Assistant concerns - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      The VENT

Assistant concerns

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Loveandmercy Loveandmercy is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Loveandmercy
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member
Assistant concerns
Old 09-16-2018, 04:14 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I am brand new to this state and don't have friends yet so any input would be really appreciated. I'm at a new school in a full-time teaching job. I've been there less than a month. Back-to-School night went very well and parents seem to appreciate me. Other teacher who is my grade is super nice. Principal and Vice Principal seem happy as do the students. I've already bonded with the kids and I get hugged regularly. I really like this new school. I'm an experienced teacher and have had very positive experiences with assistants in my past school. A great assistant is SO helpful in a classroom. That is an understatement.

My new assistant in my new school has been there for many years. But I am feeling like I am getting steamrolled. I have said to her something like "thank you so much for showing me the procedure for centers - I think now I should begin them" and, well, she didn't let me...she went ahead the next day and started them. Did she forget? She makes the announcement that centers are starting and starts shouting instructions at the kids. I dont run my classroom this way. It is counterproductive. It was somewhat understandable my first two weeks that she would take over (because I didn't know how they were run) but now I totally understand how to do it and she needs to get out of the way and be the assistant. But it is as if she is the teacher (?) and i am getting steamrolled.

There have been times I am talking to the class and she will literally interrupt and talk right over me. Maybe she has a hearing issue? Although I appreciate her help showing me new stuff in the classroom how to run centers this doesn't mean I'm a beginner in the profession or that she should intervene and take control if I am simply approaching something in a slower, more deliberate manner. I feel she rushes the kids. I don't teach that way. It is ineffective. I feel she would rather tell a child the answer to get the paper filled out rather than having half the paper finished but it is actually coming from the student who persevered. The other teacher in my grade, who is a quite honorable sort and not prone to gossip, shared in a professional way that she has experienced this when this aide helps her each day, also. We didn't badmouth this aide to one another. She suggested I speak to her about it which I will on Monday which I had already decided to do.

Aide talks right over me when I talk to her one-on-one (before school when we are alone in the classroom) and also has a few times in class in front of students. (We are the same age, by the way. ) WHat do I say to her? Don't talk over me? I mean what is she thinking? Today I said to her "I feel like I have lost control of my class" and she was quite angry. (this was not a good thing for me to say I admit. I was frustrated) When I tried to explain what I meant (this is my first real attempt to address matters) There was a big pause with her giving me the big stare down and then she said "I'll talk to you about this later" in an angry voice. I am not used to this. I am a mellow teacher who has a history of getting along well with all types of personalities. I am an INFP in the Meyers Briggs test.

I guess this is a personality I have not yet run into in teaching profession. I wanted to talk to her before she left for the day. She bolted. I did get a text from her apologizing for getting mad. But then she said something like "we can reboot on monday" Maybe that was nice? I texted back. I said a brief apology, too (?) THen I said I think it would be helpful to talk.

I just feel very undermined by my new assistant and am looking for suggestions about how to say what I need to say. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Also, I have never had assistants who write comments to parents in the assignment books. I asked her to initial what comments she writes. Was that unreasonable request?

Thank you very much.


Loveandmercy is offline   Reply With Quote

cemsnowy4 cemsnowy4 is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 481
Senior Member

cemsnowy4
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 481
Senior Member

Old 09-16-2018, 04:32 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

Is this assistant a para for students or do they have a teaching license? As a teacher I would not want an assistant writing notes to parents and especially not signed with their name. When you do have a conversation with her I would make it clear that you are the one in charge of your classroom and you are the one that is held accountable. In a nice way explain what her role is and what she should be doing. Sometimes it is very difficult when you have the degrees needed to be the teacher and an assistant without the degrees think they know everything. Good luck.
cemsnowy4 is offline   Reply With Quote
choppie70's Avatar
choppie70 choppie70 is offline
 
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 6,130
Senior Member

choppie70
 
choppie70's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 6,130
Senior Member

Old 09-16-2018, 05:04 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

I am so sorry. I agree that she has overstepped the boundaries. She may just be trying to be helpful, but she is not. If she is a one on one aide, then she should not be making any decisions that pertain to the whole class.

I agree that you should talk to her.

Set some ground rules for her. Lay out her expectations.

Does you school have any type of job description of what her expectations are? Maybe you can see if the special education teacher has one?
choppie70 is offline   Reply With Quote
Lanieob Lanieob is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 42
Junior Member

Lanieob
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 42
Junior Member

Old 09-16-2018, 05:26 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

Oh my goodness- I am so, so sorry this is happening to you- especially in a new position! This aide sounds extremely strong willed and used to being so- as evidenced by the other teacher's comment.

I have had the great fortune to have had many awesome assistants- my current one is priceless beyond measure. But I was in your shoes once in a different way- I tried to make it work but it just got worse and worse- the only way I got out of it was when I moved to a different position and was lucky enough to get a new aide. It was a very long year. I am your personality type too!

What I would do ASAP-
Meet and talk, accentuate the positive, thank her, try not to confront or make her feel she did something wrong, she may feel like she is helping
Outline your procedures using language like-
I plan to...
I am going to ...
This is how I like to do .... centers, giving directions, any and everything you want to add that is bugging you
Use empowering language to show you are taking the reins
Make sure you have lots of things for her to do that are her jobs and give her lots of positive feedback

I think what I learned from my situation is-
It is my professional responsibility to be in the driver's seat in regards to what goes on in my classroom
You need to run your classroom in a way that is best for you- in your case- students need to see you as the #1 authority figure- not your aide
You are not there to make nice with an aide who is not a good fit for you and your class- you are there to provide a quality education for your students
You do not need extra stress

This may not work with this aide and if that happens- you may need to meet with an administrator- I know that is the last thing you want to do in a new school. But honestly- I am betting the administration is already aware of this.

Wishing good luck- hopefuuly things will get better!!!
Lanieob is offline   Reply With Quote
been there
 
 
Guest

been there
 
 
Guest

Old 09-16-2018, 06:36 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

I had an assistant like that a few years back. In her case the previous teacher had been absent a lot and just let her run the show when he was there. Even admin , nurse and specialists would talk to her instead of the teacher. She was not bad, but she ran things differently than I would, and she was the para not the teacher.
First I let admin, nurse and specialists know that I was the teacher and they needed to talk to me, not my para. Then I had a frank talk with her about how I appreciated her having run the show when it was not her responsibility/pay-grade the last few years , but that I was the teacher now and I was going to set the tone and make the decision going forward. It took a bit for her to adjust, but she was also relieved to not have to carry the responsibility anymore.
Good luck


  Reply With Quote
kahluablast's Avatar
kahluablast kahluablast is online now
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18,362
Senior Member

kahluablast
 
kahluablast's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18,362
Senior Member

Old 09-16-2018, 06:39 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

I think this can be a common problem when EA's spend time in grade levels and watch teachers come and go. They can "see" the way things ran when others have been in there, they get used to it, and that is the way things should run.

Then change happens, and they have trouble adapting.

I agree that you should lay down the groundwork. I would have a conversation, no matter how hard. Thank her for her assistance in getting you acclimated to school rules, procedures, and expectations. Tell her what you want her to do and be doing. Let her know that you appreciate her backing you up on things, but that when you are talking to the students, you feel disrespected by her when she talks over you. It sends mixed messages.

You just have to be careful that you don't make her feel unvalued. You don't want her standing in the back doing nothing because you have taken her power away. Make sure she has expectations for what you do want her to do, and some autonomy to correct behaviors, classwork, etc. You don't want her to have to ask before she does anything. (Or do you?) .
kahluablast is online now   Reply With Quote
Newto3s
 
 
Guest

Newto3s
 
 
Guest

Old 09-16-2018, 10:36 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

How well do you know the school? I'm just asking because she may be in what I like to call the "friend and family" boat. I.e. she is a relative or friend of someone in the district or something similar. I've seen this a lot with aides that just won't back down. Especially, as you've mentioned, she's not doing things the professional way. You know what's funny? I've seen this with aides who's "in" has left (even fired). Honestly, as someone who has left the public school due to things like this, I'd just let her be. On the grounds that, the teachers know how she is. Admin more than likely knows how she is. Aides are very easy to fire as they don't get the protect teachers do (tenure and union protection). They have their reasons for not firing her.

I would have a conversation with her on Monday. Then I would start documenting what she does. I always (even in the private school) keep a log for aides. I would pull my log out if she does anything major and/or parents complain about her. Besides that, just go your own way. If she mentions anything, I would say in a calm manner "I'm the certified teacher of this room. The district/state/whomever states X (whatever she is giving you a hard time about). If I want to keep my license, I must follow that."
  Reply With Quote
elmo33 elmo33 is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 263
Full Member

elmo33
 
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 263
Full Member
Difficult
Old 09-16-2018, 11:48 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

That is so hard. I have been there, except I never got an apology. But you were right to say something, it is not her job to direct activities, I would jump In if she does it again. She can help give them - not take lead. If she’s upset- oh well. Be pleasant and continue to do your job the way you want to.
The fact she said sorry is good. She may be afraid since you are new you may change how things are done and she is trying to prevent that. I hope it works out!!
elmo33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Summerwillcom Summerwillcom is online now
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,556
Senior Member

Summerwillcom
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,556
Senior Member
You have gotten good advice....
Old 09-16-2018, 01:26 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

I can just sympathize w/ you. My 1st yr in a new state I had an aide who tried to take control of my class. Of course being the new teacher, I had gotten the aide no one wanted.
I found out though in the middle of the yr that people knew what this aide was like. He watched my class when I had lunch break and would seriously rearrange the class seating( majorly) while I was gone, tell me I was doing a program wrong in front of the kids, and talked over me too.
He was related to someone high up in the central office.. I do not know/ remember how I survived that yr.
The good news: The next yr I got to pick the aide I wanted and got a gem.
I wish I had gotten more advice on how to deal w/ an aide before I got him.
It turned out he was an alcoholic and got fired 2 years later when he was caught drinking on the job. Things we never learned about in college....lol Maybe now assistant relationships are covered better in college. Best wishes!!!
Summerwillcom is online now   Reply With Quote
Newto3s
 
 
Guest

Newto3s
 
 
Guest

Old 09-16-2018, 05:08 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #10

You know, I wish colleges would stop doing such a disservice to their education majors. First of all, how do they keep churning them out with the lack of jobs. Two, how they sugar coat everything.


  Reply With Quote
Loveandmercy Loveandmercy is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Loveandmercy
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member
thank you!
Old 09-16-2018, 07:59 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #11

Thank you all for the support. Lotsa good ideas. We meet in morning. I typed out a list of things to go over. I will listen and be kind but will set clear expectations and boundaries.
Loveandmercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Loveandmercy Loveandmercy is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Loveandmercy
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Old 09-18-2018, 01:42 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #12

THANK YOU! I did use this language. It worked. She was quite different today after the meeting. I was kind but used empowering language as you suggested. I think she must have something going on in personal life. But my responsibility is to the kids. Her feelings are not my responsibility. Thank you for your suggestions and support! I was very clear.
Loveandmercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Loveandmercy Loveandmercy is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Loveandmercy
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member
thank you!
Old 09-22-2018, 10:02 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #13

Thank you so much for saying that we are the ones who will ultimately be held accountable. I did say that and it was super helpful.
Hope you are having a nice weekend, camsnowy4!
Loveandmercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Loveandmercy Loveandmercy is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Loveandmercy
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member
Newto3s - thank you
Old 09-22-2018, 10:03 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #14

thanks again - I have experienced the friend and family thing at another school. That can be difficult as well. I did talk to this gal and for now it seems better. ONe day at a time, right! Thank and have a nice weekend!
Loveandmercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Loveandmercy Loveandmercy is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Loveandmercy
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member
Thank you elmo
Old 09-22-2018, 10:04 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #15

I did get to talk to her and I believe for now things are better. I really appreciate your supportive words. Hope you are having a great weekend!
Loveandmercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Loveandmercy Loveandmercy is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Loveandmercy
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member
thank you choppie70
Old 09-22-2018, 10:07 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #16

I was able to talk to her and for now it is better. I so appreciate the support and I hope you have a nice weekend! I especially liked the idea to get her job description. If it surfaces again (overstepping boundaries) I will request that from administrator. Happy Fall!
Loveandmercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Loveandmercy Loveandmercy is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Loveandmercy
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member
kaluablast - thank you
Old 09-22-2018, 10:10 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #17

I loved the word "acclimated" because it referenced the notion that I am new to the school not new to teaching. I was sensitive to your idea to not make her feel undervalued and I'll continue to share directly but in a fair, kind way. I really appreciated your supportive comments. Thank you somuch again!
Loveandmercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Loveandmercy Loveandmercy is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Loveandmercy
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 72
Junior Member
Summerwill come
Old 09-22-2018, 10:13 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #18

Thank you so much for your supportive words! Glad to hear your new aide is wonderful and God Bless the gentleman who suffers from alcoholism. Yes, my aide also moved a desk (yours moved DESKS? WHA????) but mine moved one and I was absolutely shocked. Classroom seating is so important! ANyways it was great of you to share about your experience with me. It truly helped. I talked with her and for now it is better. I will continue to be honest and direct but kind. I hope you have a great weekend!
Loveandmercy is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
The VENT
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:27 PM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net