para pro problems

Discussion in 'General Education' started by readwithme, May 26, 2019.

  1. readwithme

    readwithme Rookie

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    I existing para pro was moved into my classroom. She likes recognition and places herself in the limelight. She likes to be the first to tell new information. She also will bring and carry a tale. She will give academic information to parents without my approval. I have felt for a few weeks that she may be causing problems for me. I recently had this confirmed. Seems the para has talked negatively to other teachers a new VP and even my coworker. (Same position higher grades. ) I have confronted her about two lies earlier in the year. I have not confronted her about the new gossip which is unfounded. I have been at the school for 2 years. I love my position and do not want to lose this position over untrue gossip. Should I contact my union rep or is there a way to dispel harmful gossip among women in a school situation?

    I just want to add. Parapro has some college but no degree and wants to move to the new school with the VP and become a reading specialist. She thinks she will be able to do this without any classroom teaching.
     
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  3. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    As a Parapro going on 20 years, I’d never give academic information to parents. Is she emailing them or calling them on the phone? Because if so that is totally out of our job description!
    As for the gossip and lies, have you spoken to an admin adbout it? I wouldn’t go above their heads yet unless nothing is being resolved.
    I’m currently working with an assistant who is in a math classroom with a first year teacher. The assistant is a math major yet the teacher is unwilling to allow her input in the classroom with the students. I can see your case is different but a lot of times newer teachers just see us as an extra body in the classroom and are unaware of our experience.
    And on your final comment - there is NO way she can be reading specialist without a college degree.
    Hope this helps some.
     
  4. readwithme

    readwithme Rookie

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    Part of her duty is parent pickup. So she talks to the parents there. She also talked to one parent at the grocery store. This person is still learning and because she wants to become a teacher one day I have tried to explain procedures and whys behind reading more than I normally would.

    Last week she refused to do a simple evaluation that is part of her job because she decided it was too hard for the student. I had the student complete one portion to show her. He missed one word out of about 20 and she justified her refusal by one mistake. The child is allowed 11 to pass the task.
     
  5. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    May 26, 2019

    You need a teaching cert to be a reading specialist so that's not going to happen.
     
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  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    May 26, 2019

    :yeahthat:

    And she thinks she can be a reading specialist with minimal training and no degree?! Lol.

    I chuckled on that one.
     
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  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 26, 2019

    How many days of school do you have left? (I have 19 but I know many here have way less...) anyhow, with school winding down, i wouldn’t do too much about this. Minimize her support role and knowledge of kids’ progress... I’d give her ‘busy work’- take down bulletin boards, copy things, organize shelves, etc. IMO, she shouldn’t be giving assessments. Keep grading and student progress info out of her hands. And ask for a new para experience for next year.
     
  8. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    Is she with you all day ?
    I’d check before giving her “ busy work” because that may not be in her job description. I know my admin strongly frowns on us doing anything like that - even no copy making.
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    19 days?! You deserve to be on summer break now!
     
  10. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    May 26, 2019

    Summer starts June 21, which is my first day of summer break as well. I'm not sure why we'd start summer break in the spring.

    Edit: Oops, sorry, I thought this was on the 'when does summer start?" thread. Don't want to derail this. I would make sure you don't have this para working in your room next year, if possible.
     
  11. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    I have 19 more days too. Last day of school is June 21 ( but then again we start after Labor Day )
     
  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    :(
     
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  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Me as well. Its all good. You can hang in there with the para for 19 days. Request a ‘different experience’ for next year.
     
  14. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Clearly she knows someone who knows someone. I wouldn’t put it past them to put her in a position with the understanding that she needs to complete XYZ and so many hours by the end of the semester. Stranger things have happened.
     
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    This is nepotism and completely inappropriate. I’d understand if she applied as an intern and was already in the process of completing her degree and/or certification requirements, but this kind of thing just further dilutes the profession when unqualified people are getting hired into positions they have no business getting hired in to.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There’s no evidence that the para has been put into a position for which she is unqualified. Just seems to be in the para’s head and an annoyance to the OP
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Quoting the OP, “Parapro has some college but no degree and wants to move to the new school with the VP and become a reading specialist. She thinks she will be able to do this without any classroom teaching.” I’m giving OP the benefit of the doubt here, so assuming this is true, if said individual were to put into this position, she absolutely would be unqualified and it would provide the necessary evidence for what I stated previously.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wouldnt be the first time someone over-estimated their connections or knowledge if she was turned down. Many teacher-para relationships are not good, bordering on contentious in power battles. This seems like that to me.
     
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  19. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    Many teacher - para relations are not good only because the para is not treated as an equal in the classroom. I’ve been a para for 20 years and I’ve worked with wonderful teachers and I’ve bad teachers. The key to a teacher - para relationship is respect. Usually a para is put in your classroom because they have prior knowledge in that subject and should be used appropriately. This is especially hard for a brand new teacher who hasn’t worked with a para. Many teachers are unaware of our educational background and yes, surprisingly many of us DO have college degrees.
     
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  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Respect is essential. Paras in my experience are placed for support purposes- mostly for aiding classified students. Agreed this is difficult for new teachers who have a para who knows the ins and outs of the district/school..it can be intimidating. It’s a team effort, but there are job roles and expectations that are not equal.
     
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  21. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    We, at least at my school, support many more than just the identified students if need be. Yes I agree that the roles and expectations are different and that’s why we sign co-teaching contracts at the beginning of the school year. Believe it or not, we are a lot more than just an extra body in the classroom.
    Maybe the paras at my school / district do more than what you have seen or experienced.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Collaborative teaching in my district is between two certified teachers. Paras are not co-teachers in my experience, but are a great support in most cases.
    Is the co-teaching para model typical in many areas?
     
  23. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    Some core classes have a certified co-teacher and other have a para but we all sign co-teaching contracts. I’ve helped modify assignments, modify tests, I’ve provided small group instruction, lead review sessions, etc... And in my experience, a lot of the paras I work with do A LOT more than the certified co-teacher does in some classes.
    All I can speak for is the paras at my school and other secondary schools in my county.
     
  24. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    From my experience both with general ed and special ed, a para can do any of those things, but they do it under the supervision of a teacher. In other words, I might have my para lead small groups, but they will do it with materials I've given them, using lessons I've designed, etc. If I have a really good para, I might relinquish some of that control (e.g. give them an objective and let them go), but it takes trust for me to do that because I'm ultimately the one responsible for student outcomes.
     
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  25. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    Noting your key words ... I MIGHT

    And yes the teacher is the one ultimately responsible but when paras work so close with students, sometimes in multiple classes thru out the day, and sometimes for multiple years, WE feel a responsibility as well.
     
  26. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    *shrug*

    If kids don't pass their state test, it makes me look bad, not a para. If a student doesn't meet their IEP goals, I'm asked why, not a para. If a student isn't making sufficient progress, the parents expect answers from me, not from a para. If my students don't meet my annual goal, it reflects on my evaluation, not a para's. It's great that you feel responsibility, but your administrators probably breathe down the teachers' necks a lot more than they do yours.
     
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  27. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    Obviously our schools use and view paras differently.
    And yes, our performance in a classroom IS reflected in our end of year observation. ( as well as our mid year meeting as well). Not only are we evaluated and observed by the teachers we work with but by the sped teacher AND admin multiple times thru out the year. And believe me, we ARE breathed down at, watched under a microscope, blamed for things ( multiple lies from students since the para isn’t their real teacher, etc ... I could go on an on ... )
    So until you can say that you have worked as a para, you have no way of knowing what our day consists of.

    These comments here from teachers are just another reason why paras are the low man on the totem pole at schools and treated with little to no respect. We see and DO a lot more than teachers realize. Many of us have college degrees and have more experience in a classroom than some teachers.
     
  28. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    And your *shrug* comment shows me how you view paras
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Putting teachers in the role as a co-workers supervisor would be an issue for many associations/unions.
     
  30. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    I never said a teacher is put in a role as a paras supervisor. Our supervisor is one of our 3 APs. The AP will get feedback from the core teacher we work with
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Evaluating is a supervisory role.
     

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