Teacher's aide working with not great teacher..

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Newkindermom, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Sep 7, 2016

    Hello.. Just wanted some thoughts on what others would do in this situation. I was previously a kinder teacher for a few years, I moved across the state and now am working as a classroom aide hoping a teaching position will open up in this district. I thought I would relish the break from being "in charge" and on all the time as a teacher.. And I could just enjoy helping the students. However, the teacher I've been matched with has very little structure or routines or interesting lesson plans. It is a nice suburban town so most of the kids are good (big change for me!) but there are those 5 or 6 who are constantly acting out! She generally ignores the behaviors and just let's them do it. This is not what I would do! I don't feel like I should be in charge of behavior management but I do help a little. The students also know I'm not the main teacher and are not quite respectful. Would you all be more firm if that's how you are or just let the behaviors go? I honestly find a lot of their behaviors very rude.. And could not put up with it if I was in charge.. There were students who got prizes today and were just terribly behaved! Am I missing something??
     
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  3. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sep 8, 2016

    You go with the flow. Behavior is not your area unless you are assigned to be a kid's one-on-one behavior aide. I know it drives you nuts. It would me! But it is her class. Her unruly class.

    You could bring your own stickers and give it to the "good" kids you see. Let them know they are doing great. But I would ask the teacher if you can bring some stickers to help reward behavior when you see it. Just to help reinforce positive behavior. ;)
     
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  4. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Thanks for sharing your perspective! I just wondered if maybe this teacher wanted me to help a little more because I was a teacher before and just wasn't saying it? Or if she just preferred I just let her handle it.. But I will try to resist stepping in.. And just try to enjoy not being in charge of this chaotic classroom.. :)
     
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  5. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sep 9, 2016

    Just sit back and enjoy the show.... LOL

    Even being a teacher watching another teacher, it is hard to not step in and say something when things are going nuts. Lunchroom around here is a good example. You can't hear yourself thing but the 5th and 6th grade teachers sit at their table while the students are so loud and obnoxious. My SPE students aren't that loud and I have one that doesn't shut up talking. Even the ED (behavior problem) class isn't that loud and they sit by us. They don't shut up either. HAHA! Now if their actions were getting out of control, then yeah, I'd say something.

    Now, you might could quietly go up to the unruly ones and whisper in their ear something to calm them. No death threats or anything... haha.
     
  6. renard

    renard Companion

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    Sep 9, 2016

    She's probably trying planned ignoring and positive reinforcement. In the long term, it works quite well.

    As the assistant, the only way to deal with this appropriately is to reinforce her classroom management, whether or not you agree.
     
  7. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Thanks.. I will try! It's just so hard not to step in.. But it really isn't my place I suppose.
     
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  8. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Does this actually work though?? To me it is chaos.. Kids loudly talking while she is teaching, playing when they should be working, and they are always the loudest in the hallways. How will they learn the expectations if there aren't any being reinforced!? Although I guess the kids are having a great time fooling around all day and she doesn't seem to mind.. Just me I guess!
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Different teachers have different management styles. I'm sure you understand this.

    It sounds like you are struggling with giving up control since you're not the teacher. I would gently suggest that you find a way to let all of this go and find a way to be successful in your new role. You will be miserable if you don't.
     
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  10. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    No.. I know. You are totally right. I am finding I don't like being a classroom aide in these conditions. I was an aide before and loved it bc the classroom teacher was very organized and structured, it was a really nice place to be. This is not. I do have to let it go, but it just is really too bad if I were a parent of a child in this room I would want them out.. I know I want to leave! Ok, rant over. If I can't find another job.. I'll try to make the best of it.
     
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  11. renard

    renard Companion

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    It's all moot, as an aide, it's not the place to decide.

    It sucks I know. I was an aide too for one year, and it was painful witnessing the abysmal teaching of one person but it just wasn't my place.
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Honestly, I think you should ask the teacher what she would like from you. Does she want you to help with behavior? I expect my aide to help with behavior. I would not be pleased if she ignored behavior issues. We are a team in my class. However, it seems you are uncertain as how to proceed, and only the classroom teacher will be able to say what she would like. Communicate with her, and I think you will have a better idea as to what she expects from you.
     
  13. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Ok..thanks for the input. My question is if she is allowing all types of behaviors such as yelling out, not completing work, talking while she is teaching, etc. how would I help with this? She is not following through with any of the classroom rules she briefly mentioned to the class! It seems like she doesn't really mind these behaviors.. Whereas I do. So if she is letting these things go.. And it's her classroom I feel weird giving reminders to students..
    I also feel like I would be offending her or being rude by saying "I notice you don't enforce any rules.. So.. How can I help with that?"
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    "How can I help out with classroom management? Would you like me to address behaviors, or would you prefer to handle them yourself?"
     
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  15. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    That is great way to put it.. Thanks.
     
  16. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 11, 2016

    Exactly this. You'll need to find out how/if she wants you to help with this. Ask her and find out what she expects.
     
  17. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2016

    Ok.. To follow up it seems she would like me to just deal with the student I was hired to help..who does actually require a lot of individual attention. So I am coming to terms with sitting back and watching the chaos. BUT, her teaching is appalling as well!! I honestly think she just shows up everyday and does not plan a thing. It is all so disorganized! She sits with a teacher's manual in her lap and reads from it, or there is no instruction and a worksheet, or she explains one activity and then has the students do something different she didn't explain. It all makes no sense. Plus I have been in several other classrooms in the same grade level and they are doing way more learning than the class I'm in. This is in addition to all of the lack of rules or organization. I know I have to let it go, but I didn't get a teaching position this year and would have loved a job like hers. It just doesn't seem right to me!! Ok venting over. Letting it go..for real this time.
     
  18. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sep 14, 2016

    Take this as a learning experience... what NOT to do as a teacher.
     
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  19. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2016

    I definitely am! I also feel like I was so hard on myself when I was a teacher.. Like thought I was a failure at everything. But this helps me see at least I was actually doing pretty well. My behavior management wasn't amazing but I worked really hard at everything I did. I see that now. I feel like there is a reason for everything.. Like why I am here in this room this year.. Trying to figure out what else it could be here!
     
  20. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I'm going to suggest that you do this: As hard as it may be, try to find the good in being in her classroom. Look for the positives in her classroom management or instruction. I've been in a similar situation to you, last year when I was an inclusion teacher. It's really easy to get caught up in judging someone else for doing things differently than you would do them yourself. Sometimes doing it differently means they are doing a poor job, but, other times, it just means that they are doing it differently. Maybe they have a different style. Maybe they know they are struggling and are just doing the best that they can (We can't all be perfect, right? We all have to choose priority areas on which to improve ourselves, right?). I was often judgmental of the teacher with whom I co-taught (and I use the term "co-teaching" very loosely). However, it made it a lot easier for me to accept being in her room and having zero control over how it ran by trying to find the things that she did well, that I agreed with, or that I thought were interesting/cool. I was never going to like everything that she did, but I did take away a few ideas periodically. And, as someone else suggested, I also used the opportunity to make note of things I don't ever want to be or do in my own classroom.

    I've had paras or other teachers in my room before, and I'm always a bit anxious about them judging me. Even though I know that I'm doing a good job and the best job that I can do, I'm not perfect. There are obviously only so many things that I can do well before my energy is just zapped. What if a colleague catches me at a bad moment, when I'm just not on top of my game? I know that I don't enjoy that feeling, so I try to remember that I need to be realistic in my expectations of others when I observe them. It's so easy to be idealistic about what happens in a classroom - far too many administrators are - and forget that it's rare for a classroom to run ideally. It's important for colleagues to not feed into expectation of doing what's ideal. Instead we need to be realistic, accepting, and supportive.

    Oh, and that colleague that I judged last year? All it took was for her to casually mention that she had been going into the staff bathroom and crying during lunch for me to develop a little bit of empathy and realize that she was doing the best she could. Some things were just out of her control and, try as she might, she was having a hard time trying to manage mandates from admin and all of the other pressures she was facing... and she was a 19 year veteran teacher. I still didn't like or agree with everything she did, but I did try to see things from her perspective more often after that.
     
  21. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2016

     
  22. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    OK.. Any suggestions to help make the classroom more organized/structured without trying to take over!? I don't mean to be too hard on the teacher I am working with.. She is super nice and positive..I just don't think she puts any effort in the instruction which is the whole reason we are at school. Also, It's just very hard to be in this chaotic classroom all day.. She also leaves me by myself with all of the kids at least three times a day.. And also leaves me to help the kids do their work while she walks around the room looking for things?! I never know what she is doing.. Anyway I really am trying my best to find the good..I hope the situation improves for me and the students![/QUOTE]
     

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