Aides??

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by aautismj, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. aautismj

    aautismj Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2007

    So this is my first year teaching and I will have 3 aides in my classroom! Besides feeling frightened that they will think that I am young and have no idea what I am talking about I am afraid that they will resent me for bring in charge. I am VERY excited that I will have 3 aides since all of my kids are 1:1 and I think they will be very important to my classroom. I want my classroom to be a well oiled machine where everyone gets along and there are no problems (wishful thinking??) So now I guess my questions:

    1. Should I sit down with my aides and go over my expectations and goals for the year before school starts? Should it be formal?

    2. Any suggestions of what to say?

    This is probably the part that I am MOST nervous about starting my carrer :eek:

    Thanks!!:thanks:
     
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  3. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Aug 12, 2007

    Definitely sit down beforehand. Make it formal, but low-pressure. Talk to them about when and how you want to communicate with them--how will you let them know what to expect each day, how much information do you want them to keep you posted on, and when (ie do you want them to debrief with you daily, or have a weekly mini-meeting, type of thing). I have a form that I fill out for myself and my classroom aides every day with a skeleton schedule. I have photocopies of it with the basics, and every day I pencil in incidentals--therapists, assemblies, special activities--with times etc, so that my team knows better what to expect that day.

    Are they required to be in school before the kids? If so, you should establish a set-up routine. There will be things that need to be done every day--make sure they know what those things are, so that all of you work together to set up your day. Same goes for clean-up after. The most important thing is that they feel valued and a part of the classroom and team--ie, they are NOT there to do your dirty work, (I know you know that) make sure THEY know you know that. My policy which I tell my aides is I will never ask them to do anything I am not willing to do myself, and won't sometimes do myself; I have them b/c there is not enough of me to do everything that needs doing.

    Will you do data collection? You can let them know what kind of data collection they will be responsible for, and how your system works.

    You know and they should know that things will change as you go along, also. Let them know how you will keep them posted as you get new ideas and goals for the students. Let them know you respect their input.

    And don't forget to make part of your before-school meeting getting to know them as people! Your classroom team can be an invaluable source of support for you. You're aiming for an atmosphere of respect and open communication among classroom staff so that everything goes smoothly for you and the kids.

    Good luck--it'll be great.
     
  4. kiraj

    kiraj Companion

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    Aug 12, 2007

    I'm in the exact same position you are! I taught high school last year for my internship year with one assistant, and that was tough enough! This year I have 6! SIX!!!

    One thing I will try to say is that these are not MY aids, they are the CLASSROOM aids. They really aren't there to do my bidding, but do what needs to be done for the kids. I think if we keep that in mind, and they know we think that, it will help everyone feel more positive. I agree with the "I won't ask you do something I'm not willing to do" thing. I plan to schedule myself in for helping with bathrooming, and be willing to step in when it needs to be done.

    I plan to sit down at the first day with everyone back and formally go over expectations in a low key kind of way. I'll have them printed for everyone so I can say I did if there are any troubles in the future. I also plan to give a little spiel along the lines of being excited that they're all back, I'll really be depending on them, I want to hear what they think has worked well in the past and what hasn't, and that I know there will be some things I do differently. I'm willing to hear any ideas you have, and I really want them to feel like a part of the team. I'm sure there will be some things I do differently that they don't like, but they'll have to trust me to try it out. Sometimes it might work well, and other times I'm sure I'll have to admit that it didn't go so well and we'll try something else.

    I don't know, I'm still planning in my head. I'm really confident about working with the kids, but it's the aids I'm scared of. I am only 23, and two of them have been in the classroom over 10 years!
     
  5. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    Aug 14, 2007

    I personally wouldn't be afraid of the aides. I myself am an aide. My kids last year went through a lot of changes. Their first teacher last year left halfway through the first semester. Then they had a sub for three weeks right before Christmas. THEN a new teacher came in January. That's just the teachers.

    NOW...the aides...the regular aide for that class had to resign due to illness. The aide that was there after her had a part time job that turned full time, so she had to quit. That's where I came in. I worked with their first teacher for three weeks or so, and I went through all the teacher changes with them. I worked with the kids more last year than anyone in that room for '06-'07. My kids asked me if I was going to be there next year, and I said YES!

    So don't be afraid of the aides, like I said before. They can give you a lot of advice, especially for a first year teacher. Last year was my first year to be in a school setting, and I learned a lot. This year, I expect to learn a lot more. Some of the aides have probably worked with the same students before, and they can give a lot of pointers.

    Go into this year with an open mind, willing to try suggestions made by others. Good luck!
     

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