The only time that I might have an aide in the classroom is when it is a special ed class or the aide is there for one particular student - or a few inclusion students. It really depends on the aide as to how "helpful" she may or may not be. I recall one class where two of the aides (who knew that the teacher would be absent) showed up late to work. They did a couple of busy-work activities that they chose. Then they popped in a movie that one of them brought in. I thought it was from the school library, but one of aides got it from the video store on her lunch break. It had a bunch of "inappropriate words" in the movie! The teacher had not left me any plans, so I was kind of stuck doing what those two aides wanted to do. Another time I was in a special ed classroom and the two aides spent the day bad-mouthing the classroom teacher (that I was subbing for). From what they had to say, that teacher didn't do anything right! Recently, I was subbing for a language arts special ed teacher. The regular teacher was out for three days because her daughter was in the hospital. I had an aide in the classroom for one period. The aide decided that the teacher had made a mistake in what she left for us to do! The aide decided that we should continue with what they had been reading the day before. I told her a couple of times that the teacher had it clearly marked as to what we were to do for the class. But, that aide just took over! I decided it wasn't worth fighting over. However, I made sure to leave a note for the regular teacher stating that it was the aide's idea to do the other reading -- not the one that was marked for us to do. (That was a really irritating situation, because I KNEW that the aide was totally wrong.) Overall, I just go with the flow and if the aide says that she knows what to do, I go with that. Then I leave a detailed note for the teacher explaining how things went for the day.