First day on the job and they want me to help in the BATHROOM

Discussion in 'Paraprofessionals' started by ParaLady, Aug 14, 2014.

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  1. ParaLady

    ParaLady New Member

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    Aug 14, 2014

    I have been hired at a new elementary school as a basic ed para.

    The principal and the reading coach both told me they planned me to do small reading group interventions since I have substantial experience in that area.

    However over the summer there were budget cuts and now the school doesn't have as many paras as were expected. I know, it happens.

    So today, my first day, I found out my assignments include one room where I"m expected to help a kindergartner with Down's Syndrome when he needs to go to bathroom, and apparently he likes to go to the bathroom frequently. I'm told I will be given gloves, etc.
    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    I'm horrified. I don't want to complain because I don't want to seem ungrateful for the job ( I am grateful) and I also would like to get off to a positive start and make a good impression.

    But already, on my first day of work, I'm planning to get out at the end of the year. This is depressing. I absolutely do NOT want to be wiping children's bottoms as part of my job.

    I am going to see this year through, I'm going to be positive and professional, I'm not going to complain and yes, I'm going to wipe this kid's butt if I have to, but at the end of the year I have to let my administrators know -- tactfully --- that if they don't give me a non-bathroom type job next year, I'm leaving for another school and another position.

    Is there a tactful way of saying that without sounding offensive? If so, how?


    For what it's worth I have excellent credentials and shouldn't have any trouble finding a new job next year. This past summer I got about half a dozen para job offers at excellent schools, that I turned down because I'd already accepted this new job that I started today.

    It frustrates me that I'm going to be doing this all year long now....

    If anyone has any advice on how I can gracefully let my administrators know that if they want to keep me next year, they're going to have to re-assign me to non-bathroom duties--- I would love to hear it. Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 14, 2014

    As much as i empathize for this student's situation, You should continue to float your resume.
    You might even contact the other schools who offered you positions and Let them know you are now available for any present or upcoming openings.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I tend to agree with CzaCza. There are people who are better suited to this assignment and I think you should pursue another job.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You deserve to have known your job description could change before accepting the job.
    And more importantly, this student deserves someone who is comfortably and compassionately committed to his/her needs.

    Good luck to you.
     
  6. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I agree with everyone that you should contact the other offers and resign from this job. This is not the type of assignment you should be given. I imagine it would be for someone who is experienced with providing this level of care and especially, for someone who understands it is part of the job description. I am so sorry your first day turned out like this. It's very Unfair to you.:hugs:
     
  7. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Yeah, you need to go find you a new job since you have no compassion for the special needs. Yeah, I sound hard. I have a brother with Downs and work with SPE students. That child deserves someone that will care for his needs not despise being with him day in and out. You need to go write your letter of resignation now. I know you didn't ask for the job of wiping his butt, but his parents didn't ask for a special needs child, either.

    HAPPY JOB HUNTING!
     
  8. ParaLady

    ParaLady New Member

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    Aug 14, 2014

    Thanks everyone for the quick replies.

    Despite the fact that I really like a lot of the new co-workers I met today, and am looking forward to working with and supporting them, I would LOVE to quit this job and take one of the other offers I received over the summer. However I'm pretty sure those positions have since been filled so the offers no longer exist.

    Also I've worked in this district for 10 years and I have good references -- I'm afraid if I bail out on this job just as the school year is getting started, after I gave the principal my word that I wanted to work at his school -- it would not create good word of mouth for me moving forward.

    I feel like I have to see this through because I want to continue working in this district and I want to protect my reputation and references.

    It won't kill me to do this for one year, but right now I'm depressed. I have compassion for the little guy I'll be helping -- I met him today at "meet the teacher" and he is an adorable little boy -- but this honestly is a waste of my abilities because I have a lot of credentials in reading instruction.

    But more than that, I just flat out don't want to clean his bottom in the bathroom. Sorry if I'm being crass, I don't mean to offend. So depressed and sad right now.

    When it comes time for me to be evaluated, I need to have something prepared that I can say about my plans for the future.

    Something like: "I am enjoying working with everyone here and am trying my best to support the school's goals. However, next year I would like to take on a different role that will not involve any assistance in the bathroom."

    I know that's lame. But how do you even say something like that without sounding like a jerk?
     
  9. ParaLady

    ParaLady New Member

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    Aug 14, 2014


    ???

    I'm sorry but I'm going to be blunt. You need to learn how to read. I never said any such thing. Yeah, I guess I sound hard right back atcha.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Interesting first thread, para lady....frankly, it seems you are not prepared or interested in this job. Quitting might be best for all involved.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I would discuss it with your admin. It's not something I'd be comfortable with AT ALL. Many places I know you need special training to assist with bathroom duties like that.

    I don't think your first post came across as harsh. Your responses to others though are not the most tactful :2cents: I would consider looking at what else is out there. It may be better in the end for everyone.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    You can see that our members think that this student deserves someone who will cheerfully and professionally undertake all his needs. It isn't that we are not sympathetic to your feelings about it, but you are the adult and you can choose to keep the job or not. The child can't choose who tends to him. It is unfair that the school was not able to prepare you for the particulars of this job when they should have. You probably have good reason to resign with impunity. Please don't insult our teachers who have such compassion for children. I think we all read your thread thoroughly and got the message.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My district has similar training for bathroom assistance, I think.
     
  14. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    You find it "depressing"...
    If you have such "excellent credentials" you wouldn't have a para job. Resign and see if you can take a job that is more glorious.

    Well, why not USE your wonderful reading instruction credentials and also WORK with this child and his reading skills. Don't waste your precious abilities. Make good use of them.
     
  15. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    You won't be wiping his butt all day long. You will have ability to show you know a thing or two about instruction. Teach him how to read and that might look better than acting wimpy because it is below you to wipe a special needs kid's butt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  16. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I sure hope his parents never find out how you truly feel about your "depressing" job and the "waste of your abilities". Their son deserves someone that isn't depressed and wasting their time on him.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our educational assistants may be called upon to assist with the personal care needs of the students they work with. It's important to remember that bathroom needs are only one small part of the student's day.
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Insulting other posters is against forum rules. Name calling will not be tolerated.
     
  19. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    OP, I agree with the posters who said it might be best if you leave this position. It is not fair to the student. The student should always be top priority.

    Also, I think calling the OP a "wimp" is inappropriate. I understand a moderator said it... but... that is also name calling.
     
  20. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sorry about that. I edited my post. Didn't mean to name call.
     
  21. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Aug 14, 2014

    I think you could, in a professional manner, go to the admin and state that you don't feel you are best suited for the current assignment. You can request a transfer. They can either approve it or not-which will lead to your next decision.

    But, I agree with SPS-surely you're not in the bathroom all day. You said it was one of your assignments, right? So presumably you could go all day without having to be on bathroom duties. I guess it comes down to do you want a job or not...

    Also, fwiw, I wouldn't want this assignment either, simply because I don't know what I'm doing. But I think there are much more polite and civilized ways of stating that this is not the job for you. Think of it this way-had your original question simply stated that you feel that you were a victim of bait-and-switch job assignments, and don't feel qualified to do what you've been assigned, you probably would have gotten very different replies. Mentioning child bottom-wiping ad nauseum is purely click-bait.

    And finally, if you don't want people to actually respond to your question, don't ask it. Just because you don't like the answers you're getting doesn't make them wrong. :2cents:
     
  22. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    We have always been free to express our feelings here. Why the attack on the op if she is being honest with her feelings? I am very surprised two of our moderators joined on the attack. I thought we knew better. To the op, I don't know what happened but we don't usually behave like this here. I often read threads that touch a nerve so I don't respond to them. The op has a right to say she is depressed knowing she has to clean a child after they use the bathroom. I'd rather someone say they don't want to than do it and be angry with the child or show it on their face when they are alone in the bathroom.

    My 12 year old niece is autistic as well as hearing impaired and now, in addition to regular toilet clean up, her aide has to keep her clean during her monthly cycle. The aide knows of these duties well ahead of signing that contract. I cannot imagine my niece having to be tended to by an aide who had no ideas this was part of the job. I think they would want to quit too.
     
  23. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Why does the op's post read to you as having "no compassion for the special needs?" You lit a fire when there wasn't even a spark. She also never said she "despised being with him day in and out." the part about "his parents didn't ask for a special needs child, either" is very telling of the sensitivity of your own family's experience with your brother. I can empathize with what you've gone through :hugs: and it's hard not to be angry sometimes but it's nobody's fault. There is no one to blame. Family is family and my sister has gone through it and back for her daughter and she would never expect any teacher or aide to come to work with her child being unprepared for the full extent of what the job entails. It wouldn't be fair to anyone.
     
  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I agree. I think the OP was just surprised about this added aspect of the job.
    The teaching assistants in my school all have to help in the bathroom but they were told this was part of the job before they were hired.
    My mother works in as a health aide in a special education classroom and while she helps more with other issues, they did tell her it's possible to be needed in the bathroom. What you are describing sounds more like a health aide position and it's unfortunate that this was just thrown at you.
     
  25. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I do not understand why everyone has attacked you like this. In our district, there are different types of paras. Health aides have special training to deal with medical issues and toileting, diapers, restraining, feeding tubes, etc. Instructional aides have special training dealing with instruction, and often have an associates degree in education, or are working on getting a college degree of some sort. If a person is hired as an instructional aide, I can understand being upset at then being placed in a position outside of that role. It would be similar to if I were hired to teach English and then on the first day was told I would be doing only credit recovery in a computer lab all day. Yes, I am certified to teach that, but it's not what I am passionate about, and it's not how the job was described to me.

    I would have no issue with helping a child with toileting in the classroom, as I have worked in Medicaid respite before and done that kind of work. If I taught in a class with students with severe needs, I would dive right in and help with that. However, I did not choose to go into special education to work with students with severe needs. I love those students, but I do not think I would be happy working with those students full time. (I do occasionally go help out in the self contained rooms where I teach. I feel they are understaffed and those teachers need encouragement!) I could not do it all day all year, though. And there's nothing wrong with knowing that and saying that.

    The original poster did not say anything negative about the students. She didn't even say, "eww, poo." She said that this job was not the job she has been trained for, or that she was hired for, and I think it's fair to complain about that.
     
  26. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Some posts have been moderated FYI.
     
  27. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Paras around here are usually only hired for the special needs students and most times butt wiping is included. Having a brother with Downs and teaching SPE needs students I found her attitude insulting and that she felt she was too good for the job. If jobs were cut, she should be lucky to even have a job. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do what you were hired for... changes made or not. If you don't like the job and don't really need the job, then leave and let someone else have it. They would appreciate the job.
     
  28. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I think that enough has been said and that the OP has received enough responses to make a decision. If you want to continue the discuss, feel free to open a new thread.
     
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