Saturday, April 26, 2008

bait & switch

The new job was supposed to be easy -- second grade teacher's aide. That lasted a couple of weeks, then I got thrown the curveball of the one-one-one work, which was supposed to end today.

Today, of course, I hear my one-on-one kid is going back to his original classroom, and I'm going with him, and that class's aide will be moving into my classroom.

This is wrong on so many levels that I would be fully justified in quitting, but I'm not going to quit (at this point) for a bunch of reasons -- it's only till the end of the year (5 more weeks), and they need someone, and it's good to have steady money.

But, but, but... this isn't what I signed up for, not by a long shot. Being a general aide is easy work and I could leave at the end of the day without having anything too pressing weighing on my mind. One-one-one work is not like that, I find myself replaying various confrontations and thinking about what I could have done differently. It's psychologically draining on a level I haven't experienced in years, and I'm finding it impossible to get back into my schoolwork. (I'm hoping this otherwise-empty weekend will get me back in the groove.)

And another thing? The pay is horrifically bad. Substitute teaching money isn't great, but it's still better than teacher's aide money -- and one-on-one aides get paid at the same rate as regular aides. Now I'm off the table as far as subbing goes, which wasn't part of the original deal, either. I can earn in 3 days subbing what it takes 5 days to earn as an aide, but now I won't have that chance since they can't leave a one-on-one aide-less a couple of days per week.

I'm being taken advantage of, and I know it, and I'm allowing it to happen because they are stuck. What I need to do next week (there was no time at all, today), is meet with the appropriate administrators and tell them these things. I may ask for more money ("hazard pay") but will most likely be told there isn't any, to which I will reply: but what about the funds that were budgeted for the aide for my (original) class, which went unspent for at least 3 or 4 months? I may be able to work something, there.


Anonymous said...


Is your school system part of the NEA or AFT representation scheme?

Elizabeth lost one of the best aides she has ever had in years this year - similar situation.

Taking advantage of teachers (and/or aides) is a time honored tradition - at least around here you have teacher advocates like Elizabeth who have been in the system a long time and don't mess around when it comes to dealing with wayward administrations. And while her organization does not represent aides per se, she has and does intervene if she sees something that just ain't right.

You know, teaching is great, but competant adminstrators are getting harder and harder to find. You might want to think about that for the future after you finish your teaching certs. Around here, they've had to pull principles and superintendents out of retirement there's such a shortage.

Well, in any case, good luck - have at it.

And if you do come up this summer, please give me a call this time - meet for lunch or something.

alley said...

Yeah, one on one sucks. YOu know whats worse. Being hired to be one on one and then finding that its actually two students, but only on eis on the books as needing one on one help.

Yeah, its draining. Try it with seventh graders. Try it with one who is non-communicative and another who would rather sleep all day then do anything else. Try it with a supervising teacher who really doesn't get the fact that even MR kids need to have expectations and boundries and consequences.

Sorry I unloaded on you. I will be so glad when the school year ends.

Papercollector said...

aye mate, so sorry out of the loop still behind in my life...and sad to hear what is happening...stay in focus with your classes...I'll pray to give you strength... oh the way of the world just .....