Hello, everyone! If you read my most recent post, you know that last week I was feeling a little bummed, because I was unable to find a teaching job for fall and instead took a job as an aide. (By the way, I wanted to give a shout out to Miss L for her kind comment that really helped me feel better and put things into perspective!)
Last week when I wrote, I said that I had been hired as a 1:1 aide for a child with Cerebral Palsy, a third grader named Bess. Well, today was scheduled to be my first day. So yesterday I emailed the principal, Mr. Dulcet, to see what time I should arrive. He replied that I should arrive at 8:20, and mentioned that I'd be placed as an aide in Mr. Shizuka's classroom, and that I would also serve as a "backup aide" for the little girl named Bess. I was a little confused by that! When they hired me they tld me I'd be working with Bess, and they even had me meet with Bess's teacher, but then they told me I'd be working as a classroom aide in a regular education first grade classroom!
Today when I got there, things were cleared up a bit. An aide named Ms. Lane had been working, since the beginning of the school year, as a 1:1 for a first grade boy named Wyken. But Ms. Lane has a strong background in working with children with physical disabilities. So somewhere between last week and this week, it was decided that Ms. Lane would work with Bess, and I would take over working with Wyken.
The weird thing is that Wyken barely needs any help. He has a mild behavior disorder. Apparently last school year there was an incident in which he brought a kitchen knife to school inside his folder, causing all hell to break loose with the parents of the other kindergarteners. So that's when it was decided that Wyken needed an aide. He also has some mild sensory issues. But otherwise, he's fine, a little hyper but very eager to please. The goal is for him to not need an aide at all next school year. So my job is really to keep an eye on him, and step in when he does need help, but really let him be as independent as possible. Which is great, for Wyken, because he hates having an aide and being different from the other kids!
So today I did mostly busy work. I had to pull out all of the pages from the students' math worksheets, and collate them, so they could be passed out one at a time throughout the year. I hung up the students' art work in the hallway. I graded some homework. I distributed some papers and finished schoolwork into the kids' mailboxes. I helped Ms. Lane take Bess to the bathroom. (All I had to do is stand there, just so Ms. Lane wasn't in the situation of being alone with a child in a bathroom!)
One weird part of my day is that I was told I'd also have to go to a PE class to help out with four boys who are in special education but are mainstreamed into a regular PE period. I think they are in fourth grade. But when I went down to the gym, the PE teacher told me that the person who worked with the boys had to be a certified adaptive PE teacher, who could modify the activities for them. Ms. Lane, who had been doing it before, was a certified adaptive PE teacher. I stayed for that PE period, but really had no idea what I was supposed to be doing... the kids were playing some game I've never heard of called Four Corners Soccer. Balls were flying everywhere. Afterwards I went and asked the special education teacher, who I was told knows what is going on, what I was supposed to do during that gym class. She told me that my only job was to be an extra person and help out with the boys, but not modify anything. Later I asked Ms. Lane. She said that she did modify things, and that she thought she should still work with the boys, in which case I might take over and work with Bess for that half hour each day.
Then there was the issue of some people telling me that I'd take turns with two other people for doing lunch duty... and then some other people told me that I wasn't supposed to do lunch duty without getting paid, and that someone was being hired specifically for lunch duty. And other people told me that I would have to do lunch duty but would get paid for it.
Not bad, though. Everyone seems very nice. And the pay is good. Not as good as a teacher's pay, but much better than what I earned in the ESY program or at any other job I've worked at. So, I guess it will work out fine, for now.
Wish me luck for tomorrow!