ASSISTANT ISSUES

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by teachder, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. teachder

    teachder Companion

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    Sep 12, 2008

    aaagggghhhh!

    I have had the same assistant for 2 years this is our third. She came in a few months after I started the program and only had substitute assistants. I was told I'd have a say in choosing the assistant but didn't really get to interview her and she works in the parish already so is known. Problem: she is flaky, doesn't show up when needed, is late to work, leaves the second she would be past her hours for the day, doesn't understand that in education one works with no pay- my salery doees pay me to be her till 7 but I do it often and on weekends because it needs to get done. I'll tell her things and she'll forget, she doesn't know a lot of basic education techniques. Last night at curriculum night, she didn't help set up and then didn't know what to say to parents about our sign up for center help. I feel she is not dedicated and I feel all is placed on me and i'm feeling used and not respected. What do I do? If I talk with her or the boss now I feel this year will be awkward...unless they fire her! that would be great...except i could someone worse but I could get someone better.
     
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  3. Hannah's Place

    Hannah's Place Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2008

    Ok, take a deep breath. Now, are you her "boss"? If she does not do something you asked do you approach her and ask her why it wasn't done? If so, then discuss this with her and see if she doesn't know what to do and feels inadaquate or just is really "flaky" as you say.
    If I were you I'd sit down with your boss and tell them your concerns. While firing her may be your hope, you should try to first see if this is a fixable problem with appropriate people involved. I know it won't be easy, but you never know and you want to cover your bases, too.
    Make a concrete list of things that have gone on and bother you and see if your boss just didn't see them or is ignoring them altogether.
    You may have to brace yourself for something you don't want to hear...especially if she is a member of the parish. However, if you keep your concern focused on the children you will fare better. You could also mention that you were supposed to be part of the hiring process and feel like your input could have been beneifcial to the program. Since they did not, you would like to help now by seeing how you can improve things from here.
    Keep us informed and let us know how it is going!
    Good Luck!
     
  4. teachder

    teachder Companion

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    Sep 12, 2008

    She's just flaky....she hasn't had her school keys all week and this morning on her way here she found them! While getting her toothbrush out of her purse to brush while driving!-she found the keys in a small zipper in her purse! The other day she said she was late because she decided to take a shower (to be ready for the curriculum night that night) and she wanted to see something on the news. And she still brought her breakfast to work to eat later. She also takes phone calls during class time! Yes i have my cell phone with me, but i have it on vibrate and never answer it till my lunch break or after work. Duh!
    I am the "director" of our program- we are the only class so it's not really a program but I do all the work with the state and school. I am the main teacher. She is my assistant- according to the state and her stars training she is a lead teacher-legally allowed to be left alone with the kids (but she sure doesn't take responsibility like one). Our boss- the principal doesn't know a single thing that goes on in our room or the program because she gave me complete control. She has no idea what my aid does or how she acts. If my aid doesn't do something i asked or doesn't understand a certain aspect of our day and I ask her about it, she says she didn't remember or didn't understand and that i should right it down for her. It's called look at the daily schedule or lesson plan book lady! Or how about staying around when i do the planning or preping and listening- take your own notes! (sorry PMS and three years of this has me fired up). One last example. We were in our room before a meeting and i said bring in those butterflies to the meeting to laminate and cut. She said okay. I left to go do something else and when i went to the meeting she was talking with another teacher and didn't have the butterflies. I went and got them and was late to the meeting. Afterwards she continued to talk and i laminated them. When i walked into the room with them she said oh what did you tell me when you left earlier? I thought what you answered yes what do you mean what did i say. I told her that and she said oh i thought you said come to the meeting. AHHH! By the way our boss- the principal- is just as forgetful and flaky so might not understand.

    Definately making note of her actions and time schedule to make sure the school isn't getting short changed.
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Sep 12, 2008

    If you are her supervisor, it becomes your responsiblity to direct and discipline her. I would document everything. You need to protect yourself. But, I also would create new stategies to work with her, because you may not get much support from the school.

    1. Does she have a daily schedule--written down?
    2. Give her the same jobs to do everyday--so she can't tell you she did not understand you.
    3. Confront her every time she messes up. Treat her like a 3 year old.
    4. Stay strong, you are better then her.
    5. And did I mention--document everything!
     
  6. michelleann27

    michelleann27 Cohort

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    Sep 12, 2008

    Wow I hope everything works out that would drive me insane. I am glad that I do not have an assitant. I don't think I would like one anyways... I am the kind of teacher so use to doing everything I would be like i am at home i rather do it myself where i know that it is right...

    Hope everything works out Hugss
     
  7. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I don't think its right to say #4. I would reword that to you are better than her unprofessional, bad and preschool like behavior. The other suggests were great tho! I do not think that teachers are better than me just because they have a degree and I don't and I sub. Treat her like you would want to be treated if you were the aide but do discuss this with her. I think you should tell her that you do respect her and her job title and that you are grateful and thankful for being allowed an aide. Tell her that her job is to help you and the kids and explain how she can better do this. You could say I am just trying to help you better help us.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 12, 2008

    I work my butt off but I can be flaky too. I kinda understand that. Even so..she doesn't sound committed. Sometimes it is the person's work ethic. Sometimes the person doesn't feel in their zone.

    As far as working with no pay..not for an assistant. That's for the teacher only. I work with no pay all the time but I'm wanting to BE a teacher. Most of the assistants in my building leave 2 minutes before it's time to go (slight exaggeration).

    Don't treat her like a 3 year old. She's an adult. DO give her clear assignments. You might even write them on a "communication" clip board. Ask her opinion or feedback. Figure out what she likes to do and what she is good at. Sometimes it takes finding that person's niche. DO document. Model, talk about what you are modeling, give feedback. You don't have to do it in a way that is demeaning or even in a way that makes the person feel you are "getting on to them."

    Also figure out what is really detrimental to the program by how she does her doing her job and try to change that. The rest of the stuff, you just may have to chalk up to personality/work differences.
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Sep 12, 2008

    You are right, I meant you are more professional than her. But, give her directions as clearly as you would give them to a three year old.

    You guys are good, you don't let me get away with anything.
     
  10. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Sep 12, 2008

    Well said! I was also going to say something in my above post about aides leaving on time and not staying over, but I did not know how to word it.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 12, 2008

    I only have an aide's perspective. ;)
     
  12. teachder

    teachder Companion

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    Sep 12, 2008

    I was an aide once....for three days. I had to quit. The teacher would tell me exactly what to do and then change it. Instead I saw what needed to be done (since i had teaching experience and training) but she kept me busy with redoing her mistakes that i quit before I could really jump in and do anything. I had the perfect aide 7 years ago in illinois. we met on the first day of school when she walked in with the students. I didn't know i was getting an aide. She never asked what to do- just knew me like the back of my hand and i'd turn to grab something and she had it ready for me. Found things that needed to be done and did them. Sat with the kids during circle time to help guide them- never being told to. I'm still waiting for this one to do that. However tonight she did file student info sheets without me asking so that was good. She has a job description that I made for her. I feel as an adult if someone tells me very detailed what i need to do, that they are speaking down to me or think I am dumb and can't figure it out. But thanks for all your suggestions. Time to get back to lesson planning....hopefully there will be time monday morning to explain to her what her activities will be for the week- since she's not here to share in the planning. I remember the day i interviewed for another job and they said i would have to team teach....i thought that was a bad thing....oh how i want that so badly!
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 12, 2008

    Teachder... I LOVE YOU!!!!! WOW! That's EXACTLY how I feel and that's EXACTLY the conflict I had at the beginning of the year.

    Having said that, some aides DO need more specific direction. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't leave some room for flexibility. Give some general duties, then on a communication board give a few specific duties. Then like I said, try to find out what her wavelength is and go from there. Not everyone takes initiative. Not everyone feels secure enough to jump in. Honestly, I feel like a guest in my room at the moment and it makes it hard for me to jump in as well as I've been known to. I'm trying to get there.

    I seriously am dumbfounded by your description of feeling talked down to if an adult laid everything down like that. For me, it is exactly how I feel.
     
  14. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Sep 12, 2008

    Maybe if would help if your aide had a "TO DO LIST". Make daily "to dos" for her.
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    That's better terminology.
     
  16. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Sep 13, 2008

    I want to also add that if they aide has a written in stone schedule it will better on them to not get in trouble by the P. For example, if the P asks them what they do at a certain time they will know since its on the schedule or if the P needs to have a meeting with them or evaluate them the aide will know when they have free time in their day. Oh, and they should have a break of somekind in their to just breath for a second.
     
  17. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Sep 13, 2008

    It might be in yur best interest, especiallyif you are going to have no choice but to work with this woman to do what you can to help her do a better job--I do understand your frustaration as I am in a similar situation (45 minutes to take 8 kids potty? !) anyway-- As annoying as it may be to you, (because everyone should be able to multi task and do it without having to think about it right!?!?), I guess it's true that not everyone is wired the way we are--- a communication clipboard is a good idea---or sticky notes work really well too-- tell her you have realized there seems to be a communication problem--(if you say on both sides then she might not get offended-- soemtimes we ahve to suck it up and make it sound like it could be our fault to get the result we need--just like dealing with parents) and that you are going to establish a messege center for the two of you--maybe youcan hang a bulletin board or diesgnate a place to hang a clipboard that you can leave her messeges on like "to do list" etc that she can check every day when she arrives to see what you wnat her to do. that way the only thing she can use for an excuse it that she forgot to look at it-- I would make it a bright vivid neon color jsut for that reason-- or perhaps a binder with dividers for days of the week or something like that would work ---- good luck!
     
  18. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Sep 15, 2008

    Boy can we talk???! You and me both!!! I wish I could work alone!! Seriously. I have had my share of nightmares. The aide I have is good, but she asks too many questions, and is too high strung for me. She wants everything perfect, and expects me to come out of my pockets for little things to make her life easier. I don't work that way.

    She gets upset when people call me, send me flyers for the kids to take home, parents call me... you name it, it bugs her. And she is really strict with my kids, and doesn't want them to get mess or shall I say make a mess! :help: :confused:

    This is pre-k!! How can they learn without making a mess once in awhile She hates glue! Insists on putting a dab of invisible glue stick on everyone's paper. How are they going to learn anything like that??

    I could work forever with 2 parents.

    You know, they never question you. They just do whatever you ask, unless they really can't or don't know how.

    sigh! This is the story of my life. and I really don't feel I should be supervising another adult, unless I go back to corporate America and become a supervisor!

    :unsure:
     
  19. Robin

    Robin Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2008



    Treat her like a three year old...there's some wisdom in that. I often tell people, when I don't understand something, to explain it to me like I'm a 5 year old, I wont be insulted, because I want to know and understand. But if you take that approach with her in a demeaning way, it could be counter productive. Remember to preface each negative with a positive.
     

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