Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The "Help"

My biggest problem with teaching (aside from foreign exchange students...but that is another story) is my aides. I have two 20+ year old aides - both special needs students who graduated from the school a few years ago and now come in to help in class. They have the mentality of about an 8-year old, with little or no common sense. I'm not putting them down, just stating facts. Both are very sweet girls, but they aren't really aides for me....rather more of liabilities. They do provide some very basic help for taking kids to the bathroom, helping with snack and lunch issues (opening bags/bottles, etc.) - but unfortunately not able to help with cooking anything that needs to be heated up (microwaved) least not yet in my eyes; nor can they do photocopying for me or help me do lesson plans. Most of the time they are just another body in the room that I have to try to maneuver around in an already overcrowded room.

One girl has some physical disabilities as well, so when she sits on the floor she has a hard time getting up (as do I, but at least I have the common sense not to sit on the floor!), her back is often sore and the noise level in the classroom makes her have a headache. I'm not sure how pleasant it is for her to be there...but she does love the kids and is always asking for prayer. The trouble is, in class when I ask the class for answers to a question, she is always saying it out loud or saying "I know Mrs. Smith!" I usually just include her in the answer process rather than fight it, but it gets irritating when I'm targeting a specific child and she interrupts.

The other girl is a bit more capable and can actually help kids with paper work, but she needs to be constantly prodded to help, or she will sit in a chair, right in front of whatever area I'm trying to get to (like bookshelf, desk, white board, door, trash can....) and not move until I ask her to. It just makes my job a bit more exhausting than I had anticipated. Today they did go down into the playground and played with the kids, allowing me to clean up the class in peace. I keep telling myself that for "everything there is a purpose".

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