being an aide in special education...

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by HufflePuff, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

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    Aug 26, 2007

    so.....i accepted an aide job about a month ago with the hope of getting a teaching job before the school year started.

    well...that didn't happen although i've been on a roller coaster ride with job hunting this summer.

    apparently the aide job is in special education. i was NOT told this until now and am not too happy about that fact (that they didn't tell me). that's besides the point.

    my question is....what sort of responsibilities do aides have in a special education class? i am not certified in special ed. although i've seen special ed. classes. just curious if anyone had this experience.
     
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  3. mstemple05

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    wow. that's not cool @ all. they should have let you know so you could make the decision for yourself. special ed seems really difficult and i know you'd have to have BUNCHES of patience to deal with the students. some more than others. some may need just reading or writing help, some may need speech help, and others may need someone to do everything. i had a few students who were considered "special ed" and had iep forms (9th graders). a couple of students had reading problems so they would go for extra reading help, one boy was on a 5th grade (maybe?) level with everything. so if it's like a resource room where the children come to you, then i imagine it's you helping them with the work they're given from their teachers. if it's just a classroom for special education, then i guess you can expect to do a regular aide job, but just know that the children won't really be on the grade level that you're working with. for example, if you're working with 4th graders, don't expect them to be doing much more than basic addition subtraction multiplication and maybe division. and reading on probably a 1st or 2nd grade level. same thing with their other subjects. just keep in mind that whatever they're doing won't be "grade appropriate" and they may even need extra help with that. i know it's not "experiential advice" but, i tried. hope this helps! well wishes to you, and i hope you can make the best of it this year. maybe you'll end up loving it. and maybe enough to get a cert in special ed or just teach?
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2007

    All of our educational assistants (aides) work with Special Ed students either in classrooms or in a Special Ed classroom or resource room--the position doesn't exist otherwise here. Anyway, I'm sorry that you feel you were misled about the position.

    It's difficult to say what your position will entail without knowing about the student population you will be working with. I have an ed assistant who works with me. Part of the time she is with me in the Resource Room, working one on one with students or with a small group reinforcing math, reading or writing skills. She also helps with research assignments, listens to the students read, helps to organize homework, etc. She helps to implement the programs designed to help them meet their IEP goals. During other parts of the day, she goes into some of the classes which have a high number of identified students to help support them during science, social studies or French.

    We create the timetables of our Educational Assistants based on the needs of our students; it is diferent for every aide every year.
     
  5. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    Aug 26, 2007

    Meg,

    Aide jobs can be extremely VARIED. Before I got my TA position, I had interviewed for several others. They ranged from a 1:1 with an autistic boy to a general classroom aide. My job was actually working with middle and high school students who had behavioral issues and learning delays. I was there as a support to the teacher and helped her with anything she needed. I subbed when she was out. We had aides assigned to each of the subjects and a floating aide, whose job was different each day-she went where she was most needed or subbed.

    In many schools, there are classes for behavioral issues, specific learning disabilties, and autism. All of them require an aide.... or more for the autistic class. My friend's former school had students with multiple disabilities, from autism to cerebral palsy. A lot of those aides are 1:1 for children who need feeding, changing and constant supervision. Now, that was strictly a special ed. school. Schools are so different!!!!!

    There is no way to know, unless you call now or find out when you actually start. You could check out the school's website and see if they have a breakdown of the classes. Many will not, some will classify them as BD, SLD, PDD, MD.

    They may not have known (may not even know yet) where they will place you. Aides can and will be moved around as the needs of the school change.

    Good luck! I hope you can get more info. Try to remain positive, I know it was a surprise and as a special ed. teacher, I agree they should have told you if they knew it was definitely a special ed. job.
     
  6. lajoers3

    lajoers3 Comrade

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    Aug 27, 2007

    Teachers Aide Special positions can involve in class support for kids with special educational needs in mainstream classes and it may just be to help kids who have difficulty reading or with comprehension, or who are slower learners to have help in completing work in class. It could also be behaviour support for a child with emotional or behavioural disorders. It can also involve working within a support unit with whole classes (here they are small classes of 4-12 depending on the severity of the disability) or it can also involve withdrawal of students who need extra reading support or have special educational needs in other areas. I've done plenty of special education teaching work and if you are in a support unit you may find yourself doing more than just assisting with the academic educational work. You may find yourself needing to toilet train or change diapers of students who have severe disabilities. I have done this plenty of times as a teacher and it's something that teachers and aides are both required to do here. I've also been required to assist students with physical disabilities to do therapy and to walk or move and to feed students via a button in their tummy (really it's not that difficult but someone would have to show you how). Special Education can be so varied that it seems suprising you weren't told about the students you would be working with - not only is it unfair to you but it's also unfair to the students.
    I really really love working in Special Education and I hope you do too but it can be very different to mainstream education.
    Hope things go well for you. I would definitely be asking
     
  7. HufflePuff

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    thanks guys. what do you think is a good way to ask about what responsibilities i have? should i simply say, "what responsibilities will i have as aide in this classroom?" with everything you are saying, i sure as heck would like to know if i have to help with toileting. honestly, i wouldn't even mind the whole situation much if i just knew what was going on!
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 27, 2007

    Meg,

    I haven't a clue... my Catholic school makes no accomodations for Special Ed kids.

    But what age/grade/level are the kids? I bet it will make a difference to the people who do have the advice you need.
     
  9. HufflePuff

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    it's in fourth grade. i really don't know anything about the position. i was told i was going to be an aide in fourth grade. not once was special education or special needs students mentioned.
     
  10. AnthonyA

    AnthonyA Rookie

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    Aug 27, 2007

    I've worked with Special Ed before and I'm not certified in that field either. I enjoyed too. You never know, you may end up liking it as well. While I do not intend on teaching Special Ed, I wouldn't say no to it either if offered a position in the future. That's why I intend on getting dual-certified in Special Ed. Also, the more varied the experience the better in my opinion. It will look nice on your resume to say the least.
     
  11. Freebird

    Freebird Rookie

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    Aug 27, 2007

    MoogleMeg,

    I am about to enter my third year as a Special Education Assistant in an elementary school. Just like the posts above said, the role of the asst. varies. My responsibilities have included being a 1 on 1, running my own below-level math group, assisting the special ed. children in their regular classrooms as well as in the special ed. classrooms, and basically helping out the teachers as needed.

    I, too, am waiting to get my own regular ed. classroom but this is a great position in the meantime. I am gaining valuable experience working with kids with different learning disabilities. I am also having the chance to see how different teachers run their classrooms.

    I hope that you enjoy the position. Good luck! :)
     
  12. kiraj

    kiraj Companion

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    Aug 27, 2007

    I started as an aide in special ed, and loved it so much that I got my endorsement and taught high school LRC last year and elementary life skills this year. There will be 7 aides in my room. They will be doing everything from toileting (which really isn't all that bad IMO) to helping feed, running reading and math groups, sensory exercises, and assisting students in their inclusion classrooms. If you have any questions you can PM me. I've got quite a bit experience by now!

    Last year in the LRC the aide helped with inclusion and helped with small reading and math groups as well as our math and reading classes. She also would supervise for testing in an alt location and would read tests aloud.
     
  13. mstemple05

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    what's imo?
     
  14. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Aug 27, 2007


    In my opinion
     
  15. Honey1021

    Honey1021 Rookie

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    I can feel you on the being mislead. At my interview they told me it would be special ed, mild to moderate if I took this job instead of the title 1 aide. I don't even know if they said one on one or not. I ended up being a one on one aide to a child who is probably going to moved a severe program at a different school (I AM MAD!), is autistic, and isn't potty trained. It's not the schools fault since all they had was his (poorly written and honestly full of crap) IEP. I still feel screwed, but I need an in in the district so all I can do is try as hard as I can to help thsi kid.
     
  16. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I am sure that the school assumed that you knew that this was a sp. ed. position. Afterall, unless this is a school with a lot of money, why would they need an aide in a fourth grade class?!
     
  17. HufflePuff

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    Aug 28, 2007

    well....i found out it is not a special education class but four students will be mainstreamed into my class. so basically i have to help them out and one child in particular. i guess that's not so bad. thanks for your help guys!
     
  18. Honey1021

    Honey1021 Rookie

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    That's not necessarily true. Most of the schools I've been in have shared an aide among each grade level b/c one part time aide is cheaper than another teacher.
     
  19. HufflePuff

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    i agree. in the town i student taught in, there was an aide or assistant in every class.
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Wow! Our allocation of educational assistants (aides) is based on our Special Ed population and they are placed in classrooms depending upon the needs of the class.
     
  21. mstemple05

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    I left a charter school who had full-time aides in first and second grade and I know of another one who has full-time aides in k,1,2 and 3. maybe 4, but i know def up til 3.
     
  22. HufflePuff

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    it was definitely new to me...where i grew up, having an aide or assistant in the class was unheard of. the district i student taught in was very lucky compared to many districts i've been around. i actually had an aide AND an assistant in the classroom. i remember times when there would be the aide, the assistant, my CT, me, another college student, and then ANOTHER aide who was with a particular child! it was insane lol.
     
  23. mstemple05

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    now THAT'S just too many ppl in one room right there..........
     
  24. clr2785

    clr2785 Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2007

    i have exactly the same position :)
    a 4th grade aide, and my job includes modifying curriculum for the 4sp. ed. kids in the classroom. i'm a little nervous, i've never been with kiddies this old! hopefully all will go well. my CT is a first year teacher, so it should be interesting to see what I'm in for next year!
     

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