Classroom aides/Assistants/Parapros/Whatever how do you use them or see them? (Coteacher or GRUNT?)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Classroom aides/Assistants/Parapros/Whatever how do you use them or see them? (Coteacher or GRUNT?)
Sat, 11-06-2010 - 10:42am

First of all its extremely HARD to go from a teacher position to an aide position and be happy with it. Less pay and less respect in some ways if you can imagine.

Which is why I know I must get back into a classroom while I pursue my new career. Anywhoo, here's my issue. While I love my new school and I really do, its really what a school should be, I notice that the teachers sometimes treat the aides as their little grunts and sidekicks.

And having been a teacher who either had no aide or a part time aide, I never asked an aide to do things I either didn't feel like doing or didn't get around to. That wasn't me. My focus was more on having the adies work with students so it freed up my hands to do more work

And while I understand that its each teacher's choice to use the aides how they see fit, I'm not agreeable to making them do certain things but then exclude them from certain activities.

Maybe this situation doesn't work for me cause I'm a teacher and the other aides aren't. They are either recent college grads or older married women making extra money or people working towards a cert and getting experience first.

I did that already. I worked in daycare in college and when I got out, became a teacher of my own class, with no aide by the way.

So you have me putting up bulletin boards, running your copies, helping you with paperwork, doing things, that OOPS you couldn't get to, but during pds being told "oh this is just for teachers, you all don't need to sit in" or sending the aides to get the lunch but then the teachers going off and having lunch seperately.

Having the aide put up bulletin boards, but you can't leave them alone in a room cause they're not certified.

So what is the role of an aide/para/assistant?? I say co teachers. We're there for the kids first. If an aide chooses to help with other things, please do and thanks, but for me I never treated an aide like less than.

I think my situation is a little different coming down from a teacher position and not being the type of teacher who had help or even allowed help to be treated like less.

Yes we make less but that's it, we do everything else and yet I'm only there to make the teacher's life easier?? Hmm, not liking that.

Any thoughts??


Avatar for guili12737
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-1997

The only time I ever had aides in the classroom with me, they were instructional aides and that is exactly how I used them. I had them help me work with the kids. I never gave them clerical work. I wouldn't think of it. My problem with some aides is that they will just sit in the back of the class and not do anything unless specifically told. I hate that! I actually had an aide read her Avon catalog during my class.

Some teachers I think, just don't like to share their teaching duties at all with another adult. I can tell you as a librarian who is supposed to work collaboratively with teachers, sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get them to work with you. I think that may be the problem they have using you for instruction. That's just my $.02.

Avatar for caraleas
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-1997

This not only varies from district to district and school to school, but teacher to teacher and para to para!

In my building (now)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2000

I've had

Avatar for judy_joey
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003

I'm sure it is hard to go from teacher to parapro.....but I must say that I've often wished I could do just that, lol. Here, paras are hired with specific purposes, most are 1:1 with students that