Upset today at the FT aides...

Discussion in 'Paraprofessionals' started by uncleal, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2010

    I got upset at a FT teacher aide in the class today. I am the substitute aide for a special education class. Today, one of the students decided to lose it while the teacher was in a meeting.

    Please note that there were three aides in the classroom when the teacher was out. At first, one of the aides told me to keep going with the activity while she tried to control the child. Then, the child started throwing things at other students so I did my best to block and divert the students. Then, the aide asked me to "help her" so I helped the aide with restraining the lashing student.

    At that time, we were two aides trying to restrain the student. One of the aides then left the classroom to "get help" and left the rest of the students unattended. That gave another student who has a similar disability an opportunity to JUMP ON ANOTHER STUDENT AND START BEATING HER UP!!!

    The aide returned with an aide from another classroom to help and then proceeded to yell at me for not using my instinct to help the first aide much faster. I know now that I should have acted faster and not have waited until the aide asked me for help. But at the same time, the other aide should have used her own personal instinct to wait until the situation was resolved before getting help/leaving the classroom.

    I'm still trying to figure out who is at fault and what I should do next, especially if/when the teacher finds out. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :help:
     
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  3. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2010

    I talked to my partner about the situation (with utmost confidentiality, no names or anything!) and he suggested that I wake up early and tell the teacher myself.

    He said that the teacher's aide who yelled at me was actually at fault because she left her post. She left the classroom to get help. She should have actually called the other classroom and asked for the aide instead. If that happened, the other kid would not have been jumped.

    At this point, I don't think the teacher knows anything. If I do tell the teacher, I am going to have to wake up early to tell him before my next sub job starts and before the teacher assistant arrives.

    Please advise. Is there a secret code among the aides? Would this jeapordize my chances to come back to this school or even my relationship with the aides? I know that they can be quite cliquey. What if the aide decides not to bring anything up at all? Does that make me a snitch?
     
  4. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2010

    Well I think legally you need to document what happened, especially if students had to be restrained. So if that is the case the teacher needs to be informed. I don't have experience as an aide though so I'm not sure exactly what you should do to maintain a good working environment.
     
  5. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2010

    Well, I woke up early and told the teacher everything before the FT aides got there. He said he appreciated that I kept him informed. He asked me why I didnt contact him as soon as the fit started to happen. I did not have the number to the classroom he was in and leaving the classroom to get him would be the wrong thing to do. He didnt say much more except that in events like this, i need to focus first on the safety of the students and the staff.

    I hope this does not escalate into anything more. I am at this school again for another classroom and I want to get it over with so I can go home and focus on my school work...in class management of all things.

     
  6. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Oct 2, 2010

    I agree that you need to write a written report, but it should be focused on the student behaviors - not how the aides handled the situation. Just mention the aides actions incidentally as you describe the situation so you don't appear to be judging their actions.
     
  7. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Oct 2, 2010

    I know in hindsight it's always much easier to think of what to do in this situation, but in the future, my advice would be the one of the aides in the room removes the rest of the students immediately. There are three of you in the room, and the safety of the students is the first priority. After they are out of the room, supervised by the one aide, the other two can work to restrain him.

    In the future, it would also be helpful to call the office if you are not trained in restraining a child... you don't want legal issues to arise. I guarantee that the school has someone that they could send (guidance counselor, SPED teacher, etc) to restrain the child. Do not be doing things that are outside of your capability and training as a sub... you don't want to be caught in the middle of a lawsuit.
     
  8. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Oct 2, 2010

    In my opinion, you are a substitute aide. The two aides that are F/T in the classroom should have dealt with the aggressive child and left you with the other students. Most students act out more aggressively when they are restrained and when you add in a stranger doing the restraining they may take longer to calm down.

    Why didn't the aide phone someone for help rather than leave the classroom?
     
  9. SpecSub

    SpecSub Comrade

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    Oct 7, 2010

    As a substitute aide, you should never, ever, ever restrain a child or help to restrain one. In many places, you have to be certified in restraining or you cannot lay a hand on a child whatsoever. In fact, I would make a policy that you never touch a child - you need to protect yourself. What if the child had been injured, or you had? You're not certified in restraints, and you would be opening yourself up to a huge lawsuit.
     
  10. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Oct 7, 2010

    Where was the teacher in all this? I understand she was in another classroom, but any time I leave my students (even with aides), I ask another teacher to "be in charge" of my students/classroom.

    Further, if the student(s) normally exhibit this kind of behavior, the teacher should have instructed you about what to do in advance of the situation. He/she may have been overwhelmed/had a bad start to the day/forgotten, but I still think the responsibility lies on him/her. If it was a new and random incident, then the teacher can't fault you for not knowing what to do, especially since you didn't know the student or if this was typical behavior.

    In the future, you may want to ask a teacher as soon as you arrive (arrive early for this reason), what the procedure is for emergencies, fights, or other incidents. You can also ask who is a reliable person to go to/call in these situations.
     
  11. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Oct 8, 2010

    I am a floater. I think when you sub you should ask. i think you handled the situation in the best way you could but you should not be restraining students unless you are trained. The other aides should have left you in charge of the other kids. Snf what gives them the right to yell at a sub who does not know a proper procedure if they have not been trained?
     
  12. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2010

    Chances are that they know they didn't do it right so they're trying to cover their A by blaming the sub. Happens every time. Also, it never ceases to amaze me how many teachers fail to let you (as a sub) know when you have a loose cannon in the classroom, or a runner or something else that is very important to know ahead of time.
     
  13. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2010

    Thanks everyone!

    I agree with all of you. I am glad that I was helping a trained teacher's aide, but the aide was definitely in the wrong in this situation. When the throwing and tantrums start happening again, I tell the kids to start getting out of the classroom and away from the situation. The teacher is starting to do more of that.

    I've just made it my personal decision not to sub for this teacher if I can. I have been concerned with this teacher's other techniques, such as wrestling and rolling around individual students who have tantrums. I have worked in a hostile work environment (journalism) and I can sense one when I am in one.

    When I am at a new site, I will ask them about their emergency policies.
     
  14. brightsky351

    brightsky351 Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2010

    You said in your post that you are a substitute, right? If you are the sub. then the regular aides are responsible for instinctively attending to students having "melt downs". You should not fee any guilt over this situation. The other regular employees are responsible and all that is required of a substitute is to take direction and help when you see that you can.
    It sounds to me as though you did what you needed to do.
     
  15. nattyj21

    nattyj21 Companion

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    Oct 22, 2010

    I agree with what is being said. The F/T aid should have had you call down to the office or go get another teacher. The aid would have better knowledge on how to handle the out of control student AND the one who then jumped on another student. How would you have had knowledge of this?

    If you are working at this school often, I would talk with the principal or the lead teacher on how you could have handled this situation. They might echo what we are saying. Regardless, you will be able to document that you talked with someone on the situation.
     
  16. Poise

    Poise New Member

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    Dec 19, 2010

    so, in retrospect, after the student's "melt down" how could the situation have been resolved more efficiently?

    how would the head teacher have acted in the situation.
     
  17. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    Dec 22, 2010

    In retrospective, all the students should be evacuated from the classroom leaving two trained teacher assistants to address the "meltdown."

     
  18. ITeachSDCkids

    ITeachSDCkids Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2012

    The aides and you should not have been alone in the classroom-it is the teacher's sole responsibility legally. He should have told everyone in the classroom how to contact him for help and to also call the office in an emergency. Document and how long you were alone without a teacher in the room. I think 15 minutes is the max time you can be left alone.
     

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