Subbing with aides in the room

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Pisces_Fish, May 17, 2008.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    May 17, 2008

    Does anyone else get really nervous when other people are in the room (like aides) when you're subbing? I find myself thinking too much about what the aide is thinking about how I'm handling the class, and I sometimes stumble over my words, and am just more anxious overall. Maybe it's because I'm still new at this subbing thing. I've only worked 4 days so far because I got on the sub list very late in the year (the school where I've been hired in the fall asked me if I was "up to" subbing for the rest of the year.)

    I was also like this when I did my student teaching. I was always more comfortable when my CT left the room. If a lesson flops or I lose control of the class for a few minutes, it's nice if no one is around to see it! :) It would make me feel better knowing I'm not the only one who feels this way. :eek:
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 17, 2008

    It's not uncommon at all. After you get your feet under you a little better, I don't think you'll have any problem at all with other people in the room working or observing you.

    Hang in there! :)
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    It's not uncommon but I promise that MOST of the time the aide is trying to figure out where they fit in with the new dynamics as well. I do sometimes judge the effectiveness of a sub but it is less about them as teachers and more about how we fit together.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  5. Green_eyed_gal

    Green_eyed_gal Comrade

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    May 18, 2008

    I was like that when I first started subbing... It does get easier and pretty soon you won't care!! I was more nervous when there was a parent in the room!! :eek:
     
  6. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Whew- I certainly get nervous! I had one aide who flipped out at a table of my jr high girls. So she def knew her place, but I did not see anything wrong with what they were doing, but she must have seen something I missed. At any rate I was at the other side of the room. So I guess it is good to have an aid and an extra set of eyes. So I felt like maybe I was in the wrong, but the aide was great and it was good. That will help me feel less terrible, knowing she is not afraid to step in, but at the same time let me take care of whatever I am taking care of and not step in when I am handling it.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sometimes it isn't that you MISSED something but rather you haven't seen the history and aides can be a big help on the proactive front. It is good to have an extra set of eyes.

    I've gotten used to having all sorts of visitors from admin, counselors, prospective parents, interns, college professors, etc. I started out nervous and now it doesn't phase me. I just tell them what we are doing and try to make them feel welcome. I wouldn't do as well with a current parent though. This year I even had a specialist from John Hopkins Hospital observe me as well as having a VIDEO CAMERA trained on me for the school's use. Subs, however, still make me feel akward because I have a strong place in my classroom and I'm not sure where my place is with each sub until I've worked with them a little. Each person approaches the job differently.
     
  8. Summersoff

    Summersoff Rookie

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    May 28, 2008

    yea, i dont like it either, i feel like they think they can run the class on their own or they have some sort of smug look to them. maybe im off, but thats what i think.
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Lol.

    In our school aides DO frequently run the classroom themselves. I'll give you an example. We had FIVE full weeks of assessments of some kind. Either the teacher was doing it for our class or the teacher was assisting another grade. Either way the class was without a teacher. Sometimes this meant all day but most of the time it meant half a day. Either way 5 weeks was a long time. Following that the teachers had time off for report cards and IEPs and THEN we had yet ANOTHER week of assessments. Who took care of the class? The aides did. In all that time I had a sub FIVE WHOLE DAYS. Ask me if I can run the class myself. Sure I can. It's not about being smug. I do it all the time. I love having a sub but sometimes it is hard to figure out where they fit in. Just like with the aides, it varies how subs behave and react when they take over the class. Sometimes it is a good fit and sometimes it is akward. In the end, the students know me and I know the procedures. At the same time, we don't get subs lightly so they are there for a reason. When we get one it is because we really needed it for whatever reason at that point in time. SO I highly value one when I get one and likely I specifically asked for one but that doesn't mean it is always easy.
     
  10. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I say give them their head and let them go. (Like when you hold the reins loosely on a horse that knows where its going & how to get there and you don't!) No, seriously, especially in special ed classes they know what goes on every day and you don't, so let them lead--they will still know that you're the substitute for the teacher. In regular ed classes if you make sure they have a copy of the plans and that you're willing to ask them for help, etc. you will be fine in most cases. Just go with the flow, don't worry so much about being in control and you'll find yourself really glad the aide was there to help you out.
     
  11. Mrs. R

    Mrs. R Rookie

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    May 28, 2008

    I was a classroom aid for 10 years before I started subbing as a teacher and let me tell you, I get a little nervous. The thing is, I know what they are thinking. I know no matter what happens, I will be their gossip for the day. I also know that they are judging everything I do because they have nothing better to do or think about. So yes, I get nervous, but then I remember what it is like to be an aide and I get over it. I'm thankful to no longer be in that position and realize that I'm allowed to make mistakes because I'm only there for one day and if they want to talk about me, they can talk about how nice I am because no one has a bigger smile for them than I do when they walk in =) Here's the brutal truth: The aides usually know that they are making you nervous and they like it, because they have no power in their position. So my advice is to be confident in your decisions and kill the aides with kindness. It doesn't take long to figure out if you have the "nice aide" or the "gossipy aide".
     
  12. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    actually, most of them do. They seem to forget that the sub is in charge. Some refuse to accept this.

    When you have a large class, over 20 kids, there is usually an aide. Also, if a sp. ed kid is in the class, that aide is just for him/her, and they are not supposed to do anything else.

    In preschool, you always have an aide, maybe 2.
     
  13. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    that is the best answer. forgive me, but everyone who knows me realizes that I have been unemployed, and have issues with aides who takeover!

    :unsure:
     
  14. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    when it works well, it is a compliment to you and advantange because it shows how well you work with others, and supervise. You should be firm, fair and confident. Don't let them see you sweat. Good ones will jump in and do what needs to be done. Bad ones will run all over you.

    In theory, you really don't have to supervise them, because they know what to do.

    Problems set in when they gab or text on cell phone, keeping running out the room, or generally sit and ignore the kids.

    and...as I said...take over, and don't let you do anything. if you find this continues, IMO...it might be best to take another position, because the principal knows what is going on, and if they are not changing it, no sense in you getting caught up. when I subbed and if they tell me two different rooms, I remember which room had bossy aide, and I take the other room. Not worth me getting into with her, and messing up my record.
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    That's the climate in your school because I know I've never heard anyone do that here except if a sub is extraordinarily bad. If one is really great, we do spread that fast. Otherwise it is rarely a topic. We struggle to get subs. Typically if we get a sub it is because the teacher and aide will be out together, it is for a really long time or it is because the aide has requested one. Otherwise the aide is in charge. So for us to sit and judge a sub would not be in our best interest. If we went through the trouble of requesting one, WE WANT ONE. Granted most schools don't have an aide requesting them (and sometimes even here the teacher has to request it for the aide) but I think a lot of this has to do with the climate of the school.
     
  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    In IL cng, the teacher is (legally) in charge. The teacher is the certified staff member. An aide or even a parent can cover a class for supervision (no more than 15 minutes), but it is not sufficient for classroom management. It does not matter that the aide knows the routine and the kids. If she/he decides to keep kids out for longer recess, not pass out homework, or starts lunch early...the sub will get burned, not the aide! :(

    If any incident should happen, the responsiblity falls on teacher first.

    Our rank in authority is as follows:

    teacher, student teacher, sub, aide, parent...in that order


    in case of student teacher...the sub is only there for legal purposes. She/he must not question or override the student teacher, because that affects the program, and the student's grade!
     
  17. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Master Pre-K, I technically agree with you especially after reading more manuals and trainings for teacher aides.

    In our school, however, many are not certified and most of us have more education. In our field we are required to have a Master's degree now. Most aides already have their BA in deaf ed. The subs have less education and training. Either way, aides still have more knowledge of the classroom. It's a good idea to have a sub there (certified would be better) but that doesn't mean that the classroom doesn't function better with some normalcy. Students don't quite get that their teacher/aide team gets split up and suddenly the aide doesn't have the authority to do half the things anymore. I let a sub take the lead in any teaching they want but that isn't going to stop students from coming to me regarding the rules and procedures. Nor is it going to stop a sub from wondering where things are or how we do things. It also isn't going to stop me from being on autopiliot and saying "yes" to something before I've had a chance to ask the "new" teacher. UNFORTUNATELY the teachers in my building don't plan for a sub well BECAUSE they know an aide is there to explain it.

    I have mixed feelings about all of it. Legally I don't want to be responsible. Hence I agree with you. I also stated that I typically have ASKED for the sub which means I need something of a break from the teacher role. I WANT the sub there. That doesn't mean that I won't stop thinking about transitions, behaviors, what we are doing next, our expectations, etc. If the sub says something different to the student than what we do, I NEVER correct them in front of the student. I tell the student that Mr/Ms Sub is the teacher today. Mr/Ms Sub makes the decisions. Sometimes I do explain later why the student was confused for clarification but that they still need to know that the sub is a teacher and to listen to the sub.

    In our school parents are never allowed to sub and student teachers are not permitted to be alone (though they sometimes are). Aides have more standing than student teachers but not necessarily the same role. We get so many interns, etc. that unfortunately they get treated more like free labor and they aren't planned for well.

    Another note: In high school aides are really floaters. They aren't quite the same "team" setting that it is in elementary. We have a teacher aide for every teacher and the max class size is 8 kids. I do a lot more than most in terms of teacher duties but we all still have a lot of feedback and authority in the room. I'm sure that has a lot to do with how I answer these posts. In highschool, their viewpoint is different due to a different setup.
     
  18. Summersoff

    Summersoff Rookie

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    That may be fine if that is your rank in your school, and believe me, Im not trying to start a debate, but i think subs would be inhead of student teachers since subs are paid and in place of the teachers. Especially if the subs are certified teachers. Just my opinion and i respect your view.
     
  19. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Wow. I've almost never had issues with having an aide in the room. If it's a new classroom to me, I know the aide knows the classroom quirks and can preemptively stomp out any problems. If it's one I know well, I'm usually thrilled to have him or her with me so we can work as a team. Only time I've ever had issues with an aide was when she waited until the end of the day to blast me for everything I had done wrong with her kids (it was the first time I'd ever been in an MH classroom).

    To be honest, I'm more nervous subbing in a room with another sub!
     
  20. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I agree and understand...

    but as I stated, I have subbed for student teachers, and had subs when I was a student teacher...and they whole purpose of the program is to allow the student teacher to have control...so that's why they must take attendance and do the lessons, etc. Now, if the ST just started, or still observing and has not taken over the class, you are absolutely right..then they have no say so at all!

    I also did observations were the aide and teacher questioned, no..challenged the student teacher in the middle of her lesson, and I felt bad for her! They were debating about the right answer...and finally they asked me. :confused: I said, why don't you ask the kids??

    Because only I noticed...they all had been ignoring them! :eek:
     
  21. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    we spent the winter together CNG... (ha..:lol: that's another thread) and I truly believe you are the Master Aide..if they ever had one! I am determined to kidnap you and put you in a bottle, and have you forever!

    you are cut from a different cloth...you have your own agenda...

    please disregard any comments I make in the future...they defintely do not refer to exceptional people like yourself!
     
  22. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Haha, we do show up in these threads together both on opposite sides. I never take exception to what you say. All of this ALWAYS adds to my bank of perceptions. I think everyone should be aware of multiple perceptions that occur in all of these job roles. I challenge these statements ONLY because I think people should know that not everybody has the same view NOT because they are invalid. We only learn from each other if we share.

    It's interesting because I was told at the beginning of the year that everybody wants to work with me (even those I don't know well). At the same time I am aware that while I work my butt off, I will always have an opinion. I have a strong personality. That won't fit with everybody. I try to be respectful with my opinions but don't expect me to sit in the back and never speak because I'm much too passionate for that. Most of the time it works in my favor. Occassionally I feel I probably go too far. I also prefer not to have my day perfectly scripted though I don't mind being given assignments. A wise teacher told me that every aide is different. A wise teacher will learn the aide's strengths and weaknesses and work with them. A sub doesn't have a history of how the aide and teacher work together. I promise, I feel just as akward because there are things I do in the natural course of my day that a sub may or may not think I should be doing. Just like teachers and aides, subs come in with a variety of perceptions too.

    This turned into a long post again. My bottom line was this: Pre-K I NEVER mind your comments to mine. I don't take them personally at all. I love them.
     
  23. sarypotter

    sarypotter Comrade

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    As a current special education aide, I have a question for subs. I work in an intensive needs classroom. We have had a sub twice since I started two weeks ago, and I'm not sure I've handled it correctly.

    The kids in my classroom have a variety of needs and abilities. Many of them are nonverbal and the ones who are verbal often speak in out-of-context scripts that they have adopted to convey certain messages. It's difficult to understand these students' communication without practice (and I mean practice with these individual students, not just experience with similar students), and after two weeks I'm just beginning to feel confident at deciphering some of their communications.

    Is it appropriate for me to "translate" if the student is having a difficult time conveying her message? Of course if the sub asks me to do so, that's fine; but what do I do if the sub incorrectly deciphers a communication from the student? This happens often and can be escalating for the students, leading to incidents of aggression. Should I step in?

    I feel like I'm walking a precarious line anyway, because I'm a certified teacher and I will be the teacher in this class in the fall. The current teacher and the other aide have been giving me as much opportunity as possible to take on some of the roles of teacher so I can get a handle on the issues involved with this class and be planning for them over the summer. I don't want to step on anyone's toes -- the other aide, the current teacher, or the sub -- but I'm very confused as to what my role is! If I planned the lessons and I was scheduled to teach them anyway, should I go ahead and teach them, or will that make the sub feel like I'm trying to take over?

    Just a side note: the two subs we've had in the last two weeks have been wonderful to work with and did not seem to think that I was trying to undermine their authority. They welcomed suggestions and input and seemed happy to have me teach the lessons I had prepped. After reading this thread, I just wondered if I had handled things correctly.
     
  24. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    SP...whenever the safety of a child is concerned, you are obligated to step in. You do know the background of this child, and sometimes you don't have time to referee. It's like me standing behind my ex, feeding him sentences when he got upset at a customer service clerk. If I didn't step in, we would end up in jail, because I knew his temper, and ..needless to say..that is why he is an ex!

    If a child says he needs to use the restroom, and the sub doesn't understand or believe him...you must take him, and explain your case later. Also, if materials become weapons, you must step up and step in. Again, act first, explain later. If it continues, I would strongly suggest you have a meeting with your teacher and principal, explain your concerns and suggest (yes you!) that this sub should not be placed in sp. ed. In your situation, you are not taking over, you are preventing a problem.
     
  25. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    hugs to you as well CNG...I think some of my issues relate to the fact that aides are usually more stable, where teachers have a high turnover. (at least in pre-k here in Chicago) Aides need their jobs and stick it out, whereas teachers know we can move around...and so they do. As a result..(I hope I am learning) some aides feel the need to take over, and are a bit aprehensive, and uncertain about their teachers. I only know one person who has been with her teacher for 14 years. She never finished school and is content with being an aide. She gets good benefits. She says she hates her teacher :eek: and the teacher hates her, but neither one of the will ever budge or even consider moving anywhere else!
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I love my teacher yet she drives me nuts.
     
  27. WayOfTeaching

    WayOfTeaching Rookie

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    Could anyone tell me, please, if it's common to find jobs as an Aide or Assistant teacher in Kindergarten or Elementary school, because I read in this thread about Aides...are you talking about Aides in Kindergarten and Elementary school as well?

    Do you need a teacher certificate in order to be a substitute teacher?
    And how is the salary?

    Thanks in advance!
    I would really appreciate your help.
     
  28. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    you're welcome. It's more fun that being a temporary secretary. But the consensus is, it is difficult to get hired as a teacher once you become a good sub. Nobody wants to let you go, and they pick new people over you.
     
  29. WayOfTeaching

    WayOfTeaching Rookie

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    Thank you

    Thank you so much Master Pre-K for all the help you gave me, I really appreciate it!
     
  30. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I don't get nervous when aides are in the room, because usually the aide knows the roll of the teacher and fills in and then I become the aide if you get what I mean. Although in a classroom if I am subing and there is an aide for one student or parents come in to watch or help I do get very nervous. I feel like the parents are judging me even tho I know they are not. I need to get over that fact since I will be teaching special needs children when I graduate College and I will work with aides also.
     
  31. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    As far as aides working with a teacher every day...

    Do I judge my teacher? Yes I do. Do I judge every move or lesson? No I don't. I'm too busy to care. Believe it or not, most of my judgement comes from anything that might affect me, not really whether she is meeting curriculum or anything like that. In the case of my teacher it is mostly classroom management that becomes an issue. At the end of the year, I know that I am not responsible for meeting all the curriculum needs. I can have suggestions, feedback, etc. and I might think her approach isn't the best way to go but in the end it isn't my burden to meet and it isn't something I critically judge. Because I'm trying to become a teacher I do look for practices that I want to adopt or not adopt but that comes from a wide variety of teachers, not just my own. The teacher in the NEXT grade is actually 10 times more critical of my teacher's teaching ability than I will ever be. It directly affects her. Do I care about the kids learning? Yes, I do. Do I think I know all the answers? Absolutely not. I definately make mistakes too.

    A new aide and teacher team will be more concerned with how they fit together and the aide will wonder if he/she is doing things correctly or overstepping boundaries since every teacher (and aide) has different perspectives, needs and wishes.

    If you do a good job building a good relationship with your aide (providing you don't get a crappy one), then that will go a long way. Happy aides are loyal aides. :)

    We have observers come in all the time. I was even video taped this year! It doesn't make me nervous. Parents are a different bird.
     
  32. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    You're welcomed! :) Remember, each state has it's own set of rules. Sometimes, each county/city may have even more rules! :rolleyes:
     
  33. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Doggonit CNG...you are just too good! Everything you say makes PERFECT sense! Why can't you just can't clone yourself and come to Chicago?! :p

    and yes, parents are very strange birds indeed...

    and birds of a feather flock together...

    never say anything in front of a parent that you don't want to hear on the news!
     
  34. WayOfTeaching

    WayOfTeaching Rookie

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    Could you tell me, please, what are your tasks as an aide teacher, what are you doing exactly as an aide teacher?

    I'm sure you make a good aide teacher, based on what you wrote above.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  35. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I had to laugh! :lol:

    That's a complicated question and it depends on what view you are looking at.

    Do you want what my job description says?
    Do you want what I actually do?

    I do a lot of things. When I list duties I don't feel it really sums anything up. Here I go...

    Bulletin Boards
    Grade Papers
    Newsletters
    Edit (everything from Report Cards to Parent Emails)
    Provide a sounding board/feedback
    Make observations, report them or document
    Help teacher remember the 1000 details that need to be done
    Meetings
    Etc on Secretarial Type Stuff

    Design/Teach Daily Word Study Center
    Design/Teach Handwriting Center
    Teach Guided Writing
    Plan all Holidays
    (Most Aides implement but they don't design/plan activities.)

    Work with small groups/seat work
    Work with individual struggling students
    Sub any time as needed (and make up plans if I need to)
    Assist during assessments

    CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT (unfortunately I've had to pick up the slack here)

    Recess
    Lunch (once a week)
    Bus Duty

    You have to be really careful when you start looking at duties aides have from another school. We all have different policies, school cultures and individual perceptions. The job description is the place to start and then the teacher/aide needs to sit and communicate expectations.

    Different schools have different kinds of Aides too.
    I'm a Classroom Aide. I have also seen:
    Special Education Aides (typically 1 on 1)
    Lunch and Recess Aides
    Floating Aides (probably called something else)
    Planning Aides (do a lot of copying, cut/paste/etc in a central planning room)
     
  36. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    bus aide...meet children at bus, make sure they are sitting and have seat belts. May ride the entire route, and come back to school, then you can go home - usually with pre-k or special ed.

    oversize classroom aide ...only assigned with class that is oversized (depending on what city/district calls class size...that could be 10 kids or 34!) You must apply for a job every year...does everything that classroom aide does

    many aides are floating aides, meaning they are shared by two or more teachers. (floating from room to room) They serve one class in AM or for 2 hrs, and then another for 2 hrs, or rest of the day.

    Not to be confused with aide assigned to one teacher, who has some sneaky teacher who gives her compliments while asking her/him to do things...that is cheating!

    reading aide - only help with reading, unless there is testing or your kids are absent

    library aide - also known as librarian, with less pay! :huh:

    and her cousin....the health aide - also known as the nurse, without license, less pay!

    lunch aides - clean tables, keep kids in order :confused:, or attempt to... open packages and cut oranges, clean up tables and wait for next round!

    playground/recess aides - supervise children on playground, give out passes, blow whistle on offenders, break up fights, wait for next round. On your feet, out in sun every day.

    usually lunch aides/playground are same group, only work 2-4 hrs with no benefits. In inclement weather, you may have to watch kids in their classroom.


    Many principals include aides in their staff meetings. Others do not, and they may be excused for the day, or assigned things to do in the class during these meetings.
     
  37. NYSTeacher

    NYSTeacher Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I LOVED subbing in a room that had a T.A, student teacher, or an inclusion room (with a special ed teacher). I preferred inclusion room (over the other two). It was actually easier. Especially the ones with a special ed teacher. I loved it because they know the kids, they know how the routine works, and the kids were generally better when someone they know was in the room. If I knew it was towards the end of the semester (and the teacher didn't specify not to) I let the student teacher do alot of the teaching.
     
  38. NYSTeacher

    NYSTeacher Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    And when you get a crappy aide make the best of it. I had an amazing TA who retired in Dec. and I got a new one (after 2 weeks w/o one (which was torture...I didn't realize how much I relied on that extra perosn in the room)) and she was decent in her abilities but I wouldn't say she was entirely capable. I did what i could to make the best of it but she lacked a lot of common sense. One day I took something out of her hands (while my AP was observing me) and I was so frazzled about the observation I didn't even realize I snatched the papers and had a nasty facial expression plastered on my face. Well my AP noticed and called me on it when we met to go over my observation. She said, "If I notice you are having problems with your TA the students notice."

    So, my advice if you get TA whom you butt heads with (first send her/him to the best TA in your building to get some advice from on the do's and don'ts of being a TA), make the best of it, and watch your facial expressions! :lol:
     
  39. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jul 13, 2008

    if looks could kill...

    never mind...
     
  40. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 14, 2008

    NYST... That is a very thought provoking lesson to share! I think I had some of that to learn this year as well. For a team that pretty much had it easy to begin with, it affected us a lot when we started not getting along as well as we had. It was pointed out that the focus needed to be on the students and it made SUCH as difference when I woke up to that.

    I wonder if I made some of those faces sometimes even unintentionally.
     
  41. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jul 14, 2008

    If we have not learned anything else this year.. we must all be concious of not only what we say, what we do, but our facial expressions also. We are all under the microscope these days. This election is only making things worse.. IMO.

    Teachers are not allowed to look mean. I had a job disappear because my friend said.. "Yeah, sombody called, but I told them you sometimes don't smile."

    So in case you didn't know.. we are not supposed to be sad, mad or unhappy. Especially if you are in the primary grades. Preschool teachers I guess should smile all the time. I guess we must start wearing masks!
     

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