I received a call last night from a parent. She told me that several parents were concerned because I am teaching my class alone most of the time. They want to go to the board to demand an aide. I teach a K-1 class in a hands-on/multiple intelligences concept charter school. She (the parent) is the only one who volunteers weekly in the class (every Friday afternoon). I have 17 students on all different levels. Her child is the smallest and youngest of all and his issues are self-control. I believe it is the age. He has a short attention span and easily tires of activities after 5 minutes. I allow him to move to a choice center spread around the classroom so that I can continue working with my whole group or small groups. The mother sees this and thinks I have no time for him. I don't have the one-on-one time I would like with him and others. I am teaching K-1 for the first time. I did teach a 1-3 self contained emotionally disturbed class my first year teaching, and it was not pretty. Of course I would love a full-time aide, we have two aides in our school to help, but they are helping in ALL the classrooms, plus they teach specials, so they are not always available for me. Of course, me not being able to handle 17 kids is a reflection of my teaching abilities too I guess. I am learning, trying out different things to create classroom community, independent activities to keep them engaged, all while teaching letter recognition with some, word families to others and handing three reading groups in 1 from Levels K-P. Is it parental expectations? or should I really have a full-time aide in this type of school setting? I remember my children's K classes having more parental volunteers, not sure about permanent in-class aides though. In this day of budget cutting, I am sure they are not a priority!