Para Woes

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teresaglass, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Jun 16, 2007

    I love my job as a TA. Part of my job is to help my students do science, social studeis , and helath in regular 5th grade classes.
    Unfortunately, I have problems with one boy. He ignores everything I say and when other staff repeat the directions that I give him he will follow them. Usually I have put up with this except the science teacher gets angry if I cannot discipline him. He will not listen to me in the science class and she gets angry if she has to give him instructions. I have told our special education class teacher about this and she says that I have to put up with it as this boy treats all new staff this way. If he gets to out of control I have to call administration which fortunately I have had to do only once. The other day we had a 5th grade assembly and this boy started talking. The science teacher asked regular kids to get up and stand at the back. When this boy acted up she ran over to me and demanded very harshly that I ask the student to get up and stand at the back. I went to the student and nicely asked him to get up and stand. He simply turned his back to me. I went over to another teacher and asked her to make the same request to this student. He complied with her request. I almost wanted to smack the kid. Then he started fidgeting after he was standing. The science teacher came up to me in front of everyone and demanded in a harsh voice "Isn't it your job that to stand next to that boy?" I told her no that standing next to him would only make things worse. She left in a huff. I was very humiliated at that assembly. I am not this kid's one -on-one aide. What am I supposed to do as an aide if a student does not follow my directions and the staff in the classroom makes excuses for the kid? It makes my job difficult. I also do not think that my job requires that I be embarassed in front of the staff. I know most of the other TAs would be livid if this happened to them. Terry G.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 17, 2007

    This is such a difficult situation, and I'm not sure that I have an answer for you, but maybe an explanation of the student's behaviour. I teach grade 4-8 students with Learning Disabilities, and have seen similar behaviour in some of my students towards my Educational Assistant. He is, perhaps, getting to that age where he is very sensitive to his differences and is embarassed by what he perceives as being "centred out". Ignoring you may be his attempt to be "like everyone else", by refusing special assistance he is hoping it will go away. I'm a little concerned with the attitude of the Science teacher, who doesn't feel that he should be giving instructions to the student. (Why would he ask all of the students except this particular one to go to the back?) In my opinion, when my students are in the classroom, they are part of the class and the teacher deals with all of the students. The Educational Assistant, if she is in the classroom, is there to offer academic support, to further explain directions, to help with reading, etc.; as you said, she is not a one-on-one aide. It sounds as though there needs to be a meeting with all teachers involved to clarify your role.

    Good luck!
     
  4. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 17, 2007

    It needs to be put in his IEP that he follows directions given by the classroom teacher best and they should tell him what to do.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Good point, hescollin!
     
  6. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Jun 17, 2007

    Thanks for your help. I know our special education teacher understands this but the science teacher does not. Hopefully it will be put in his IEP. Terry G.
     
  7. hdmeza

    hdmeza Companion

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    Jun 18, 2007

    Speaking from an almost Special Education Teacher, and a past Aide (as resource and one on one, as well as life skills) I am appalled by the attitude of the science teacher. That child is not in your classroom, he is in the general ed classroom, and therefor unless specifically written into the IEP he is under the direction of the teacher.

    As far as the teachers behavior toward you, I would address the Spec Ed teacher and ask him/her to join a meeting with you and the science teacher to clearly define teacher- student, teacher-aide, and aide- student interactions (including the type and amount of communication the teacher should be having with you)

    I know that sounds severe, but no one should be demeened, you or the student, and that is aclear way to set boundaries. If the teacher then violates those bounbaries inform your Sped Ed teacher that you will be speaking with the school administration.

    I am sorry that you have had to endure that behavior from the teacher and clearly that teacher needs some guidance on how to properly utilize the TA's in his/ her classroom.

    Heather
     
  8. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Jun 18, 2007

    Heather thank you for your great advice. Terry G.
     
  9. Sterlingrio

    Sterlingrio Rookie

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    Jul 4, 2007

    Yeah, I agree the reg. ed teachers should give him the instruction in the first place, and should be the first to correct his behavior in the first place.

    I'm half suspecting though that the TA is there to assist in behavior mod for this student-- thus just reinforcing that the teacher gives the first corrections First.

    I wonder what the consequence is for the student not complying with adult directives? I do know and can feel that the TA, trying to do her job to get the student to "work" may have felt undeminded by the teacher in both situations--- so maybe the IEP team also needs to develop some type of behavioral consequence for the student not complying with adult directives... face it-- when the child goes out into the real world, and he's about to do something stupid or illegal he's the type of kid that's likely to say--- I don't have to listen to you- you're not the police, and if the police don't find out I can do what ever I want.

    Not to be negative-- but reality-- poor kid. I stay away from teaching students with ED and BD, ironically it's one of my certification areas, and generally why I get interviews for jobs. I only picked up the certification because it was a matter of taking 1 extra class and knowing behavior management strategies and learning required a lot of knowledge in psychology and it helps with students with cognitive disabilties who have inappropriate behaviors at times as well, also I find my background knowledge useful in helping children with Autism too- ABA?
     
  10. Chocolate_N._O.

    Chocolate_N._O. Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2007

    My management skill... realizing that I am in charge. Send him to the admin everytime if you have to. Kids don't tell me no more than once. and that would make no difference whehter I was a para or a teacher, or a custodian, lunchroom lady, whatever.
     
  11. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jul 8, 2007

    I don't think a Para or TA should go into a classroom and take that complete control. It is the teacher's classroom. Paras and TA are there to glorify the teacher and work under her/him as the leader.

    I feel that sending a student to the admin.is a last resort. We should work to resolve problems on the spot. In this case the student will listen to the classroom teacher, so that seems to me to be the logical path and less stressful for everybody.

    I agree this is a very friendly site. We all need support and words of encouragement.
     
  12. Chocolate_N._O.

    Chocolate_N._O. Rookie

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    I didn't say they should take over, but if/when a request is made of a kid, it is to be followed, period
     
  13. hdmeza

    hdmeza Companion

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    Jul 8, 2007

    I have never been in a school where the papa has the authority to send a child to the office.

    I will just say that good leaders know they do not have every answer, that not all children are the same, they do not rule with an iron fist, and they know when it is appropriate to ask for help. Good leaders also support their peers, and are no condesending. As a teacher, if my paras ever "demanded" complete compliance from a child, I would be dissapointed in the para, and if my para never had any questions or needed help with a behavior, or to the contrary needed so much help that they tried to have the student sent to the office constantly, I wuld petition not to renew the para, they are either to good (lol) for the jod, or know absolutely nothing.

    Please feel free to be a CONSTRUCTIVE part of our community.
     
  14. YBOW

    YBOW New Member

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    Jul 14, 2007

    Don't give up

    I am a special education teacher and you have not seen or dealt with the kids I have dealt with. I know how fustrating it may fell for you. You need to pull this chlid aside and talk to him. Let him know that you care about him and the only reason why you tell him to do things is because you care. Let him know that no matter what you will not give up on him. Let him know that you know he is trying to see how far he can take you and that you care too much about him to allow himself to do what ever he chooses. discuss the importance of folling rules. Use fictional or real examples from your life. Make an agrreement with him. If he promises to lissten he will earn things. This child proobably does not have a lot of rules in his household. Shake his hand and let him know this will be agood year and its going to work out. Give him a pencl with a smile or etc and say this is to start you out because you can be anything you want to be I believe in you. Always be welcoming when he comes to the class . Ask how was your night or weekend. You will see changes in the worst of students
     

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