I am a certified teacher with her Masters, with 5 endorsements to my name. I graduated magna cum laude, received perfect scores on a couple of my Praxis tests, and think of myself as fairly easy-going and flexible. I have been looking for a teaching job for 6 years now (cannot move due to family/husband) and know that age is not helping me. (I am in my early 40's). I have been working as a f/t para in a high school for 2 years now. I do whatever is asked of me, and often volunteer for activities/events etc. I even have excellent reviews. So why does it feel like paras get no respect? Last week, the National Honor Society students held a "Teacher Breakfast" for teachers only. Paras were not invited, and if you accidentally went over there, teachers/students would remind you that this was for "teachers only". Last month, some parents bought pizza for all the teachers (it was in the mutual staff room). When I went over there, teachers reminded me that it was for "teachers only". Many teachers in my school won't even talk to paras in the lunchroom. I do not have a choice, because since I do not have my own room, I have to eat there. I know teachers work hard, but why do we have to made to feel like we are inferior? Students pick up on this and will treat us just as poorly (You are not a teacher so I don't have to listen to you, etc.) Sorry - I am just venting here.