SPED PARA PRO! please help!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by imissjerryg, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    Hi there. I am new to these forums so before I post, I will formally introduce myself. I'm not going to use my name or where I am from just to remain anonymous in case someone I work with is reading this. I am a paraprofessional in a moderate to severe needs high school special education room. This is a center based program. I am also a graduate student and am one semester away from my masters in teaching special education. Here is my dilemma...
    So, I have been working as a para-pro in this classroom since August but worked as a para-pro in the same building during the last school year. I learned a lot my first year and was given great tools and resources to use. I loved my teachers I worked with and they had nothing but respect for me. We were equals in their eyes. This year, I am in a different classroom with a different teacher. Everything started out great. The teacher is only 2 years older than I am (I am 28) and has been teaching special education for 5 years. She seems somewhat jaded to put it rather nicely but I just figured maybe she was having a bad week when this negativity first arose. I am one of three para-pros in the room with no more than 12 kids on an average day. That is four adults for 12 kids. Seems ok right? Now it is February. The teacher has not been in the classroom for an entire day since probably around November. She is always in a different room doing "paperwork". Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't paperwork supposed to be done during some other time and not during instruction time? We, the three paras, are left to our own devices with the students and must come up with lesson plans, instruction, and activities. This is illegal I found out today. In order for the IEP to be in compliance, the teacher MUST be the one doing the direct instruction for the whole class. Now, para-pros can do small group instruction or one-on-one tutoring BUT they must be under DIRECT supervision of the teacher. This RARELY happens. The teacher is never in the room. Ever. She complained at the beginning of the year because, unlike most teachers, she doesn't get a planning period. Well, neither do we! We are literally with the kids all day long without a teacher present for most of the day. In the afternoons when the kids go to electives, we take them. The teacher? Who knows what she is doing during these times... Probably more "paperwork". Now, I really do not want to get into a conflict with this teacher at all. If I ever stand up to her or do something against her will, she reprimands me in front of the kids, the other para-pros, and whoever else is around. It's really embarrassing and totally unprofessional. I'm starting to think this teacher is just burnt out but if that is the case, she needs to get the hell out of the classroom because she is doing more damage than good. I'm sick and tired of being overworked; on some days, I don't even get to take my full hour break! I am starting to get burnt out myself because I am with the same kids for every hour of every day and to be honest, quite a few of them have behavior issues. I don't know what to do and I'm at the end of my rope. PLEASE HELP!
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Tell the principal or whoever will listen now.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Take the situation to a superior. All of you should make an app to speak with the P. Don't go in whining, just explain what is going on.
     
  5. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    Swansong: The other paras have not expressed any type of concern regarding this issue nor do they seem to have an issue with what is going on. I'm concerned to go to the principal because it looks like I am the only one with the problem.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Have you requested a meeting with the teacher? I would start there first. Have a conversation, not a confrontation. There may be things going on in her position that you are not privy to. Ask for a clarification of roles. If, after that, you are still concerned, request a meeting with a supervisor.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    First things first, I'd have a blunt conversation with this teacher. You're paid by the hour. She isn't. Anything you're being expected to do outside the time you are being paid is an unreasonable expectation.
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    While it may not be right, I don't think your situation is totally out of the ordinary. Many sped teachers are bogged down by paperwork and meetings and have to rely on their paras to ensure instruction continues. It's really inappropriate that the teacher is "never" in the room, but I wouldn't be as surprised if you had just said that she is out a lot. I'm out of my room a lot too, and it's not by choice. My admin expects me to do a lot of things on top of my teaching responsibilities, and many of those things have to be done during the day while students are present. My admin expects that my paras will take over my class while I'm doing those things. And, keep in mind that this may be where your teacher's negativity stems from. I've been very negative lately because I'm tired of doing all that other stuff. I just want to teach. But I can't, and I have to leave my paras to do it because that is what the other job responsibilities require. It's the primary reason I plan to leave sped after this year.

    I understand your frustration, but as another poster suggested, you may just not be privy to the demands that the admins are placing on your teacher. While I share a lot with my paras, I certainly don't share everything. She may very well want to be in the room teaching and directing you, but she may not be able to be there due to decisions made by those higher up. Unless you are totally sure that she is just being lazy, I would let it go. Now, if you're not getting your break, you should definitely bring that up to the admin, but I wouldn't worry about what the teacher is or isn't doing when she is not in the room.
     
  9. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    These are valid points, but I read that the teacher leaves the lesson planning up to the paras. This is taking advantage, IMO.
     
  10. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    If those decisions are being made by the higher ups, if I was in her shoes, I would go to the district. Special educators are NOT there to just do paperwork and it is highly illegal for a para to be instructing lessons without teacher supervision. I am getting my masters in special education so all of the laws are quite fresh on my mind. Even if she is required to be out of the room because of admins, she should bring up the fact that it is illegal for her to be out of the room and perhaps even mention that parents are getting concerned, even if they aren't. If she really wanted to be in the room, I think she would find time to do just that. Paperwork CAN be done after school and on the weekends; every one who is getting into the field of education has to devote time to after school and weekend work. If you don't want to "work" on the weekends or after school, get a regular 9-5 job. Sorry to be blunt but that's how I feel. This whole thing is illegal ILLEGAL ILLEGAL and that's my concern. The kids aren't getting hours from the IEP met (because in order for their hours to be met, it must be a teacher doing instruction or at least supervising). Paras are NOT supposed to be alone in a classroom for 3-4 hours while the teacher does paperwork. When I'm actually a teacher, I either won't teach in a district that does this or I will take it to the even higher higher ups. These kids need advocates and apparently the employees do too.
     
  11. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    I'm not expected to do anything outside of the hours. That wasn't really the point of my thread.
     
  12. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    She bluntly told me today her "job isn't to teach; it's to do paperwork" so I'm not sure if she is aware of what the roles are... because apparently I'm the teacher and she is a secretary.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    If you aren't getting your mandated break, and if you're writing lesson plans, then you're working outside your contract hours.

    Regardless, you need to talk to the teacher. You are clearly being given responsibilities that are beyond what you should be expected to do, and you need to find out if that is because of her, or because of administration. It might help just to sit down with her to hammer out exactly what your role is. She doesn't need to share her schedule with you, but she does need to be directing you.
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I also suggest you speak with the teacher. I expect you are basing your opinions on your perception of what is happening. Which may very well be radically different than what really is happening.
     
  15. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    That's the thing; I'm not actually writing these lesson plans but am having to come up with things to do on the spur of the moment. She told me that she once heard the best teachers can come up with great lesson plans in less than five minutes. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I kind of feel that my role in the classroom has be defined by her. This role includes instructing, planning, assisting, etc. I don't know what good it would do to talk to her about my role when she has asked me several times to do lesson plans and instruct the students. I guess I'm not understanding the point of asking her my role?
     
  16. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    My opinions? I am telling you facts. Concrete facts. The teacher is out of the room for anywhere from 3-6 hours per day, nearly every day. There are three paras left in the room who are left to do the lesson planning, instruction, and intervention. These are not opinions.
     
  17. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    Additional info...

    While the other paras do work hard, one of them continues to have our transition age students do the same math worksheets over and over again. She just keeps printing off more and more copies. Several students have even told me that they did the same worksheet last week. So there is not even any training really on what we are supposed to be teaching. I have a pretty good idea of what should be happening because, as I said, I am in grad school for SPED. The other para is the girl's basketball coach and has been extremely busy doing basketball stuff on the computer during work hours. It is so disheartening to watch what is going on in this classroom and I feel helpless to stop it, especially if everyone else is A-OK with what is going on.
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I'd ask her about your role because you as a para-professional should not be doing lesson plans. You should be implementing lesson plans somebody else has written for you (or at least following activities someone has told you). I had a summer program three years ago where I had 9 kids and two IAs... I never would have expected either of them to write lesson plans or come up with activities on the spur of the moment. What I would do is just tell them ideas, or say, "I'd like you to do A, B, and C," rather than writing full lesson plans, but there was still never a time where they were without guidance.

    As for good teachers writing lesson plans in less than five minutes... I'll have to disagree with that. Writing objectives, coming up with activities, designing appropriate questions, planning assessment, etc... even when I'm taking a lesson word for word from a previous year, I still spend more than five minutes with it!
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    How is administration unaware of this situation?
     
  20. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    Cool thanks for the advice! I'm totally fine with having a little bit of freedom as far as ways to implement lesson plans. Some kids will need differentiation and I'm not really expecting her to do that. I just feel overwhelmed a lot of the time since I'm not getting paid to do lesson plans after work. If I was getting paid more, I would most definitely spend time outside of work coming up with material. Should I just request an informal meeting or just say "Hey, I've been thinking about it and I want to know exactly what kind of material I should be presenting?" She has a lot of old lesson plans and workbooks but I am unsure of how to approach my own role I guess. Plus, our classroom is comprised of kids with extremely different abilities. We have a kid who is blind and autistic (and we have no resources for him other than a vision specialist who sees him three days a week for around an hour each time), a kid who is autistic and seems to be really smart but doesn't understand context, a kid who is autistic and has a severe speech impediment, several kids who have learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disabilities (they cannot read above around a 1st or 2nd grade level), a kid with Down Syndrome who cannot spell his first name without help, and a kid with multiple disabilities who has accidents almost daily (but does not wear diapers so we have to take him to shower every time he has an accident; he also has to have a clean change of clothes at all times). I work in a very underprivileged district with a population that is 99% free and reduced lunch. We have very little resources and little to no parental involvement (which, sadly, may be why there are very loose guidelines being followed). This school is in turnaround status and some of the kids attend one of the schools that is now taking over and some of the other kids attend the school that is shutting down in a year. It is a really hard position but ultimately I want what is best for the kids. Always. Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate all the help and advice I can get.
     
  21. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    Our administration seems to care little, if at all, about special ed. Since this school is a turnaround school, all they are concerned about is general ed and test scores, test scores, test scores. Sad truth.
     
  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Just gonna throw out a few more thoughts here....

    For me, it IS the higher, higher ups mandating many these additional responsibilities. It's not only the building-level admins. They just tend to exacerbate the problem. Perhaps your teacher is in a similar predicament.

    Also, I'm sure the sped teacher is also aware of the laws. She may feel powerless to make any change, assuming the directives have come from those above her. Believe me when I tell you that going to your admin and complaining that you can't teach what is in the IEP because of everything else you're being asked to do or a lack of resources does not always work out in the favor of you or your students. Sometimes it only serves to make you look bad.

    Yes, paperwork can and is done outside of school hours. That doesn't mean that things like observations, meetings, and various other related tasks can be completed at those times. And, sometimes there is a strict deadline.

    It may be illegal, but it happens. It's just part of working in sped. Maybe your teacher is taking advantage slightly more than she should (maybe - we can't know for sure), but I'd hate for you or anyone planning to be a sped teacher to think that you are truly able to have the classroom function as it should be all the time, every day. There is a reason that there is such a high turnover in sped.

    I don't mean to discourage you... because we need more people who can put up with all the bs and not get burnt out. Hopefully you can overcome all of the issues that so many of us face. I know I can't. It's why I can't do this job anymore. My sped co-workers aren't like us though. I keep wondering why they can stomach this job and I can't.... It's partially because I have a much larger, more challenging caseload. But it's also because I care too much. I want to do what's right for kids and be in my classroom. They're content with having their paras to do the teaching while they attend meetings and do paperwork. That's not to say they never teach... because they do. But they've accepted that being a sped teacher means that you have to often let others do the teaching. I can't get there. Hopefully you can either get there or find a school without such issues.
     
  23. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    One last thing... When you say that the students are moderate to severe, I'm not really sure what that means, as the definition tends to vary from district-to-district and state-to-state. However, from my experience, when working with students with moderate to severe disabilities (and sometimes even mild disabilities), "lesson plans" don't look the same way they do in a regular classroom. It's often creating new center activities/games or following the same routine as every other day, just with different materials. Because the instruction is so individualized, you don't usually do a lesson the way a lesson looks in a regular classroom. So, I guess I'm not seeing why you are needing to write lesson plans... but, again, I don't really know what your classroom is like.

    I can say though that I write lesson plans for my paras to follow only in the sense that I give them a skill to work on and some materials to teach it. I don't give them extensive details on how to teach it, and I give them freedom (and minimal prep time) to bring in their own materials and incorporate their own ideas. I monitor them periodically to ensure that they are in track, but I don't hover or micro-manage what they do. The reason for this is that I trust them. They've proven themselves capable, and they want the freedom. If I didn't give them some room to plan their own activities/lessons, they'd be out the door quickly. Is it possible that your teacher sees in you what I see in my paras? Someone who will make a successful educator in the future, knows what she is doing, and has the students' best interests in mind. Maybe she is giving you some autonomy for this reason?
     
  24. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    Bella, I think you are reading a bit into my post and sort of assuming things based on your own experiences. I am strictly talking paperwork; not meetings, not observations, not other various tasks. Paperwork and paperwork mostly. The teacher is doing her IEPs during instruction time; the special educators I worked with last year and everything I have learned in my classes has taught me that sometimes you have to bite the bullet and finish your IEPs on the weekends or evenings. I have never seen the teacher do an observations so I know it's not that. She has 12 kids on her caseload and no more than that. The SPED teacher I worked with last year has 25 kids on her caseload and is having to teach a general education mathematics class. She is always in her class, always is the one to do the lesson plans, and always is the one instructing. I don't think this is an issue of way too many things going on at once. I know how thin special educators are spread; this does not seem to be the main issue. I'm certainly not asking for the classroom to function perfectly all of the time; this is one of the reasons I chose to pursue this profession. I like randomness and spontaneity and believe it or not, I sometimes embrace chaos. However, I do not enjoy getting paid $20,000 a year (at most) and being expected to be a teacher. If I was getting paid the special education salary in my state (pretty much double what I make now) it would be a different story. Like I said, I worked with three special educators last semester and although they did at times have to attend meetings during class time, they were the ones in the classroom doing the instruction 95% of the time. Perhaps this is because they actually did their paperwork at night/on weekends instead of during instruction time. The teacher I am working with now is not running around the building trying to meet with people when she isn't in the room; she is in another room, on her laptop, doing paperwork (all stuff that can be done at other times and not when the kids are there).
    And no, our lesson plans are not SUPPOSED to look the same but we are doing things that are ridiculous for our kids, per the request of the teacher (the one thing she did tell me was to do some language arts with them which completely goes over their heads; but, I do what she tells me and try my best to teach these kids grammar and spelling even though I don't think it's important for them). These kids are transition age and should be learning how to function as adults in their life after high school. We do take the kids on "bus trainings" which basically means we go to the store to pick up whatever is needed for the classroom. It is valuable but that doesn't take up most of our time and since it has been so frigidly cold here, we haven't been going out into the community much. The other para in the room does math lessons. Sometimes she does lessons with money which I think is highly valuable for students with disabilities who are in transition. Other times she does worksheet after worksheet with math problems that have little to no value for our kids. I totally wouldn't mind being managed in the way that you manage your paras. I certainly don't want anyone micromanaging me but I need some direction as far as what to teach. Some sort of idea to run with, if you will. Much like what you said you do with your paras. Like I said, I was given a language arts curriculum but it does not fit will with our students at all. Most of them can't even read let alone understand things like grammar or writing essays.
    I think my teacher is just completely burnt out and honestly doesn't care anymore. She said the other day that she is sick of academics (even though we are the ones teaching them) and that she is considering just doing arts and crafts for the rest of the year. She is jaded; perhaps this is why she is pursuing a masters in a different field... I think she plans on getting out of education VERY soon and is just being somewhat selfish at the moment.
    I hope I answered any questions you may have had. I really appreciate your feedback and hope that you are having a wonderful week, even if I may not be :)
     
  25. Miss~Blue

    Miss~Blue Rookie

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    Yikes. It seems like she might be burnt out from the way you describe her. Have you tried talking to her about this or maybe a supervisor/admin? For what you are being paid as a para, I don't think it is fair especially because she probably makes like double you do and is just doing the paper work. >.<; (Which I know is really tough from my SPED Teacher coworkers)

    When I worked summers as a para with this age group, the teacher always wrote the lesson plans. Sure he asked me and the other para for ideas for things from time to time, but he would be the one taking the lead. The only time we really took the front seat was if he had a meeting or if there was a sub who was unfamiliar with the way we ran things because we already knew how everything was set up/routines/children/etc.
     
  26. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    My caseload is 19 and I teach my kids 100% of the time. Yes, I have meetings and staffings but if I'm out my kids stay in their gened class during those times, but those staffings/ARDS rarely take more than an hour. I get my planning and such done during my conference time and take work home as well.

    I can see no excusable reason for this teacher to never be in class with her students, require you all to write lesson plans and provide all of the instruction.

    Please talk to your admin about what is happening. Paras are not allowed to teach new skills (at least in my district) and there should be a teacher present to provide direction and oversee what is going on.

    It sounds to me like you all are being taken advantage of. Yeah, she may not have an "official" planning period but she can do any paperwork while you take the kids to specials.
     
  27. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    I leave my classroom *maybe* a half an hour a week to do an observation or to meet with a grade level team to gather information about a student. I have no planning period and do all paperwork/lesson planning after school or on the weekends. I teach a self-contained class, but I am also the team leader which gives me more paperwork responsibilities than my peers. My assistant wouldn't do the things you are doing. She'd have me turned into administration so fast my head would spin.

    Unfortunately, it seems like the students are safe and being taken care of, so if you do report it, nothing will probably be done about it. In my experience, most principals don't care too much about these classes. It's sad, but true.

    Honestly, I wouldn't say anything. Finish up your master's, get a teaching job, and use this as inspiration to be a different kind of teacher.
     
  28. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    I'd say something to the school administration or the district administration. If I take your posts literally then the teacher of record is not present in the room and if something happens then you (and the other paras) are responsible. The teacher is the one ultimately responsible for the class. Although it is not your worry I'm sure the parents would not be happy about the absence of their child's teacher. It is a matter of liability. You are doing more than your job description requires. That's what I have the issue with. You are not getting compensated for essentially serving as a substitute teacher each day. The situation is illegal.
     
  29. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Have you talked to the teachers you worked with last year? Before going to administration, I would talk to those teachers without sounding too judgmental about the teacher you're with this year. They can advise you better about going to admin than we can.
     
  30. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I'm going to respectfully disagree with this here. If any third party people get brought into this situation, it should be administration. I don't see any way of talking to a teacher about this without it being seen (fairly or unfairly) as gossiping.
     
  31. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'm not saying that what your teacher is doing is right, but I will throw out there that my para does teach when I'm out at meetings. I have told my admin (both school and district) on numerous occasions that I feel guilty about this, and they have told me every time that it is her job to teach the kids when I'm unavailable. She teaches all day every Tuesday because that's our meeting day, and I do have meetings pretty much all day every Tuesday. A lot of teachers think that this is a day for us to write IEPs, but they don't realize that yes, the meetings actually do take all day. When I'm not in meetings, I'm testing kids for Tris or initial meetings. Often, there isn't time to get all of the testing done on Tuesdays so I'll have to take time out of another day to do it, again leaving my para with the students. So there are a lot of misconceptions even among people I work closely with. For Tuesdays, my para has various review/reinforcement activities and routines that she always does with the kids, so I don't have to write specific plans. I am thankful that she does this so that it doesn't create more paperwork for me. If I'm out another day of the week for some reason, I write plans for her.

    A lot of times she has to take over for another day during the week as well because I'm in RtI meetings or collaboration meetings with classroom teachers (at least one day per month for both of those). I am lucky that my para is extremely competent and it's basically like having another teacher around. I trust her completely with my kids, but I do feel guilty that she is essentially doing a teaching job on a para's salary. However, there's nothing I can do on my end to make that stop- it's a district decision.
     
  32. Nate

    Nate Companion

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    There are two sides to every story, but from your side, it definitely sounds like a burnt-out teacher passing on as much of an overload as she can. I have had my para do instruction, but only after she'd seen me lead an activity many times. There are a few activities that are "her domain" (i.e., she almost always takes the kids to the sensory room, and decides what they do over there), but those are non-academic and things we've spent a lot of time developing together.

    I've worked with teachers in the past who had aspiring teachers as aides, and they've dumped a lot of work on them (I've also had former/aspiring teachers working under me who begged for more control than I was willing to give them), so it's possible that she thinks she's doing you a favor by letting you practice in her room.
     
  33. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Feb 12, 2014

    The only time my aides take over the class is when I am in a meeting or out sick since we don't have subs. I have 3 aides and at times I will have them work one on one with a student but only something such as practicing a skill that I have already taught. From what you are saying it sounds like the teacher is getting paid to do nothing.
     
  34. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    Feb 27, 2014

    I have talked with the teacher several times about what exactly she wants us to do and she always has a list of things. She doesn't provide lesson plans though and we are left on our own for most of the day. I am slowly but surely getting burnt out as far as my position versus pay is concerned. I just can't wait until I am a teacher so I have more say in what my day looks like. There is no structure and very little consistency in our classroom right now and it leads to frequent behavior outbursts. I am trying to keep some kind of consistency but am often undermined or reprimanded by the teacher (in front of the students). It's getting to the point where I don't like going to work. This teacher has been told that she is not being asked back for her position next year so things have been getting worse and worse.
     
  35. SpedTeach710

    SpedTeach710 New Member

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    Mar 5, 2014

    Document, document, document

    First off, I have to say that no matter what kind of work the teacher is supposedly doing out of the room, the amount of time she is out is inexcusable. I teach in a MD class for 7.5 hours a day and am in there 7.5 hours a day. I don't get my own lunch, nor do I get planning. I am the art, PE, and music teacher. ANY paperwork, etc. I have to get done, I do outside of instructional hours. If your admin is actually making her do extra work, they should be reported. Seriously, she is a teacher. 3-6 hours out of the class does not make a teacher. Second, DOCUMENT the time she is spent out and what you are having to do because of that. A wise sped professor told me once that if it isn't documented, it didn't happen. This will help you if you do have to go to your admin at some point. Third, even if she is writing lesson plans, she should be giving direction for you to implement it. TEACHERS go to school to learn how to TEACH. Para's do not. Even if para's have taken classes, it is the teacher's job to use strategies, etc. that the teacher has learned in school. If not, then I would imagine that evidence-based practices aren't being used. The TEACHER is supposed to use those and teach you guys to use them. I replaced a teacher who slept the entire year last year. She actually would leave the property and no one could find her as well. It is difficult to teach kids who are "severe" because it is either easy to do nothing, or really hard if you are really trying to make a difference. I feel like a lot of teachers start to get burnt out and take the "do nothing" approach. If I were you I would document...but also see if you can talk to the teacher. Not in a confrontational way, but in a concerned way. Maybe say you want to make sure you guys are doing XYZ the way she would like or that you are worried that she is bogged down with so much paperwork. She may tell on herself, or may give you the reality of what she is doing. Regardless, if you find out she is just taking her own vacation, take your notes and go straight to admin. The kids deserve more. (Not a cut at you...I am sure you guys do your best, but the teacher is supposed to be the expert in her area.) It may be uncomfortable, but you have to put the kids first.
     
  36. imissjerryg

    imissjerryg Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2014

    Thanks for the advice. I will start documenting tomorrow. She still continues to leave the room and is never around. It's hard to even find her sometimes. Occasionally, she doesn't come back before the kids leave at the end of the day. There are definitely no evidence-based practices being used or lessons that align with the standards for the kids' grade levels. It is so frustrating to see what is going on and knowing I can't say what's really on my mind. The teacher just keeps picking at me too and saying really rude things. She is not understanding whatsoever and has even started nit picking over my hours. For instance, I am in a graduate program for special education and I have a field experience I have to complete at an elementary school. Since I work in a high school, I have to leave work for two hours two times a week for the field. I made sure this was ok with the teacher and she said it wasn't a problem at all. I'm using lunch break hours from other days to do my field; we get one hour per day for lunch so that comes to five hours a week. I am gone for four hours per week on Wednesday and Friday so on Tuesday and Thursday I do not take a lunch. My only real "lunch" is on Monday when I take the full hour. Four plus one equals five but this teacher is constantly scrutinizing my hours. She asked me if I was taking a full lunch on Mondays and told me I don't have a full lunch since I took a quick 15 minute break one Thursday when the kids were especially rowdy. I was getting frustrated so I asked if I could step out for a quick break. Actually, the teacher of course wasn't in the room and one of the other paras commanded me to take a break since we had been working so hard. The teacher doesn't see this, though, because she's never in there. So instead of asking me about it or assuming I was doing the right thing, she questioned my lunch break I took on Monday. I'm just so fed up with this teacher. She is beyond negative and her horrible attitude rubs off on me when I'm at work.
     

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