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KSPara18's Message:

Iíve been a Para/Teachers Aide for 18 years. The one thing that has not improved in all those years is the disrespect blatantly shown to Support staff from teachers and administration. Students pick up on this and also treat support staff disrespectfully. Have any of you encountered this and if so how did you handle the situation? Iíve brought this up to some teachers and some administrators, but they of course deny this happens! Iím frustrated and tired of being treated like a third class citizen!

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
geoteacher8 03-18-2019 03:04 PM

I am sorry that you are being treated disrespectfully. In my opinion, that is always unacceptable.

I will say that the aides in my district are generally not asked to lead PD opportunities for the certified staff. I donít see this as disrespect as we have different responsibilities, and the aides have other specific roles.

twin2 03-17-2019 06:16 PM

I acknowledge that every school has a different atmosphere and some treat paras better than others. Some paras are very well liked and respected. Others feel as though they are not treated fairly, even taken advantage of. I'm sorry you were feeling so lousy about your situation at work, and I hope those issues have been dealt with and things are better for you. I am not sure that I understand exactly what you are complaining about. Are you complaining that paras are not given opportunities to lead PD sessions, or that the other staff do not treat paras well?

There are times when paras can lead PD sessions, because they have the expertise to share with other staff. There are other times that a more qualified person is chosen. Sometimes it is just a matter that there are enough teachers who need credits doing PD sessions that there isn't a need, or an "opening" to ask a para to lead PD sessions. Other times, para contracts do not allow paras to be used to teach PD sessions. The para contract at the school here is very specific about how a para can be used, and it only involves working with students, which is how our school system interprets Title I regulations regarding highly qualified paras.

Relationships in the classroom can be tricky. Some paras are very humble, and willing to do anything the teacher requests. Others aren't as humble, but they pour themselves into what they do and it just works. Some teachers are true leaders and know how to use paras appropriately. Other times, teachers do not have the experience using paras, and are feeling their way through, like anyone new to any profession. Even under the best of circumstances, this can include a lot of trial and error, because what worked with one class does not necessarily work with another. Needs and dynamics are so different from class to class, year to year.

I would ask you to take a step back. You are very experienced as a para, and must have a lot to offer. Is it that the teacher is just trying to be the leader, because ultimately the teacher is responsible for how the para is used. It will be on their evaluation whether that para was used effectively or not. Administration looks for certain things, and teachers have their own ideas how to best use paras. It may not leave room for your suggestions to be utilized. One answer to this might be to go to administration and request they host brief weekly para/administration meeting where paras can express concerns, give ideas, and administration can do the same. The school I'm at now does this. I am no longer a para, so I have not been to one of those meetings, but I think it is a great idea. I wish our administration did this when I was a para.

KsPara1123 02-10-2019 04:32 PM

As I stated in my post, I have called out those that have shown disrespect, however, they did not feel they were being disrespectful. In our district, Paras are not asked to lead a PD sessions. When support staff have asked to do so, they were turned down.

I feel I do my job very well. Have always had excellent reviews. I feel if other staff do not feel they are being disrespectful to support staff, then it will not be changed. Perhaps itís my perception. Something to work on!

lovemymonster 02-10-2019 02:45 PM

My suggestion is don't act like a third class citizen. That sounds harsh, but respect will not be given just because you think you deserve it. Take your job and yourself seriously, and it will show. Be amazing in what you do (you probably are!), and take credit for it. If someone talks down to you, call them on it. If someone blows off your opinion or advice, let them know that they are missing out on a great resource. Take initiative and get involved in things that take you beyond your job description - think mentoring, helping out on a sports team or club, volunteering to organize a potluck, lead a workshop on a PD day. Its harder to be disrespectful to someone who is likeable, knowledgeable and confident! Hope that helps.

KSPara18 02-09-2019 02:04 PM

Iíve been a Para/Teachers Aide for 18 years. The one thing that has not improved in all those years is the disrespect blatantly shown to Support staff from teachers and administration. Students pick up on this and also treat support staff disrespectfully. Have any of you encountered this and if so how did you handle the situation? Iíve brought this up to some teachers and some administrators, but they of course deny this happens! Iím frustrated and tired of being treated like a third class citizen!




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