I detest my aide: long rant

Discussion in 'General Education' started by kellzy, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Feb 21, 2014

    Let me clarify. She's very good at what she does. She does work well with the kids. I give her a lot of credit for the gains my kids made last year. A lot of the time I can't work in reading and math groups as much as I'd like because I'm constantly fixing technology problems, or being called out to sign papers, or whatever else.
    However. She thinks we are team teaching. Her job during whole group is to sit by my struggling students and provide additional assistance as they work. But instead of doing that, she interrupts me, constantly. For the past few days, she's been gone to aide meetings for the first three hours of the day, and for the past three days I've been able to get through everything I've had planned with time to spare. In fact, yesterday for the first time ever in my career I finished everything so early that I was caught unprepared, because her constant interruptions were not there.

    She constantly criticizes the kids. I know where my kids are lacking. But I like to keep it professional and positive when I discuss my students with colleagues and to talk about how to help them academically, socially, and with work habits. She just rants about how much some students bother her. She just finished a 30 minute rant about one of our kid's emotional instability. Well, the kid was born in a refugee camp in Africa and lived there until age six. Yes, the kid is going to have some emotional problems.

    During prep time she tries to tell me how to do my job. She brings in things she borrowed from other teachers and aides and tells me that I should be teaching something like this, or like that. It drives me insane.

    She told a parent she was me. And that really enraged me. If she passed herself off as me and then said something inappropriate, then I'm the one nailed for it. We had a long talk about that one. I told her that if she talks to parents she needs to clarify that she is the classroom assistant, not the teacher.

    And I don't know what to do. When I complained to the administration about it, I was asked, "Will it show on her evaluation?" Well no, because everything on the evaluation she does. She just needs to realize I am the teacher she is not. Another issue I have is that she's the same age as my parents. I'm much younger than her, and I have way less experience in the classroom. She's been working as an aide for the past 20 years, I'm in year 4, but it doesn't matter, I am the teacher. Not her. But because of her age I have a hard time telling her to back off.

    Sorry for the rant. I just needed to get it out there. Any advice on what to do would be welcome....
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 21, 2014

    I would have serious things to say about an aide impersonating a teacher, let alone myself. Is that a particular thing you've mentioned to administration?
     
  4. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Feb 21, 2014

    She has definitely crossed the line. The stunts she's pulling are inappropriate and it sounds like she's trying to gain control of the classroom.

    Pretending to be the classroom teacher?! Really?? What did admin say about that specifically? When you complained did you tell them about that?

    Regardless of her age, you both have specific roles in the classroom. She is there to assist, not to co-teach or to undermine your authority. It sounds like she thinks that her seniority gives her the privilege of overstepping her bounds. Has she been at your school or district for a while? If so, that may have something to do with admin's apathy...

    If you feel comfortable talking to her again, I suggest setting aside the time for a serious talk. It would give you the chance to remind her about what your expectations are. You can be firm and fair without belittling her or being overly critical. Start off with discussing what you do appreciate about her. Be honest and upfront about what you don't appreciate. Make sure she hears you.

    Tbh, if she's been in the game for twenty years, let's face it; you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But you can still control what you will and will not allow in your classroom. Don't let her age intimidate you.

    If all fails, document and make sure you keep admin updated.
     
  5. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Feb 21, 2014

    WOW! There's some crazy stuff going on there with her. :dizzy:

    As for what to do? Have you considered harnessing her in a straight-jacket??
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Under what circumstances did she claim to be you?!
     
  7. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Feb 21, 2014

    If you told Admin about her impersonating you and they act like this is ok, no big deal and that you should just get over it; I would start looking for a new job because that is a huge red flag about your Admin's leadership. If Admin is ok with your colleagues impersonating you to parents, there are bigger problems at your job than anything you described above.

    I have seen teacher aides who think they are in a co-teaching situation when they are not. I have also seen older teachers that can be patronizing to younger/new teachers. Honestly, you might just have to put on your big girl pants and tell her to back the hell off. With people like her, you might have to be direct and forceful.
     
  8. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Feb 21, 2014

    I was in a team meeting before school and a parent came in to talk about homework issues. Rather than coming to either pull me out of the meeting, or clarifying that she was the aide, she told the parent that she was me, and answered the question. She knows more about what goes on with homework than I do. I assign it, and after that, it’s all her domain: she checks it, and tracks down kids who didn’t turn it in, or kids who clearly didn’t understand it. But she still told the parent that she was me. I digress, parent teacher conferences were about a week later. After a fair amount of confusion from the parent, we figured out what had happened. To be fair, she was given a verbal warning for that.

    Relations with the administration are complicated. My principal is amazing. Never again in my career will I have a principal who has the ability to tell me where I suck as a teacher, tell me how to fix it, all the while making me feel like a million bucks. However, the aide issue has to be addressed by the Title 1 director. The full time classroom aide thing is her pet project, it comes from her funding, she hires them, they’re her responsibility. She won’t do anything. The reasons are complicated, ridiculous, but complicated, I don’t dare go further into detail, at the risk of someone figuring out who I am, and who I’m talking about.

    And I know I shouldn’t let the age thing stop me. It’s just that I was raised in a very respectful environment. I was brought up to afford as much respect as humanly possible, even if that person doesn’t deserve it, to anyone old enough to be a parent/grandparent
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 21, 2014

    May I be honest? That your aid knows more than you do about the homework that you simply assign and knows which students understand the content and which don't seems a major problem to me. No wonder she plays the role of co-teacher... She's doing things you should be doing and knows things you should know. Based only on what you've said here, of course.

    Still, telling a parent she is you in very inappropriate. She may have thought she was doing you a favor, but it's all wrong.
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Feb 21, 2014

    Did your aide really say she was Ms. Kellzy or was it that she just didn't clarify she was the aide and use her name when the parent asked if she was Suzie's teacher?

    Sounds like she does teach math and reading groups as well as handle everything involved with homework except for assigning it. Sounds to me she is very much a teacher even though her title is aide.

    Is she credentialed? Our title 1 teachers that are in classrooms with gen ed teachers are. They are not un-credentialed staff performing aide duties.
     
  11. Greetwlove

    Greetwlove Rookie

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    Feb 21, 2014

    I've noticed a lot of in-fighting amongst the Aides...and a lot of undermining the teachers...pulling "wool" over subs eyes by "switching roles" "Oh, I'm going with Johnny to P.E. because he's not used to you, while I cover extra duties (which I don't mind staying busy) yet I will come into the room for something and there's the T.A. surfing the internet and eating. Once, I came up to get my lunch, T.A didn't want me there.... (most subs here are licensed to teach as am I) and proceeds to rudely tell me, "You do know where the teacher's lounge is don't you) :spitwater:When I would come down to meet a child for inclusion I would see this T.A looking at me and checking her watch. (as if to make sure I was there for the child and on time):thumb: Yeah....that was a real case of tryin' to be someone she's not. Apparently it's epidemic. (If they want the authority, then they need to go through the proper education channels and get the certs like we did!)
     
  12. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Feb 21, 2014

    It's pretty standard among the teachers to have their aides do the homework. Part of their job is to help with instructional duties, for example, homework, copies, or bulletin boards so that during our contracted time we have more time for professional developments and collaborations. Problem is, is that she actually introduced herself as me. Like, she used my name, she used my credentials, the parent had every reason to believe she was me.
    And it's her job to help with small groups. We have ten computers, a special ed teacher, a reading coach, plus the teacher and the aide. It's designed like this so that there's always an adult working with the kids, or they are engaged in educational computer programs. We don't have kids working on centers in the classroom. Only adults and computers. However, she's not accountable for anything that happens with student performance. If they fail, it's not on her, it's on me. We're not co-teachers. This is what she doesn't understand.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    That is bold to say you are someone else. I'm surprised she wasn't fired for that. If I was that parent, I'd be putting up a fuss about someone posing as another person. That one I would run up the chain of command. Happy I asked, because it really sounded like she just didn't correct the parent or let the parent assume she was you. Bold.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 21, 2014

    How did she use your credentials?

    I think I can understand how this aid feels more like a co-teacher... Seems like a confusing/complicated system.
     
  15. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Feb 22, 2014

    When you say used your credentials, did she tell parents, "Hi, I'm Ms. Kellzy, your child's third grade teacher", or was she waving around your badge? Both?
     
  16. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Classroom Edition??
     
  17. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Feb 22, 2014

    :lol: Your post made me think of Single White Female.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 22, 2014

    Personally, I'd have a sit down with the aide. Thank her for what she's doing that is in her job description. Let her know you appreciate her years of experience...Tell her that while her help with homeork is appreciated, you consider it a professional disrespect that she passed herself off as you. (and id ask her to leave you the corrected hw so you can look it over to better know student progress) Tell her it caused an issue with a parent at conference time and that admin is aware of the confusion it created. Tell her that her jumping in on your lessons is also causing some concern and confusion. You put a lot of work into creating your lessons and that you will let her know how she can support your teaching, but that ultimately it is your responsibility to teach the lesson and that you would appreciate her taking more of a backseat role when it comes to your instruction. Tell her you hope that you can continue to work together in a more positive and professional manner. Thank her again for her help...
    If that doesn't work, maybe you should go to the title 1 services person who is in charge of aides....I regularly don't advocate going to admin with such issues, but since your P is already aware of what's going on, the aides supervisor may already be aware.

    And I'd weigh any actions you take against whether you're tenured or not.:2cents:
     
  19. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    One suggestion I'd make is something my administrator always says... "Presume positive intentions." It can be hard to do, when it sounds like you really don't like this person, but odds are she is not trying to deliberately undermine you or your authority, but instead trying to do what she things is best. When she jumps in to help with a lesson or offers you a resource, that could be an opportunity for introspection... "Was there something going wrong with the lesson at that moment? Was my explanation unclear? Did my aide notice something on a student's face that I did not see?"

    I certainly agree that firm boundaries need to be set, and you need to sit down and talk with her, but you also should consider things from her vantage point. Or even come out and ask her. Maybe she's used to taking on a co-teaching style role and thinks she is doing exactly what you expect her to do. Maybe she jumps in because she has a concern about how you're teaching, but doesn't want to come to you directly. I'm not saying she's RIGHT in any of that, but she almost certainly has a reason for everything she is doing.
     
  20. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Feb 22, 2014

    Ugh, I totally could have written this post last year. My aide was a special ed teacher for about 20 years before leaving and then becoming a para. She had been with about 10 different teachers before me. Every single day, after every single lesson, all I got were comments like "Oh when Ms. so and so taught this, she did this amazing lesson" and "when I was a teacher, I did this and this and this". It was exhausting. She would actually stop me during read alouds or lessons to say "Oh Ms. Preschool, shouldn't you tell the students that x and x are rhyming words?" or "I think we all would have learned more if you would have brought an example in for us today". By the end of the year, I would be lesson planning at home and be so stressed because I had to make sure I planned something spectacular so she wouldn't say anything.

    Long story short..I begged my admin to place her in another classroom this year. They said they would, but the first day of school, she walked into my classroom. We ended up having a long talk and I told her that I work very hard and that I'm never going to do anything like she would do it or like another teacher does it. I actually wrote out a contract (at the suggest of my mentor teacher last year) and listed my responsibilities and her responsibilities and we both signed it. I made sure to give her things that I know she enjoys doing, and every now and then i'll ask her if she has any ideas or materials for an upcoming unit. Occasionally she'll say the occasional thing about how another teacher used to do something, but I just shrug it off. It's a lot better this year. Now, she's never impersonated me, and I'm not sure if I could get over that or not. I almost feel like that's something that should have warranted her being asked to leave.
     
  21. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Feb 22, 2014

    1. Be upfront about your concerns and hope she's professional enough to listen. Things can get better or it can get worst if she resented your opinion.

    2. Be passive aggressive. She'll eventually drive you nuts where you'll do things knowingly or unknowingly that shows your frustration. Maybe even go to her supervisor and push for a replacement. If her supervisor grants that, then it'll be pretty obvious to her you requested it.


    Tough in either situation, But the status quo doesn't change anything now does it?
     
  22. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Feb 23, 2014

    Even if she isn't assigned/hired by your principal, if you're expressing these problems to the principal I think they're significant enough that a good administrator would intervene on your behalf, but first talking to the aide and if that doesn't work, talking to her supervisor. Yes, it seems like there are some politics involved but your principal's #1 concern should be that you are able to do your job to the best of your ability. If you've made things clear to the aide and there's no change, and you've made things clear to your admins and there's no change then I would seriously consider looking for another job. Will you definitely get this aide again next year?
     
  23. bora

    bora Rookie

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    I felt the same once, even worse. I used to work in a private childcare/preschool where I was toddler's lead teacher. I was much older than my T.A and she didn't have college education at all. I had a BS degree and another Bachelor's Degree from my country. I had more working experience with kids. I was also a mother of two little kids and still she would criticize my work, "Don't do this ... Why you do it now, e blahblah. " I felt like I was the T. A in the classroom and I couldn't do anything without her "approval". :eek:hmy:
    Nobody liked this T.A anyway. Nobody wanted to work with her because of her attitude. Since I never complained about anybody, and according to other teachers I was nice to anybody, I got "stuck" with her. I didn't even discussed her attitude with our director( I loved our director. She was the reason why I stayed there for years.) because I didn't get the support I was expecting from other teachers. They just didn't care, so I had no choice but to go her way, their way hoping to find another job soon. :(
    Now I work as a sub.
     
  24. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Feb 23, 2014

    That would drive me nuts. I have never had major issues with TAs as a certified teacher. I did occasionally as a sub but I just shrugged that off.
     
  25. Greetwlove

    Greetwlove Rookie

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    Feb 25, 2014

    Yeah, go Mob Wives on her and have a sit down and "splain in terms she can understand"
     
  26. Greetwlove

    Greetwlove Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2014

    Previous remark really silly, because most aides I run into lately are really dedicated to the students and really go the extra mile to help both. However, I have run into a few that do get that take over mentality. I'm certified to teach ELAR and Special Ed and I know one of the most difficult things will be to manage classroom assistants...especially if there are power/control issues. Not something I am looking forward to.
     
  27. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Mar 4, 2014

    OMG I feel your pain. I don't have an aide, but I am only 23 so I'm one of the youngest teachers on my campus...and boy do they let me know it.
     

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