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Extreme Paras
Old 01-29-2019, 05:22 PM
 
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I am a new teacher and have had a horrible time with the paras in my room. I have bent over backwards trying to please them and they continue to be angry about every little thing. If I change something about the room, even move a table, they get upset. They constantly rant about me to other staff in the school in front of the kids, sometimes using profanity. Any training I give them is responded to with attitude, refusing to talk to me or the kids for a day or two, or deliberate refusal to comply. They try to challege my curriculum and teaching choices. They overstep and go directly to the therapists about certain kids or try to make treatment decisions about them. Trying to address issues with them makes it worse. I have to do my job and theirs because I can’t trust them with anything. They try to get me in trouble for “wasting lamination”- I’m really not using that much, especially considering I’ve had to basically create my own curriculum. If I give them a task that should take 20 minutes, it takes hours.

They feel like they should get multiple breaks and be able to stop and socialize whenever.They grab the kids and yell at them when they have accidents. I am so tired of walking up on them talking badly about me or going against my directions. They were outraged when I came up with a seating chart and were cussing about it. I do all the data keeping myself because they had horribly incorrect numbers and data. They feel as though I took THEIR job- I feel that it is my job to make sure data is correct and that I plan appropriate goals. One threatened me in front of the child that she would walk out if I didn’t take away a kindergarteners entire recess just for sticking his tongue out after being inappropriately treated by the para. The kids refuse to work for them frequently because of the way they treat them. I’ve told my superiors and there will be changes in assignment for them next year hopefully, but getting through this year is really wearing on me. I feel sick most of the time- it is such a toxic environment.


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teabreak teabreak is offline
 
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It's time
Old 01-29-2019, 08:59 PM
 
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It's time to get your admin involved. You need to have a sit down meeting with your admin and the paras. I would go to admin with what you have seen/heard/witnessed. Stick with the facts and don't let your emotions interfere (easier said than done). Let admin know that you are afraid that some needs are not being met and the children are not coming first. Come up with a plan or agenda with admin on how to address your paras. If they threaten to walk, tell them you will give a recommendation if they decide that is what is best for them.

Make your backbone a little straighter and take care of this now before it gets worse. It may feel rough for a bit, but you need to take full control now.
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teachsph2008 teachsph2008 is offline
 
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what teabreak said..
Old 02-03-2019, 09:03 AM
 
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Perfect reply. I'd stop doing their job. I feel for you because I have a hunch that admin already knows about their behavior but doesn't want to deal with them. Continue to set a positive and correct example. Don't let them see you "sweat". At the end of the day, they are the ones who are doing flat out stupid things. Cussing at school? Bad mouthing you? And the worst, going to the therapists???? That's a big no no in my district, and likely any district.


I recently had a para like yours, although not as nearly bad. She was very impatient and challenged most of my ideas and just wanted things her way. I was always polite when we talked, even when she was rude. I'd just let her vent and not respond to any of overheard snide comments. It took most of the school year, but pretty soon she softened up. I've seen her type before and knew I could not change her. I just didn't respond to her negativity.

In the defense of the paras, sounds like they have seen many teachers come and go. They likely have a good idea of what works and doesn't work. While that can be good, it's not their job to undermine you. A good para would talk to you and let you know how things were in the past. I'd appreciate them sharing that information. But with that said, if I wanted to try something differently, they are there to support me and the students. If I fall flat on my face...well they told me so. But it's just a lesson learned. No biggie.
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