First, let me say that I love my job. Which makes it very hard for me to understand why I DON'T love my job! Confusing, I know. I started working last year after my 8th and youngest child started school all day (actually, it was his second year of being in school all day...the first year I waited by the phone for someone to "need" me!). Anyway, it was a no-brainer. I love kids. I love kids with special needs (my youngest has special needs, we'd also been foster parents to children with special needs), I have no degree, the hours would be perfect and insurance came with the job...being a Special Ed. Assistant (Paraprofessional?) would be perfect. I passed the ParaPro with flying colors and got a job pretty quickly. I would be a one-on-one assistant to a high school Junior who just happens to have Down Syndrome. It was difficult at first because all I heard was how this guy didn't "need" a one-on-one. I felt devalued. But, I soon found my niche, I began working with him...compliments were abundant. However, I found that while I loved the teacher I worked with outside of the classroom (on a personal level), I didn't necessarily like her inside the classroom. She was very high-strung, threw fits, had unrealistic expectations and did not teach with love. My standard is based on the type of teacher I would want my own child with special needs to have and she did not meet my standard. This year I was switched to another room with the laid-back, hands-on, teaching with love and guidance teacher that I requested. I am the only female in a room of 13 male teenagers, 4 other assistants and a teacher. I've loved my position. Until...one of the students began having bm's several times a day and I became responsible for some of those changes (there's so much more that is out of the ordinary than just a bm diaper!). I would gag and cry...but, continue to fulfill my responsibilities. But, finally, I decided that I couldn't do it and I would need to find a different position. As much as I hated to leave the other (mild handicapped) boys, this one issue was making me miserable at work and at home. I expressed my desire to find a new job and began looking at my options. I dreaded leaving some of the boys I love so much and I've invested so much time and energy in teaching one boy to read with some good success...but... I had four interviews. I turned the first down right away. The second job had been filled (the person they'd offered the position to a month before finally accepted) by the time I arrived at the interview. The third (with 4th and 5th grade EH) I interviewed for twice trying to make up my mind and in the end, I got scared and turned it down. The fourth sounded perfect for me!! I really wanted that job...but, I never heard back. In the meantime, the teacher in my classroom wrote me an amazingly encouraging letter and said that I'm basically an awesome assistant and he'd rather have me there and NOT change diapers, than to not have me at all. That worked for a week (though, I felt TERRIBLY guilty when I felt like I was getting out of my turn)...but, Monday, when the teacher was out of the room and this boy had to be changed...the other two assistants in the room refused to do it. It had to be done. I did it. But, I can't keep doing it. I have to find a new job...but, I don't want to trade one problem for another. I know I have a lot to offer the right position. The problem is finding the right position. I'd called three different schools that either put me on hold for so long I finally hung up, never called back when I left my number or didn't know who I was supposed to talk to regarding the position. What is the best way to "advertise" myself for a position that will benefit me, my employer AND the students I work with? I would love to work in a position that would help me to decide where I want to work when I finally become a teacher (I start my decade long part-time school career in March)...but, I need to find another position asap. I can't change a grown man's diapers, anymore. I hate admitting it, but I just can't do it.