Para quitting....just a rant

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Preschool0929, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Mar 19, 2017

    My new para this year is FANTASTIC. She's amazing. We get along so well, and even though she didn't have spec.ed. experience when she was hired, she listened and learned. We've even become friends outside of school and our kids play together, we go shopping, etc. She never went to college, and in the beginning of the year her plan was to go back to school to be a teacher while she worked as a para. Well, a few days ago she told me that she interviewed for a position at a daycare and got the job. She said after being in the school system for a few months, teaching isn't what she thought it would be and she doesn't want to go back to school anymore. She also said the position doesn't pay enough and she needs more money for her family.

    I'm so annoyed. I've never had a para quit mid-year and I hate that she can't just finish the year out. We literally only have 40 days of school left. Special Ed. is hard enough without having to teach a whole new person about every student's visual schedules, work systems, behavior charts, etc... not to mention how they will even be able to fill the position with a quality person this close to the end of the year.

    Ugh. Rant over.
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Mar 19, 2017

    This happened to me a few years ago. I think you have to realize that paras are never as committed to the job as teachers are. They just don't have the same responsibilities as teachers do, and they aren't being compensated at the same level. They don't see their jobs as being as "important" as teachers' jobs. While education is a career for most teachers, it's often just a job to paras. Finishing out the year just isn't a priority for someone in that position, as much as we'd like it to be.

    That said, rant away.

    Working with and depending on paras is tough, especially when they don't place the same value on their positions as we do. It's honestly one of the top three reasons I left sped.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  4. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Agreed. It's just funny because when I sat in on para interviews with my principal, she was the only candidate that was not a recent college grad looking for a teaching position. I chose her because I knew that the others would leave as soon as they were offered a full time teaching position, but she seemed in it for the long-haul.

    She's also the only para I've ever had who hasn't went "above and beyond" necessarily. She doesn't come in early, and doesn't stay a minute past her required time. I don't mind at all, but it's always been that my other paras asked what needed to be done after school, came in as early as I did to help get things ready, took things home to help me out, etc..

    Our district has had a huge sub shortage this year, and the rare times that we get subs they are....,not very helpful. I'm afraid one of those people will end up being hired to finish the year.
     
  5. Committed2DaProfession

    Committed2DaProfession Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2017

    I teach 8th grade History, and my T.A. did the same thing. Our campus is in chaos and she went to smaller district not too far away. She was never really in my class that much anyway, but it's still sad to see her go.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Mar 19, 2017

    It will be sad to see your para go, especially since you have become friends outside of the classroom. I know that our educational assistants make not much more than minimum wage, so it can sometimes be tough making ends meet. Perhaps, by taking this job now, she isn't going to have to face the summer of having no income. I'm sure she isn't intentionally thinking of leaving you high and dry. The end of the year may be a challenge, but you don't have long to go. We've had tons of turn-over in our Special Ed department this year--retirement, maternity leave, short-term leave, long-term leave, moving classrooms, While there has always been some initial struggle, the staff and students have adapted. Hope they are able to find a good replacement and that you are able to maintain your friendship.
     
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  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 19, 2017

    If you truly have become her friend you should understand and wish her well.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mar 19, 2017

    The same thing happened to me last month. My para had been in the position for about 20 years (I'm in year 4 at this school) and decided to retire at the end of February. She's had rough years; sometimes when we get a really high needs student that should be in self-contained, she gets pulled from instruction to basically be a 1:1, which she hates. However, that hasn't been the case this year and she had even told me that this year has been one of her easiest. We had a good relationship. I still don't understand why she couldn't stick it out until the end of the year. With breaks there were basically 2.5 months to go when she left. I tried to tell myself that maybe there was some personal issue I didn't know about (even though she was always very open with me about personal things) just to keep myself from being overly angry with her!

    I thought for sure the position would go unfilled, but we actually got four applicants! That's unheard of for a para position, especially one posted mid-year. Two of our really good gen ed paras applied for the position, so I really lucked out. It is frustrating having to train someone in the middle of the year, and having someone brand new to sped means I'm doing a lot more work with plans and things like that then I used to do with my old para, but I'm very thankful that we found someone. I hope it works out for you too!
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    It's probably best to assume that any para is going to hop for a better paying job if one opens up.
     
  10. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    True. It's just unique in my department. My district is the largest & highest paying the the state, so usually everyone wants to work here. The other preschool spec ed teams across the district have been together for years, so typically the paras don't leave. But I can't blame her for leaving for better pay :)
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    In my school a lot of teaching aides float so some days I don't get the same one in my classroom that I had the day before. I have to constantly retrain people and show them where things are located, etc. I can't fault that woman for leaving mid year and moving on to greener pastures since I'm assuming as a TA she didn't have a contract like teachers do. As you said, there's only 40 days of school left.
     
  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  13. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    I totally understand. In this situation, I didn't get to chose the candidates, my principal did. I just got to help with the interviews. Preschool special ed. para positions almost never open up in my district because the teams almost always stay together for so long. Although I totally understand new teachers wanting to get a "foot in the door", I also don't want my classroom to be a stepping stone for others. I teach a highly structured class for children with severe needs, so consistency is super important since I have a student for multiple years.

    Anyways....aside from that, I totally understand where you are coming from. It's not fun to feel completely qualified for a position and then not get it.
     
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  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    One of the teachers at my school is retiring before the year is up. She met with the district retirement people and was told that for every day she works after a particular date, she actually loses money on her retirement. If I understood correctly, the money lost is not the monthly bit but on what her beneficiaries will receive after she dies. She wanted to stick out the year, but it made better financial sense for her to quit on a particular date in the middle of the year.
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Mar 31, 2017

    I personally wouldn't blame paras for not staying late. Their job is to support students during the day. I think all of the paras at the school I sub in are amazing. They are really great with the students, especially special needs students during the day and step up when the teacher isn't absent. But they all bring their bags and walk out with the students because for the salary they make, they really shouldn't be doing anything after school. Also, it is frustrating that she is leaving mid year but I would wish her well. She does not make a lot of money and could most likely use the salary increase.
     
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