked on an idea, didn't mean they had to choose it. I always made that perfectly clear. Ultimately it was THEIR classroom and I wanted them to know I was there to support them in a thousand ways but they run the show. Did it take time to really show them all of this? Yes it did. But in the meantime I was going for my MA degree and just really enjoyed my job. When an opening came up, I was one of the first contenders.

    You actually have an incredible opportunity that not all aides have. You have a center to work with and an opportunity to shine. Bowl them over!

    By the way, just because I'm working there doesn't mean I don't need to apply when the situations come up. I submitted my application as soon as I heard!
     
  7. Speakup

    Speakup Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 31, 2012

    As a former aide, I went also went above and beyond in my job. It was a union position and I was approached by the the union several times to not go beyond my job description. As crazy as that sounds, it has merit. You are right, some teachers do not acknowledge aides or have attitudes towards them. That happened to me and I asked the teacher "what was up." She had a horrible time with aides over the years. The teacher felt that the aide should be up working all the time and not just sitting. It was weird but I got through it.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 1, 2012

    Part of the problem is that teachers and aides all come to the table with various expectations of the job. Teachers and aides assume they are on the same page but often they are not. Once I gave a workshop and provided 23 duties (got the list from a paraprofessional training manual). I asked various staff including admin, aides, and teachers and from every department to get together in mixed groups and go through this list and identiy which ones paras can do (vs what was the teacher's job/role only). The results were amazing. One group only checked off 3 things while another group checked off 20 things. There were variations in between. They were stunned. I kept hearing aides should and teachers should from both sides of the table. Even though there was a basic job description, expectations really did vary per individual and teachers did not understand their role in proper guiding supervision and communication and aides needed communication strategies too. Sometimes it was just hard to figure out exactly what the teacher expected of me and where my boundaries were with that teacher. Then by the other side, sometimes it was hard to work with aides that were ill placed based on their skills and motivations.
     
  9. ITeachSDCkids

    ITeachSDCkids Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 10, 2012

    I am not sure it is necessary to do 110% as a Para to get hired as a teacher or even if it does lead to a job. I am not sure it sends a message that your real objective is to teach. I worked for one year as a Para only while completing my BA. The teacher allowed me to do a unit on nutrition and I learned a great deal teaching it under her supervision. It was almost like a mini student teaching. I choose to work as a Para onto to ascertain if I actually wanted to teach before I did a program.Once I did I hoped already working in the district would help-I am not sure it did. That summer after school ended I began applying for teaching positions. The district didn't take me very seriously it seemed, but I applied anyway. I felt that I was not viewed the same way as other candidates who were not Paras as far as being qualified. I had asked the teacher I worked with, the principal and a program specialists I met to write me letters of reference and submitted all at my interviews. I was hired late in the summer when they could not find anyone else to take an SDC class and I began an internship.I would think it is very difficult to be a Para when you have a credential. Yet, the teacher recognized your abilities and gave you a small group to work with. Every teacher also needs clerical support which is very important too! I don't see this as a win-win though. Apply, apply, apply and not just in the district where you are working. Collect good letters of reference-move on!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Little Monster,
  2. ScienceZions
Total: 290 (members: 3, guests: 267, robots: 20)
test