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Really Rough Year
Old 05-25-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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It has been a really rough year. I am a paraeducator working with teachers from kindergarten through third grade. Our team had a new teacher come in to lead us this year. I wasn't thrilled about it because the last new teacher we had did nothing to guide us or lead us. Then I met the new teacher and knew this was going to be a great year. She was going to do all the things for us our previous teacher didn't: help us plan interventions, show us how to reach our slower learners, support us with the classroom teachers we work with, do the record keeping based on our anecdotal notes, group the students according to reading leves,ect. I was thrilled!

Then, one of my coworkers, a lady whom I had worked with for five years was offended because our new teacher called us IA's. Our job description is for Instructional Aides. What's the problem with that? This lady said that she had never had a job where she had no power or importance. I just looked at her like she had lost her mind.

Over the next few weeks, I found that my other two coworkers sided with her. I had no problem working with our new teacher. She is truly a nice lady who has the kids' welfare at heart. But these other three ladies seemed to go out of their way to make her life miserable. Then, when I found out that they wanted to make sure the kids failed at succeeding, I lost it. I went to my principle and told her that I could not do what the others were doing. She was not a happy administrator, to say it simply. She asked me not to quit, which is what I went in her office to do.

A big meeting was called with all of us with the district head of our department. It was not a pretty meeting. I even spoke up and said that I may be ostrisized, but that I thought they were wrong in bad-mouthing our new teacher. Of course I was assured that I would not be, but of course I was. I ate lunch alone all year and hardly had any conversation with my coworkers unless it was to listen to more complainig about our teacher.

The coworker without the power, did something that was illegal, and against the contract that we all had to sign to become employees with our school district, she broke confidentiality. She called a parent and told this parent that her child had been identified for intervention assistance. The classroom teacher of this child came to her and asked her why she did that and she denied it and then tried to get us to back her up. I didn't say a word, just walked out of the room. Nothing was done about the breach, and she later gloated about how much power she had over the administration because her daughter was friends with one of the board's employees.

As this year grows to a close, the tension in our small room is thick enough to cut with a spoon. None of them talk to me. I get blamed for mistakes the others have made, by them, not the teachers. I get remarks like brown-noser and a**kisser, and such. My work table has been moved to the other side of the room away from theirs. I feel like I am in an isolation ward with windows all around me and I can see out but no one can see in.

I love my job and the benefits I see coming from kids who thought learning was a chore and now they see the world opened up to them and they can touch it and experience it. I just don't know if I want to go through what I went through this year. I love and respect the new teacher working with us, I should say me, since the others won't have anything to do with her. She has such great ideas and plans for the kids to help them learn.

Our district supervisor told me today that I needed to come back next school year to help impliment the changes our new teacher wants to start. She also told me the classroom teachers think that I am dedicated to the students and that I am good at what I do. She said that I am on the list to be rehired, since paraeducators in my district are rehired on a year to year basis.

I just pray that next year will be a smoother one and a happier one. I guess what hurts the most is I thought these women were my friends. Now I know that I was just a source of information and materials for them.


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I'm so sorry!
Old 05-26-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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Please don't quit! As a classroom teacher, I would be thrilled to have you working with my students. You sound like you're there for the kids...unlike your coworkers. The new teacher will need your continued support. I know it's hard, but please continue to focus on what the students need to achieve, and ignore the childishness of your coworkers. Take pride in what you are doing for the students! You have learned a tough lesson about what you thought were your friends, but you're not at work to strengthen your social life. Being friendly with your colleagues certainly adds to the enjoyment of your job, but it isn't necessary. You sound like you have a wonderful, positive influence in the lives of your students. Perhaps after a restful summer, you'll be able to return with the strength to move on with what you do best...help students achieve!
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Sooo sorry
Old 05-26-2007, 02:30 AM
 
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I have been there- professional jealousy, that's what this is!! When I first started teaching many years ago, I was the young teacher, full of ideas and energy. I was determined to make a difference in the lives of those that I taught. I did this for my students and myself-no one else. Yet, many of those around me were negative, had thrown in the towel, or just couldn't stand someone being successful and making a difference! They especially hated when the administration recognized my efforts! Change or a new way of doing things (even when they know it may be for the best) is difficult for some. It doesn't make sense intellectually, as most people know on one level that it's supposed to be about the kids, but change sure makes people react.

For me, I hung in there, though it was painful at times, because I loved doing what I was doing. My principal agreed with my philosophy and what I was trying to do for my students and supported me all the way. It took time, but the others came around. In time, even they respected me and my efforts and things did turn around!

Now I am on the other side and work daily with teachers. That experience has shaped who I am and how I approach things. All too often, I find, it's not what you say, but how it is said that makes a difference in how those on the receiving end react. Then of course, there are those that love to be negative no matter what.

Try to rest up and put it behind you even though it's hard to do! Just remember that you are there for the right reasons and are willing to do what is best for those that you serve-the kiddos! That is admirable!!! I hope you are working towards your teaching certification?????!!!!!!

Last edited by teach & learn; 05-26-2007 at 02:33 AM.. Reason: typos
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I wish the two of you taught my son!!!!
Old 05-26-2007, 04:55 AM
 
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"I love my job and the benefits I see coming from kids who thought learning was a chore and now they see the world opened up to them and they can touch it and experience it. I just don't know if I want to go through what I went through this year. I love and respect the new teacher working with us, I should say me, since the others won't have anything to do with her. She has such great ideas and plans for the kids to help them learn.

Our district supervisor told me today that I needed to come back next school year to help impliment the changes our new teacher wants to start."

As the mom of a child with special learning needs and as an "ex-SPED teacher," I urge you to please, please, please, hang in there. You're fighting an attitude, which is that children with special learning needs can't learn, and I am so glad you are! Every classroom in America needs a teaching team like you and the teacher for whom you work. Apparently, the district supervisor agrees, as well, because she's accepting the new teacher's changes and wants you to assist in implementing those changes. What an incredible accomplishment for the two of you! Hold your head high, let the others grumble, and KNOW the two of you are doing a great job.

I'm so glad I read this post. It warms my heart to know you are in a classroom somewhere in this country. And I want to thank you for being there.
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Old 05-26-2007, 08:09 PM
 
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Thank you all, so much. I am going to return to school next fall. I've even signed up for a refresher class to keep me up to date on methods being used in our program. My husband has been telling me to hang in there, you know the old saying, "give a dog enough rope and it'll hang itself." He said that sooner or later These ladies will slip up and be found out. I guess this was the year.

After district testing, my kids have succeeded. They may not be "on level" with the other students, but the milestones they passed were passed in wonderful ways.

I am working with our new teacher some over the summer on updating software and book systems so our job should be easier next year.

I had considered working toward my teaching certification, but with two kids to get through college, it is going to have to wait a while, I'm afraid. My district supervisor and principle told me that I have their support if I decide to go back to school. I will have a job with them when I finish.

I thank God that I have made it through this year without loosing my cool or quitting. I love my job and what I do. I don't even mind the paperwork.

Thank you all again for your encouraging words. God Bless You All.

Miss Gina


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Old 05-31-2007, 06:26 AM
 
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People never seem to amaze me! Never ever quit because of someone else. Never. If you love your job and the kids that is all that matters. I have worked in many different places and jobs and it is no different anywhere else, believe me. The rotten eggs will crack eventually and weed themselves out. Adults never seem to grow up, they are trapped in the 3rd grade philosophy at times themselves. As my grandmother used to say; "This, too, shall pass".
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