Are aides considered teachers?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Milsey, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    I'm having issues with my aide. Basically, children use her as an excuse to do what they want.
    They say things like, "well, the other teacher said I could sit here" or '"The other teacher said I could get water."
    I'm always gently point out, " She's not the teacher. I am."

    The aide overheard me one day, and said to please stop saying that. I said ok. Then I started telling the children to call her the "Ms. Rosie" and our helper. Apparently, she was not happy with that either as the she only came to my class ONCE last week and didn't acknowledge me when I passed her in the hallway.

    Basically, the lady is not a teacher. She is not certified to teach.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I expect my students to demonstrate the same amount of respect for our educational assistants (aides) as they do for me. That only happens if that respect begins with me.

    You need to speak with your aide about your expectations, and hers. I make the "big", curriculum-based decisions in my classroom, but have no difficulty with the ed assistants making others--granting permission to get a drink, go to the washroom, or work in another location in the room. I trust them to take the initiative to pull a student or small group to the back to provide extra help, to scribe responses, or to speak to students about behaviour they observe.

    Our aides are integral parts of our staff--just as important, valued, and respected as everyone else, from secretaries, to caretakers, to teachers, to administrators.
     
  4. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I would actually say that aides are "considered" teachers, even though I agree with your complaints of the situation as described.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    :yeahthat:

    I expect that my students don't know the difference between me and the paras. As far as they are concerned, we are all "teachers" in the classroom. Behind the scenes, my paras know that I make the executive decisions, but they are free to make their own decisions regarding minutiae in the classroom. I try to make my expectations known to them in advance, but, if I see them do something I wish they wouldn't have done, I wait for an appropriate time and politely explain what I would like for them to do in the future.
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    :thumb:

    If they had a standing ovation for answers, I would have chosen that guy.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It's important to be on the same page with your aide or collaborative teacher, or whoever else is responsible for your students. Pointing out to the that your aide is 'not a teacher' is your issue. It's about control.
    Of course the kids are going to play one against the other..lts what they do...the same with their parents...
    you have some things to work out with the aide. There should be consistency in rules, procedures and management. But there should be utmost respect for each other...or at least the appearance of such.
     
  8. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I've had kinders try to pull that one on my TA & me. It only seemed to happened with my male TA. We always chalked it up to it working at home. Never worked with us though.
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I think you're upset because you went to school longer and 'earned' to be called a teacher, whereas your para did not. So what?
    Like others pointed out, students don't always know the difference between a teacher, an aide, an interpreter, etc. they just know that they're authority figures in the classroom; they sometimes may not know how to address them.

    You should not tell the kids 'she's not a teacher', it will look like you're having insecurity and / or control issues. I think you're teaching middle school - kids at this age can easily figure out weaknesses (or perceive them as such) and use them against you. For example they could all start calling your para 'teacher' just to get you upset.
    You should however - as others also said - talk to your aide about your expectations and come up with a plan so the students can't use you guys against each other.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Wow, you get an aide?!
     
  11. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I would ask the aide what she wants to be called before calling her by any name. I have had aides called by first names, first names with Ms, and last names. All were chosen because that is what the aide wanted.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    This thread reminds me of the evaluation I submitted for my instructional aide (I saved it on my computer). I wrote: "Ms. _____ is not my aide; she's my co-teacher. We're able to work side-by-side and I feel completely comfortable with her assisting guided reading and/or math groups. Ms. _____ truly helps things run seamlessly and I am extremely grateful for her!"

    I meant every word of that, too!!!
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I hope this gets resolved, milsey. Poor relationships with other staff will not bode well for year end evals..
     
  14. jteach89

    jteach89 Companion

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    During my student teaching, most students knew that i wasn't the "teacher" but when it was my time to teach lessons, or work with students in small groups they still respected me and listened. And I was blessed to have my CTs acknowledge and tell the students as well that I was also a teacher even though I didn't have my license yet. Yes kids will pull that trick "Well Mr or Ms or the other teacher said so" on you, especially at that age group. If the other teacher in the room gave an order to the students I would try to be conscious enough to respect what they said and reinforce that to the other students. It seems like you should view her as your co-teacher and not downplay the aide just because they are not certified. If the both of you work together, as many had pointed out, things might be better.
     
  15. FutureTeacher_1

    FutureTeacher_1 Rookie

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    Every adult who comes into our classroom (or we go to) who helps us learn is a teacher!!! I love my para. In fact, I sometimes run ways to teach content together for example, for math daily 5. We'll coordinate what we'll be doing in small groups and some days I take the struggling students and she takes the higher ones.

    I worked as a para for a few months when I was still in college so maybe being treated like a subhuman has helped me kinda have some perspective?
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I have two aides in my dept. One is a certified teacher who is just trying to get her foot in the door, the other is a woman who has subbed in the district for many years and is in her second year as an aide. I have great respect for both of these ladies. We collaborate on students and yes, they do teach students when they're in small group settings. Do they defer to me in some situations? Yes, but I value their opinions just as much.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    In my classroom, kids interact with a variety of certified teachers and specialists each week, as well as lunch and recess paras, custodians, secretarial staff...we even have an outside enrichment activity instructor who comes in once a week and a nature center guy who does seasonal lessons. It is my expectation that students treat all of these with respect.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Ok, the more I thought about this post the more I want to ask the following question. Here goes:

    Did your para actually tell the kid that he could sit there or he could go get water? Are you stopping them from doing what they were actually given permission to do by the para? At first I though not, but the more I think about how you view the para, I started to wonder if they were given permission but it wasn't your decision.

    I do know that kids do play one off the other, but I just want clarification if they are really playing you and the para off of one another or you just didn't like the para making these decisions because you are the teacher with the credential.
     
  19. PinkCupcake

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    Helper is what I call two of my students who have the job of teacher's helper each week, not the para I work with or any other para at school. You may not have meant to belittle her on purpse, but that's the way it seems to be coming across based on your post.
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I think a better response would be "I'm sure she did say that. Now please _________." or "My name is not Ms. _________." and then repeat your original instruction.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Okay, I'll be honest: when I hear the term teacher being used, I assume trained, certified, professional teacher. I think most people do, although we also recognize and appreciate the value that aids offer to our students and that in this way, they are of course teachers as well. But if I were to run into an old friend and I ask what she's doing and she responds, "Oh, I'm a teacher now," I assume she's certified. But again, does it really matter to me? No. The idea that I would instruct my students to address the aid using a name other than one she wants to be used is ludricous. In fact, I've always been annoyed by schools who refer to teachers as Ms. or Mrs. or whatever LastName while calling all aids Ms. FirstName. Ugh.

    I do feel that the certified teacher is absolutely the major decison maker and I think most aids understand and expect that...most want that, too. But I have a feeling there is a rude superiority thing coming into play here, and that's a big problem.
     
  22. MissD59

    MissD59 Comrade

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    I'm a full time Teacher Assistant in a second grade classroom. While I am a TA, I am also a certified teacher. I have my MS in Elementary Education, and have 3 teaching certifications. The job market is awful where I live, and most new TAs tend to be certified teachers as well. When the teacher I work with is out, I sub in her place. My school often pulls me to sub for other teachers as well, since I'm certified.

    While I understand that your aide is not certified, I still think that she should be treated with respect. Telling the students that she is not a teacher is not sending the right message to your class, IMHO. Also, I don't know about your school, but ALL TA's are Mr./Ms./Mrs. ______, NEVER their first names. I have heard that in preschool, but never in the elementary grades and higher. I think it sounds pretty unprofessional, and again, sends a message to the students that she isn't to be respected as much as you.

    I think that they key to having a TA in your room is good communication. When the school year started, I asked the teacher I work with specific questions about how she'd like me to work in the room, what her expectations were of me, and what my role would be in pretty much every capacity. There was one time she asked me to change something, and I immediately did it without getting offended. I always ask questions so that we're on the same page. If your TA is doing something you don't like, you need to speak with her and just explain where you're coming from. Explain WHY you make certain decisions. If she knows the thought process behind the decisions, chances are, she's going to remember and respond to the students similarly, and hopefully you can avoid telling the students conflicting things.

    As far as that "But she said I can sit here" scenario, I think that happens in ANY room where there is more than one adult. Actually, it happens in our room fairly often. We joke around and call it the mom and dad effect (You know, when mom/dad said no to something when you were little, so you immediately asked the other parent, haha). Annoying? Yes. We explain to the kids that when one of us says no, it is not appropriate to ask the other adult in the room.
     
  23. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I agree. Your aide needs to respect that you have the ultimate say but there needs to be a level of respect from and the students.
     
  24. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I agree with all the responses so far and also feel paras/aides/TA's/ etc should be treated with the utmost respect.

    But I think we're all forgetting something here --- this is probably just Milsey dropping another one of her M-Bombs to get everybody stirred up. How many other middle school teachers have aides at all? And notice that we have 3 pages of responses but NONE of them are follow-up posts from our hostess - as per usual.
     
  25. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I'm wondering why I still read her posts. :dizzy:

    I guess I need a life:lol:
     
  26. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Free entertainment? :whistle:
     
  27. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    This one started an honest, interesting conversation about classroom hierarchy and collaboration. Can't fault that.
     
  28. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    That's true. Her posts always spark discussion.
     
  29. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    This one seems to be an especially good discussion. It's making me look at how I'll handle classroom collaboration and intervention once my new SpEd counterpart is in place.
     
  30. MissD59

    MissD59 Comrade

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    Yikes, I'm sorry I wasted my time. I haven't been on this board long enough to know who the trolls are. Whoops! ;)
     
  31. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I'm bothered by the fact that she told the class to call her Ms. Rosie and The Helper?

    That's weird, milsey. I don't get the point.
     
  32. TamaraF

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    Any time I have had an EA or any other person assisting in my room, I have made it clear to the students that WE are BOTH "teachers". I do not consider myself superior. If it is a classroom management issue, the teacher and assistant should work out the details privately. I would also never tell students what to call another adult in the building without first asking "How would you like the students to address you?"
     
  33. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Well, if she were a teacher then why am I'm not allowed leave her alone with the children?
     
  34. comaba

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    This is just a matter of respect, and it doesn't seem that there is enough to go around in your classroom.
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Because, Milsey, you are the teacher. Dont get hung up on titles. Your aide/para is there as a support to classroom instruction. Just because that person doesn't have the teacher title doesn't mean s/he deserves to be treated with disrespect by you or your students.
    You should present a united front, act as a team. I believe everyone in my class can teach something to another...I'm the lead tacher and learner in my room...but EVERYONE, students, paras, specialists, guests has some thing to offer and should be treated with respect. It's what I expect of my students. I expect nothing less of myself, as the students learn from how we conduct ourselves.:2cents:


    Sad, isn't it?
     
  36. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Your para cannot be left alone with the students for legal reasons, but it doesn't mean that she should be looked at as inferior.
     
  37. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    It is, but there's a silver lining... These threads always make me appreciate my colleagues even more! :)
     
  38. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    I'd love to hear from her para.
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    What Linguist said.

    Needing to feel superior to aides because they haven't got credentials is about as prudent as being dismissive toward school secretaries and custodians because they're classified employees and not certificated... which is to say, not at all.
     
  40. juli233

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    As someone who works as an EA I have to say I'm glad I don't work in your classroom. It's obvious to me that as the teacher you have not made your expectations of the EA or the children clear. ALL children try to play the adults in their lives off of each other! Use it as a teachable moment about how we need to accept the decision and not go to another adult simply because we don't like the answer.
    Your lack of respect is clear and that is a big problem. What do you think your aide says when asked about working "with" you?
    I have worked with people like you and with people like most who responded here that have respect and appreciation for what we do, and believe me in the class where I am welcomed with respect and value I put out way more energy,time and more of myself than when I work with the teacher who feels the need to be in control and be the boss. I tell my kindergartners every day that they can only be their own watch dog, that they are responsible for their own actions, maybe it's time to look at how you the teacher are running the classroom and reasses the situation and relationship with your aide.
     
  41. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    If I ever get a teacher aide, I will make sure they're respected, feel appreciated, and utilize their strengths in my classroom. Might as well make my job easier while the TA is able to fulfill his or her role. If my TA wants to be a teacher I would let them work with small groups, lead warm ups or short activities (all while I'm supervising, etc).
    I would not want a TA who hates his or job, and definitely wouldn't want to be the cause of it.
     

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