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twin2 twin2 is offline
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 15,499
Senior Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 15,499
Senior Member
paraprofessional contract
Old 11-17-2013, 02:28 AM
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I am not a member of the teacher's union, never have been. I have never been fond of unions anyway. I think they can make a worker lazy. I do see that some good has come out of unions as well, protecting jobs and job conditions. Even if I wanted to be in the union, I cannot afford the membership dues on my little bitty pay.

Regardless of my thoughts, the union went to bat for paraprofessionals in our school system. We have a new contract and its all about adhering to that contract. I hate it. I think it is good to have some rules to play by, but we're big girls and boys. We should be able to fend for ourselves. I realize sometimes certain administrators are not as respecting of this and expect more from paras than they really should, and I guess that's why this has come about. Still, each para is different, and their abilities and desires are different.

I am almost through my teaching program at the college, and I have been a para for years and years. I get insulted at what we can no longer do. Paras used to provide coverage for meetings, but that is not allowed anymore. That means substitutes and specialists are pulled to cover for meetings. Sometimes, the para is better in the room than a substitute because the para knows the students and the class routine. Other times its because the substitute is not very good with the classroom management. (Substitutes here only have to have a HS diploma).

We are not included in a lot of professional development that we used to be included in. This upsets me because I feel the professional development usually benefited me. If it did not apply directly to paras, we were not included in the past, or given the option to opt out. Now we just are not allowed to attend. We are supposed to be a team, yet we are not included in some of the most basic things that would help us work together as a team.

The latest, a para complained, to a committee, because we have been staying ten minutes over most days due to a lengthy dismissal procedure. I get it that she has a job and needs that ten minutes to get there. At the same time, all she had to do was to ask to leave on time each day. Not a thing the principal could have done to make her stay, but I think that he would have been reasonable and let her go. I have been excused for different reasons from my morning duties. Now the principal has been a little strange towards the paras about this issue, making us leave on time. I was insulted. I don't mind staying the extra few minutes to help keep our kids safe, but no, I need to stick to policy. If you want to get technical, even though teachers stay much later than paras do, their duty day ends at he same time ours does too.

There's two sides to every issue. I never felt all this was necessary. I do not like the negative things that have come from this stupid contract.

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