New Para That Makes Excuses

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by kteachone, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

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    Dec 5, 2011

    My last para has been gone for about a month--she found a teaching position. My new para was a data clerk has no experience with Pre-K.

    The kids will not listen to her, at all, and when I try to give her suggestions or talk about it, she makes excuse after excuse--saying the kids just don't behave, which is partially true. I have a very unique class this year and they are a handful. I need someone who will stay on top of them and make sure they are being safe (she hasn't been very observant, especially on the playground). I hate to go to my director, and was hoping that someone has some advice on how to respectfully approach the situation before I talk to anyone else in management.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 5, 2011

    Have a meeting with her. Outline with her exactly what the expectations and responsibilities of her job are. Acknowledge that this class is challenging but that you are counting on her to be a team player in helping to make it a successful year.
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Dec 5, 2011

    It sounds like she doesn't know what is expected of her and needs support in learning strategies that are effective.
     
  5. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

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    Dec 7, 2011

    Before she started, I gave her a detailed schedule of our day and what is expected of her at each point in the day, and she has that printed and with her all the time. Those expectations have not changed. When she is running a small group, I make sure she knows what needs to get done and how it should go.

    I talk to her constantly about what she should do/how things should be accomplished, and I get, "Well I tried, but...well we were but...It's not for lack of trying..." Meanwhile I'm going insane and I can't leave her alone with even a group of 10 without disaster happening.
     
  6. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Dec 7, 2011

    Is there a way she can observe another class with another Para? Maybe it is she never done anything like this before and really don't know what is expected. Sometimes people have to see something in action and how it works and not just something written on paper. Maybe even videos of how preschool classrooms work. You can tell her, You see that she is struggling with this and thought maybe seeing another Para in action may help or give her suggestions on what to do.
     
  7. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 7, 2011

    I like this idea because then she would be watching and learning strategies from a peer, which might make her more open to suggestions the other para has.

    It sounds like she has no classroom management skills, which is understandable since she hasn't worked in this area before. Then she is thrown into the fire and starts with a group that needs a lot of management. She is probably feeling overwhelmed by it all and her response is to say "Well, I tried, but they wouldn't listen." That puts the blame on the kiddos rather than her lack of skills. It seems like she is defensive about her inability to control the kids. I'm sure she thought a group of Pre-K kids wouldn't be that hard to handle.

    You did provide her with a list of duties and expectations before she took the job and you are reminding her of those duties at different times during the day, but you have to remember that - from her perspective - that's a little bit like the coach telling a back-up quarterback "Remember, don't let the other team sack you for a loss" right before sending him in on a critical play against a team that is a lot better and more aggressive than any he has faced before. He knows the goal is to NOT get sacked, but when the defense rushes him from all sides, it's hard to keep a cool head and find a way to avoid it.

    It might be best if you could sit down with her one afternoon after the kids are gone. Let her know you understand the struggles she is having and that, to a certain degree, that is expected since she is new to the classroom and she is starting with a class that would challenge someone that was experienced. She does need to be a team player, but she might need to hear that you are a team player too and you are there to help her when she struggles.

    Just like with your kiddos, try to find the positive things she is doing first and compliment her on that, then offer suggestions on how you and she can work together to improve some of her classroom management skills.
     

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