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!