Class management and adults' management...

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by sarah80, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. sarah80

    sarah80 Rookie

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    Oct 7, 2006

    I am new special ed. teacher. I have 10 students with different disabilities. I take them at different hours and sometimes I take them together and give them different instruction.....but somehow it doesn't seem to work. This is worrying me so much.

    There are three adults with me...two IPP (behaviorists) and one para. During centers when students are supposed to be learning as at any time of the day this para. receives her friends who walk in without any consideration for me (they don't even greet me as if I am not there) and start chit-chatting with her in front of the students.

    The IPP brings her bags of pop-corn and start eating it in class when the students are trying to do some work on the computer.

    She has to responsibility of one child with autism who is low functionning and she eats pop-corn in front of her which make all my students antsy and want to have the same food the behaviorist is having..

    I end up with centers that are not working and no student is benefitting from them...

    I cannot ask adults who come to visit my para. to leave because I do not want to fight with them....I do not want trouble with any one.

    PLEASE HELP WITH THIS BIG ISSUE...AS IT LOOKS IT IS GOING TO JEOPARDISE MY JOB..

    It looks that I have to manage both my kids and even my adults who are not helping at all....

    How do I stop these vistors from coming to my class for chit-chat time with the para.????

    I thought may be I should change my schedule and teach also during centers as they seem to be more respectful to the formal setting of sitting at their desks and facing the board and have the adults follow the kids' pace...instead of asking these adults to help with centers because they are not helping but instead think like my kids that it's play time and pop-corn time...

    ANY SUGGESTIONS PLEASE???...

    SHALL I BRING THIS TO THE PRINCIPAL (my para is the best friend of the principal and I am the new-comer....the black sheep :( )

    sarah
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 7, 2006

    Yikes! I don't have an answer, but I am interested in hearing others opinions. I know last year 2 team teachers would be working together and one would have a friend visit and this would irritate the other teacher completely. She never said anything though (except to me..the aide). Then this year I'm with that teacher but not the teacher who was offended. I personally don't have an issue with my teacher having friends as long as she does her job (different in your case because she isn't doing her job). I've seen my teacher tell her friend that right now is not a good time because she and I have a meeting scheduled. With that kind of respect in place, I don't mind. Interestingly though someone from ANOTHER classroom reported it to the Principal and now she can't have anyone. I thought that was ironic because it doesn't affect them at all. You cold try to close the classroom door during this time. Most visitors wont go past a closed door and put her at the center the furtherest away from the door and not facing the door. If they can't get her attention, they probably won't walk in.

    With the IPP person you may need to bring up the popcorn (ask either she not bring it or she have enough for everyone) because that isn't fair to the students. That's quite dumb for a behaviorist person not to see that it affects ummmm...well behaviors.

    Changing to the setting might be the easiest thing to try. Beyond that, I'm not helpful because I know it is hard to rock the boat. I am interested in hearing any other creative solutions others might know to solve this dilemma.
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 7, 2006

    This is completely mean but I thought of something: Bring a snack in for everybody including the para and yourself but exclude the IPP. Then when she asks, say "oops, I'm sorry I thought you had your popcorn, I don't have another one to share."

    No, don't really do this..it was just a completely evil thought.
     
  5. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 7, 2006

    Have you created a list of specific responsibilities and expectations for your para's? It sounds like something super simple, but might help? Call a team meeting and explain that you don't feel like everything is working... here are things that you think would make the room run more smoothly and help the kids...???
     
  6. Giggles1100

    Giggles1100 Comrade

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    Oct 7, 2006

    I would definately call a meeting and although you are the newcomer, you ARE the teacher. My Aide is 63 and has been doing this for 15 years, I am the new teacher at school although I have been doing this for many years, but I had to tell him, and it was uncomfortable, that what he was doing was detrimental to how I wanted the kids to learn. I know it might have worked in years past but until I felt I had absolute control and the kids knew their expectations I could not allow the behavior at hand.

    It stopped and he has been fine about it but it is uncomfortable. I even went so far to stop visitors because I have teachers that come in and try to chit chat with me By putting notes on my door saying extreme learning in process please knock. See my kids are also learning manners so that gave me the excuse that I am teaching the kids how to answer the door politely, so we worked on learning those skills, so that could stop the other paras from just walking in you could be the buffer and if it is for your aide you kid can tell her she has a visitor waiting for her outside, that way they at least are not standing in your class and aides are not going to gather in the hallway to chit chat for long.That stopped a lot of my interuptions.
     
  7. luv4kids

    luv4kids New Member

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    Nov 4, 2006

    Hangin In

    Hi!
    Thanks for making me feel better by letting me know I am not alone. I have worked for over 20 years in Special Education and have run into this problem on occasion. This year is the most challenging. I love the idea of the Sign for the door and tying it into lessons.....as soon as I am done here, I am making one. Thanks.
    Though I still have trouble, the worst is paras who do not like each other and backstab behind their backs but in front of the students. I remind them that the students are sponges and how would they feel if their own son/daughter were in a class like this? What would they do if they repeated the conversations they 'overheard' in their (our) classroom at their dinner table? this is a wake up call that not only are they not servicing the kids, they are embarrassing themselves and getting themselves into 'trouble' that I cannot defend. Only if they do as I have guided can I back them up.
    On top of the paras, I have specialists and other teachers who feel free to come into my room and disagree with my ways. I appreciate the help but not the public ridicule. What hurts most is that this reflects poorly on me, I have been told to get control over MY classroom after requesting help.
    Any other ideas from anyone would be appreciated.
    Hang in there!!!
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 4, 2006

    Let's face it, someone has to be in charge.
     
  9. Lyddy

    Lyddy Rookie

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    Nov 7, 2006

    Para Problems

    I have no real idea why there seems to be so many problems with Paras! I have been teaching an SDC class for three years now and I feel I have seen it all (mostly negative) from the persons who are there to supposedly "support" the students and me. One just quit after weeks of never being able to really listen to anything I said. She discovered she didn't like working with paperwork. Training was unsuccessful and no matter how many strategies I tried, she simply could not remember (and was not very interested in) room routines. I feel that often the administration seems to support the Paras and I have been told to find yet other ways to "help them" learn their jobs. Of course no time is given to train persons who are brand new to Spec Ed and or a classroom.

    What happened to NCLB and the fact that all were to be qualified?? Most that have come into my room cannot even make copies, sit with a group to read or even supervise in mainstream classes.I have given team talks, have trainings and one would just cut me off during course to interrupt with "I know" when she did not "know" or I would not have been discussing it. At times when I have sincerely tried to talk to one I am met with a stone face stare and told she doesn't like being "direct".

    I wanted to be a teacher because I sincerely want to help Special needs students be the best they can be and reach their potential. I never knew that it would involve working is such unpleasant circumstances at times in which Paras judge you, chastise you, question your teaching methods and gossip about you behind your back. It makes it hard to feel good about what you are doing.

    Unlike the private sector, in which supervisors have a direct and clear cut position with support staff, teaching is different. Teachers are "defacto bosses" in some ways, told to take full responsiblity for the classroom, but they are unable to really do much about Para issues especially if, as many of the threads say, they are "friends" with the administrator or others at the school. Some that have been in my room seem to be on the spectrum themselves and have processing problems. Some are so needy and expect the teacher to just be grateful that they are present period. In no other situation would persons ever work so closely in one room with others and start off as strangers as teachers generally are not on the interview panel. I am ordinarily told nothing about their skills at all. If a Para decides that the teacher is "wrong" or not as "good" as others they worked for they actually seem to spread that kind of negativity to the point it affects the whole classroom. There are times I have been so stressed and felt so unsupported I have seriously considered leaving the profession. A negative aide can make the teaching experience terrible.

    However, anytime I think of that I think how hard I worked to become a teacher and how committed I am. I still had no idea that teaching would ever include working side by side with some persons who have been so self serving at times and do not see the big picture. I cannot believe the thread in which a Para told the teacher what she was doing wrong! I do know that documenting and trying to continue to open up communication can help. I also think that much of the problem lies in hiring unqualified people, who as some have pointed out, think of the job as a place to visit, eat snacks and slack off. We all work very hard and it is difficult to absorb this when we have so many responsibilities. Hang in there everyone and I wish you luck! I do not have any real answers except to say I sympathize completely and feel it is grossly unfair to hard working teachers!
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 7, 2006

    Most of our people hold BA degrees and are currently working on MA degrees in our field. We are lucky to hire qualified people. This DOES make a difference. Unfortunately there are still always personality differences.

    Interestingly though (this has nothing to do with the original poster) recently I felt REALLY bad because I analze and talk about the students issues, needs and improvements all the time becuase I am in the process of learning. The teacher mistook that as me being critical and judging her. I was shocked because I really absolutely do not sit back and judge her and I think she is GREAT. I actually DEFEND her (without going overboard) to others so that she always looks great no matter what I do. I let her know that I am grateful she lets me participate in the level that she does (she treats me more as a team person and even a student teacher at times) and my out loud thinking has nothing to do with what she is or isn't doing. I felt horrible though. Wow!

    P.S. This isn't to take away from either of the posters points, just something I had to share of myself.
     
  11. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Nov 7, 2006

    Is there someone higher up that you could go to, that isn't the principal? Maybe a special ed director or something. I don't think it should have to be part of your job to be the manager and boss over the other people working in your room. Your job is to teach.

    Regarding why people always end up with crappy parapros and problems... Well, look at how much they get paid. What? $10 an hour or something? So, while you might be lucky enough to get your random mom who wants a job while her kids are at school, or teacher looking for a job.... most people who work these jobs are the ones who couldn't work at a job that would pay more (or else they would). If schools paid the paras more, they could be much more choosy about who they hired. Of course, I laugh out loud as I type that because yeah, right, like the schools have the money to pay anyone more!
     
  12. i modify

    i modify New Member

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    Nov 29, 2006

    I also have been in the same position. i agree with the post earlier. i created a schedule for everyone of my EAs and listed their responsibilities at all times. No excuses and that covers your butt as well. i also write weekly notes to my Ea's of do's and donts and reminders. it is very important that everyone be on the same page b/c students with disabilities must have structure the same from everyone. remember you are not there to make friends but to be there for the students. if yyou get friends along the way great. i would be very direct although that is hard. also have team meetings weekly so everyone can discuss what is happening in the classroom. hope this helps and good luck
     

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