Assistant Troubles?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by dizzybri14, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. dizzybri14

    dizzybri14 Companion

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    Oct 5, 2007

    I am trying to get some advice on my situation with my assistant. She has started to irritate me more and more (we have been in school since Aug. 27). The first week it went well, but now I feel as though she is getting "comfortable"?? I'm not exactly sure how to explain it other than that. Here goes the venting:

    -I know that I am a perfectionist when it comes to bulletin boards, but she has tried and it hideous and I have to redo them.
    -She is on her cell phone in the classroom when the kids are in the room.
    -She mispronounces words while talking with the children. Many of my students already have speech/language issues!
    -She cannot keep control of my class when I leave the room for 2 minutes.
    -I give her plans to follow for guided reading, and she doesn't follow them! Doesn't seem that she is getting anything done or pushing them.
    -She is babying one of my students who speaks VERY little English.

    That about raps it up. I could use any advice/suggestions on how to take care of these issues. I am not sure how she would take it if I brought it up to her face to face. Also, she is older than me and I don't want to make her feel incompetant or anything.

    Sorry that this is so long just needed to get this off of my chest! Thanks for reading this vent!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 5, 2007

    What are her qualifications and job responsibilities? Are you expecting things that she is not qualified to do?I know that I am a perfectionist when it comes to bulletin boards, but she has tried and it hideous and I have to redo them.This seems like she should be able to do. You should be very specific about how you want it to look. If it's not a mess you might just want to be thankful. Or else don't ask her to do it.
    -She is on her cell phone in the classroom when the kids are in the room. This is wrong. Address this with her.
    -She mispronounces words while talking with the children. Many of my students already have speech/language issues!Model correct language usage.
    -She cannot keep control of my class when I leave the room for 2 minutes.
    Have a class meeting about how you expect them to beahve for assistants, paras, other teachers, etc...that they should behave for other staff members as they would behave for you and then have consequences for them if they don't
    -I give her plans to follow for guided reading, and she doesn't follow them! Doesn't seem that she is getting anything done or pushing them. This just may be out of her realm. What training does she have in teaching reading? I would never expect an aide in my room to TEACH reading. Read with kids, yes. Teach and assess, no...
    -She is babying one of my students who speaks VERY little English.Can you look upon this as compassion and empathy?
     
  4. BurnedOut

    BurnedOut Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2007

    Do the kids like her? Does she show up? Does she attempt to do her job? If the answers are yes, then I think you should probably change your expectations. I'm also a perfectionist at times, but I have to try to accept that not everyone is exactly like me.
     
  5. dizzybri14

    dizzybri14 Companion

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    Oct 5, 2007

    Yes she is supposed to be able to teach reading (we both have reading groups at the same time). The lessons for reading are spelled out specifically for her, so it shouldn't be that hard.
    I think I am just going to do the bulletin boards myself, especially since I usually keep them up for a month or so at a time I want them to look good. Yes she shows up and usually on time, Yes the kids like her, and yes she is attempting to do her job. The thing is it is my classroom, and I have expectations of how I want my room to run. I don't think that I should have to lower my expectations, but rather she should step up.
     
  6. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Oct 5, 2007

    I have to say that the cell phone thing is absolutely AWFUL... I worked at a daycare where we had a teacher that was always on his cellphone, then he was told by the owner that he couldn't talk on his cellphone at work, so he would take his kids back to my classroom was, where the washrooms were, and go into my kitchen and talk on his cell phone. One day I was fed up with it, and sent all of his screaming energetic kids straight to him while he was talking on his cell phone... he never did it to me again. :lol:

    I know, probably not the most mature way to handle the situation, but it felt good, and he wasn't around the daycare much longer anyway...
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 5, 2007

    Our paras don't teach guided reading even though you are right, it is scripted. It is not necessarily outside of her scope to do so, but it may not be a strength she has and ultimately the students pay for that and they are still your responsibility. I personally, am not great with even shared reading on the few occasions I do it. It takes more thought than simply reading aloud. I make up for it tenfold in my word study center that I even design my own lesson plans for (the only one in my building to do so).

    I'm really horrible with BB and dread them. Unfortunately my teacher isn't any better with them so I can't avoid it. Darn.

    If she is misprouncing words and the best you can do is critique her for it, that seems a little unfair to me considering she may not can help it and may could benefit from your modeling. Everybody is human and we all have failings.

    I second the meeting. One thing my teacher did for me that improved things tremendously across the board when it comes to classroom management is to insist to the students that WE were a team and she expected them to treat me the same as her. Our roles are differently but she is quick to bring me in front of the classroom and include me so that we look like a unified team they can't divide and conquer. I have strong classroom management skills now but it didn't happen overnight and it didn't happen without that support.

    Try to ask for her feedback and include her as a team member rather than someone who is working FOR you. You are still in charge of course because the room IS your responsibility and what an awesome one it can be at times. It can be helpful, however, to assess what her strengths, talents and likes are to best use her to her fullest potential rather than having her conform to all of yours. It is okay to need her to do things a certain way, but it is also a two way street. It's not about upping or lowering expectations. It's about forming a team that works.

    P.S. We have one Aide that does well with so many things but the woman cannot follow directions to copy pages out of a book. As elementary as that sounds, the teacher had to just give up delegating that duty to her and start looking at how she can use her in her best light.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I'm not against quick cell phone calls every so often (although ours are on pagers), however I AM against frequent and long calls. It isn't professional and it disrupts class time. I rarely make one and it is usually during snack time or something similar if I do make one and I've seen others, including my teacher, use theirs at times. So far nobody seems to abuse it. It's not like we are making chit chat calls. Work is waaaayyy too busy for that.
     
  9. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Oct 5, 2007

    don't assign her to do BB's.

    No excuse for the cell phone. It it's an emergency someone should be calling for her in the OFFICE. If she needs to make a call, tell her to wait for lunch.

    I agree that giving someone a lesson plan may be a bit too much. could you use her to read with or listen to a group of kids read?

    Have you met with her and explained your expectations? You need to work together. She may not be aware of how you feel. Give her the benefit of the doubt.
     
  10. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2007

    I agree, don't have her doing BB's - they mean too much to you!! (or is she doing less than her best so you don't ask her to do more? LOL)
    She could be fired for talking on the phone in class!! I would tell her it is unnacceptable and site district policy if you can.
    If she is not a certified teacher, I would be less willing to have her do a reading group. She won't know what to look/listen for! Instead, have centers running while you do guided reading groups. She can facilitate the kids working in the centers.
    I agree with Frizz - sit her down and go over your expectations with her. Maybe she just doesn't get it?
     
  11. dizzybri14

    dizzybri14 Companion

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    Oct 5, 2007

    Thank you all for your help! I would love to have her facilitate centers, but its mandated that our asst. help with guided reading and have a group. I have given her the easiest plans/work for reading as I can. She herself has a 1st grader, and has been to college (I'm not sure to what level) for education. I def. think I am going to sit her down and talk about the cell phone issue. I am going to be taking over the bb because I such a creative person anyway and enjoy them (I'll just have to make time for them!! lol)
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Could the guided reading problem be that it is TOO scripted? I have another center that I was given this year and it was scripted. I followed it for a few days but it was evident that the students were bored and restless and that they had more potential. I still used it as a guideline but expanded. After about two days of doing this my teacher saw it and luckily I was given permission to do so. My point is sometimes it is harder to follow a scripted program. There is no creativity and room for individualized approaches involved. There's no inspiration. Now if it came to lack of skill in teaching that area, it would be harder for me to keep up with it at times. If the latter seems to be the case, then consider doing an individualized center for a few days and let her observe. Consider going through the plans and have her role play to see if she understands how to use them.

    Sometimes, however, some aides are just plain bored with it and do the minimum work because they are uninspired. I know at least one aide here that has trouble doing good work at a specific center in spite of giving plans because it isn't her thing. I hate when that happens because we have to give the kids our best. She may not even be that aware that she could be doing that. I know I hate math. So don't ask me to run a math center. I do help the students with their math problems though. I have to observe and watch the teacher give the lesson every single day because I'm terrible at figuring out how to approach problem solving and teaching the kids to solve math problems. I know this is my weakness so that's a step I take.

    One more thing about myself, I don't do well with closed set problems (not talking about a subject area). I do better with being given a problem my teacher wants me to help her with. What I mean is direct instructions usually end up with me giving her just the amount she asked for and nothing more. It may not even be great work. If I'm asked for my opinion, boy I fly tenfold. Other aides need more script. Every aide is different just as every teacher is different. If she is required to run the guided reading, then you may have to figure out how to make it work for her so that she can fly. Paras can be a lot of work, but if the team takes off they can also be a great source of help.
     
  13. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Oct 6, 2007

    Find her strengths and work with them.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 6, 2007

    Hahaha! You said it in one sentence and it took me an essay. No fair! :rolleyes:
     

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