Survey of Paraprofessionals on Assignments- Post NCLB

From Tish Olshefski at AFT:

The AFT recently surveyed paraprofessionals on the issue of assignments post-NCLB. We specifically tried to determine if paraprofessionals are ever assigned to work without being under the direction of a teacher as outlined in NCLB. A secondary issue is whether paraprofessionals are assigned to work as substitutes. This is a follow-up to a similar survey we first conducted in 2001. While the incident of paraprofessionals working as substitutes has lessened in that time, there are still a fair number of paraprofessionals working as substitutes.



Parapros as teachers aides

RE: Post-NCLB assignments for parapros.

I would like to comment that I have been assigned to be a substitute for the classrooms from pre-k to 6th grades even before NCLB. We even have it in our contract with SEIU that we get paid extra for substituting now. (this happened in the last two years) I have worked here for 9 years.

MRS. P Teachers aide/paraprofessional


responding to comment. We hear that same kind of comment from our AFT members as well. There are many situations where paraprofessionals meet the state/local requirements to work as substitutes and when they do, and are assigned as subs appropriately, then they absolutely should be paid for it. In fact, we have some locals where the paraprofessionals get their OWN pay AND the sub pay. That's an incentive for the district to work a little harder to find a substitute.

But, we also feel that if administrators can randomly remove paraprofessionals from their positions to work as a substitute we feel compelled to ask the question -- who is doing the paraprofessionals work? And, when a paraprofessional works in a school that falls under Title I rules for the entire school, then there is a greater risk of being out of compliance when using paraprofessionals who are NOT then working under the direction of a teacher.

Many things to think about. No one is saying that paraprofessionals aren't capable or shouldn't be paid. But it's one more instance of lack of resources and systems taking the easy way out and then taking advantage of paraprofessionals who simply want to see children succeed and will do what they must to make that happen.

Lunch Breaks

Should a teacher"s Aid/paraeducator who is assigned to a different classroom every single class period of the day, be also forced to do lunch duty during the time she is supposed to eat and be deprived of all breaks?


Job duties can change.

Many of us are teacher assistants because we see what is happening in the schools first hand. We see the good, bad and evil in principals and teachers. I am 64 years young and I made more money working for a private company. I retired and then went back to school to finish my degree. I love working with the children, but I do not like being left in charge of the entire class and half of an absent teachers class, as my "certified" sits outside testing individual students.
Teachers should be in the classroom teaching and should have the freedom to pick what materials she feel is best for the "individuals" in her class. I am so happy that I do not have to use the boring materials in the classroom, and out of my own money, I introduced my children to the Starfall program, with the teacher's permission. I have kindergartners, who can read and they enjoy it! (
I also use many other activities to help my students at my own expense. I do not have to do this, but if I can make one child love to learn, then my life will not be in vain.