Struggles ?

Discussion in 'Paraprofessionals' started by Michelle, May 24, 2019.

  1. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    May 24, 2019

    What are some of the biggest struggles you have as a paraprofessional ? As a middle school assistant, I know my teams biggest struggle is being cross teamed (6-7-8) and not having planning time to meet with any teachers.
    Or as a teacher, what are some struggles that you see in the assistants you work with ?
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    May 24, 2019

    Our only assistants at the middle school level are assigned to our FMD classrooms or to a particular student. We don't have any who travel from room to room with different teachers/classrooms.
     
  4. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    May 24, 2019

    What is an FMD classroom ? Wow this is interesting to hear because our middle school and high school assistants travel from room to room - depending on where the need is for student accommodation.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    May 25, 2019

    Functional Mental Disability (severe & profound disabilities)
     
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  6. HoneyBee#3

    HoneyBee#3 Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2019

    My biggest struggle as a Para from a middle school, is having no direction from my teacher. I started there in February, and I was told "we're on the down side of the school year, don't expect much." As I was still on probation until May, I just kept my head down and worked to the best of my ability. I had a 1:1, my student is ODD & also ADD according to the IEP, she is extremely manipulative. If the student does not like what I'm telling her to do; or doesn't like what she hears, she will "adult shop" IE, run to talk to the school psych, until she gets what she wants. Her back story, we've all heard many times. She's been with her foster mom since she was 3, she is 13. She is one of 6 children in a foster home.
    School started Monday, and I have my same student & same teacher. The case carrier, (teacher) "Ms. Q" never has time to talk to me about my student. She's always rushing around, talking fast, & not a good communicator. In the past, when ever I would come to her & let her know of bad behavior my student was doing, she always said, "OK, I really don't have time to talk to you. But don't worry I'll talk to her." But Mrs. Q never gave me strategies, tips, tangibles, consequences, NOTHING.
    Nothing has changed, I like my job but don't think I can go a full school year without direction.
     
  7. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2019

    Since you were with the same student last year, I assume you have a list of all her accommodations and have head thru her IEP !?! One thing I can say, I have been VERY fortunate with the case carries and teachers I’ve worked with in the communication department. Will you have any daily or weekly meeting time / planning time with the teacher and / case carrier? Are there meetings that you do with the other assistants? I start back on Thursday for pre service week and my AP has already been in contact with me on all he has planned for the assistants this upcoming year. ( I’m a “lead” assistant at my school ) Is there anyone at your school that oversees the support staff ?
    Best of luck tomorrow!
     
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  8. HoneyBee#3

    HoneyBee#3 Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2019

    Michelle,
    I have read my student's IEP, & have a plan for how I would like to help her this year. I'm thankful that I already knew how to read an IEP, or I would have been in trouble.
    Your school sounds so much more organized than mine.
    We never had any meetings last year with teachers or case carriers. Sadly, it's pretty much everyone for themselves. I've asked a couple
    of the other Para's how they do things or who to ask, & I always get a vague answer or shrug of the shoulder. We do have a "Department Chair" for SPED, and I've gone to her before because my teacher wasn't clear and my teacher was absent for that day. She was non-committal on her answers to me and very vague. I appreciate you helping me try to sort this out. I'm dreading tomorrow, and praying for a miracle.
    I hope you have an awesome week starting with tomorrow
     
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  9. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Aug 18, 2019



    The biggest problem is that we have zero time to collaborate. Throughout our school, there are misunderstandings that happen because of this. There are bad feelings between people that could be settled and avoided totally if they had time to collaborate.
    There are bad feelings between some teachers and a certain TA because she is the biggest gossip in the school. She is constantly trying to find out other people's business. Not only does she spread it, she adds to it to make it more interesting. She takes pride in being The 1st to know about just about everything. ( I know it could be a teacher instead of a TA that could take that prize. She just happens to be the winner in our school.)
     
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  10. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2019

    What types of trainings / workshops does your school / county offer for assistants? What do you do on early release and professional development days ? Do you have co-teaching contracts that you sign with the teachers whose class you are in ? Will you stay 1:1 with the same student all day or just a certain class ?
    Last year my school piloted an online training program for paraprofessionals - Master Teacher - I was really impressed. Maybe that’s something you can look into and suggest to your admin as a training tool for the assistants there.
    Happy Monday
     
  11. Michelle

    Michelle Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2019

    Yes I agree, lack of time to collaborate has always been an issue, but our assistants / paras are kept up to date on things because we are enrolled in the teachers blackboard / cancas site and receive weekly team emails. We also have a strong admin team and sped case carries that keep us up to date on things.
    Oh I know that all too well - there is an assistant at my school that does that exact same thing. Not only does it cause friction between teacher and assistant but assistant and assistant as well.
     
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  12. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Aug 24, 2019

    I have avoided some of the gossip and bad feelings with 2 simple questions. At the end of the week, I'd ask the one who gossips, " How do you think this week went?" "Can you see anything that would help make your job better working w/ ___________?" If I saw something that needed to be changed, I told her.
    I kept a witness in the room too. Usually, she would never bring up problems. Once she did though, and it was a total misunderstanding and assumption she had made that was "way off." If just 10-15 minutes a week were worked into her schedule to discuss things, I think we'd have a lot less problems in our school. It is kind of late now though because she has "burned" too many people over the yrs.
     
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