Help! Advice regarding Paraprofessional

Discussion in 'Paraprofessionals' started by cali_teacher, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. cali_teacher

    cali_teacher New Member

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    Feb 14, 2014

    Hi, all!

    I'm new to this forum and am looking to get some advice for my classroom. I'm a full-time special education teacher and work with three paraprofessionals in my classroom. I moved to my current district this past August and have been working with my three aides since that time.

    I have one paraprofessional who has been undermining my authority as classroom teacher. She constantly questions my decisions and will even try to change my lesson plans when I am not there. She bullies the other two aides in my classroom. Both my administrator and I have sat down and talked to her (on separate occasions) about the classroom expectations, she has not heeded the advice that has been given to her.

    As a former paraprofessional myself, I am disturbed that she would act like this. Is there any advice you can offer to how I can work more effectively with her? Please help!
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Feb 14, 2014

    If she is directly going against a directive given to her by administration, then it's an administrative issue. Document exactly what is being said and when, and pass it to your administration. They will be better able to handle the situation than you will.
     
  4. cali_teacher

    cali_teacher New Member

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    Feb 14, 2014

    Thank you for the reply! I will start doing that.
     
  5. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Mar 29, 2014

    With this paraprofessional undermining your authority and bullying the other aides, could you not ask to have her switched to another room?
     
  6. Teachwrite!

    Teachwrite! Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2014

    I am so sorry!

    She is there to support you and your students. I think that some long-term paras become so invested in their role that they try to improperly dominate (see my post in the Special Ed section-Angry paras?). They feel threatened no matter what you do and they have a huge investment in "para" as an identity. However, that role inherently holds little or no power, so they try to take it from younger, well-meaning, yet also insecure teachers. My suggestion is that you validate her concerns, and then while acting 9or even being) on her side 2hen she criticizes you, say something like, "Yes, ut you know, WE can't do it this way. We have to make sure..." Then whatever you suggest she may buy into because suddenly she feels powerful because you (the teacher and the real power) are on her side. No longer is she your enemy. Yes, I know. We should just be able to say what we think, but we are unfortunately not their boss and they know it. Stay confident. Do what is right and use her insecurities to help, rather than hinder, your classroom. At least you know she is trouble and didn't get surprised like I did.
     

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