Teacher tarnishes my reputation

Discussion in 'Paraprofessionals' started by teresaglass, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Aug 22, 2013

    Hi everyone,

    My bad luck continues. I have worked for the same chemistry teacher for three years as a para. I have been the only para assigned to her because I know chemistry. for the first two years, she had discipline problems in her classroom, and often required me to solve them which I did. Last semester and beginning this semester, she had me log in her students' classwork, correct her tests, and file the students classwork and homework. I also Xeroxed materials about three times a week for her and ran errands for her as well. A few times she yelled at me in front of the students if she did not get the results she wanted from the errands she sent me on. I told my administrators about this last year and they told me to do the work, because there were only two special education students in this general education classroom. This school year there were five special education students assigned to her class and I told this teacher that I should be helping them instead of doing her paperwork. She proceeded to tell me that she needed to have the paperwork done while she was lecturing, and that I should not be doing nothing in her classroom. I went to my administrators again and told them about this. They said they would look into it. Today, I was switched to another class and I no longer have to work for her anymore. The problem is she told one of the administrators that both her and I work with, that she put me to work doing the filing and correcting of the students' papers , because she thinks I am a disruptive influence in her classroom. She never told me I was disruptive and often depended on me to discipline her students. I feel bad about this, because the same administrator she told this to, was going to give me a recommendation letter for a teaching position. How can I salvage my reputation? I believe she is lying about me to cover for herself. Do I see my administrators and discuss this or put something in writing? Should I just forget about it? Am I making a big deal about nothing? The new teacher I was transferred to is great and I like my new assignment, but I am concerned this will go on my record.
    :dizzy: Special education paras are primarily there to tutor and assist students, not do extra work for the teachers.
     
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  3. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2013

    I think it's normal to do extra work for teachers, even in special ed. That said, I'd just continue to do a good job and prove that the issue isn't with your quality of work. The teacher you've worked with most recently is probably the one your admin will speak to in order to review your performance.
     
  4. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2013

    I have been a para, and was asked to plan for, teach and grade a small group of students. I've also been asked to do other inappropriate things that had nothing to do with my duties as a para, such as write an IEP.

    I handled it by telling the teacher in a courteous, professional way about my duties as a para, and that while I would be happy to help once in a while to do other things, I needed to focus on the reason I was hired - to assist students. After making these statements, I was no longer approached to do inappropriate things. If I had been I would have, as you did, spoken to an administrator.


    It's great that you are now assigned to a good teacher. I wouldn't worry about your recommendation. Most likely the administrator is well aware of this teacher's strengths and weaknesses, and will take that into account. You have already let him know that the teacher was asking you to go beyond your duties, and that is why he switched you. Keep your focus on continuing to do a good job, and then you can also ask the teacher you work with for a recommendation.
     
  5. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Aug 23, 2013

    I would probably have the thing you wrote here or a list of things she had you do kept somewhere so if you're asked about it. Maybe just jot 2012-13 school yr and some of the things you did for this teacher. That way if it does come up you have it available instead of racking your brain. I hope this makes sense. I know as a teacher they say document everything...
    Good luck with new teacher....
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2013

    A professional educator shouldn't be criticizing a para in front of kids...there are better ways and times to give feedback.

    The paras in my building tend to ask to/take on lots of administrative, organizing and 'housekeeping' sorts of duties. I've seen special Ed paras sit with a student to redirect behavior/keep student focused and at same time organize some folders or process field trip forms. Most para-teacher relationships in my building are very collaborative and cooperative. No one ever says 'that's not my job'.

    Would you be comfortable sitting with this teacher and a union rep and airing your concerns? It may be that there is simply a miscommunication about what your exact responsibilities and job description are.
     
  7. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Aug 24, 2013

    I would not be comfortable sitting with this teacher. All paras at our school are told they are to help the students. They can help the teachers with their work once in a while. I do help teachers with their paperwork sometimes. The chemistry teacher was having me do her paperwork all of the time and I never got to help the students. If any of the special education students in our classes failed, because we were not helping them we would get into trouble. I did not mind helping this teacher when I did not have many special education students to be responsible for, but when I was responsible for five special education students. I felt that I should be helping them.
     

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