One school I sub at has more associates then probably two other schools I sub at combined. At first, I thought that it had to do with the number of special needs students but I do not think that is entirely the case. There is one associate that has two hours of lunch duty. When I was in school, there was no one supervising lunch because there are teachers eating at the same time. Then, there is another associate that spends about half the day in the special education room working on projects for the teacher.
This school pays associate subs the same pay they would get for subbing for a teacher because otherwise no one would want to sub for them. It is really boring following the student to class and many of them have behavior problems as well. I refuse to sub at the elementary level for associates because it is not a good situation. I do not enjoy middle school associate jobs either though.
I hate going to the different classes because I have no idea what is going on or what the teacher expects from the students. I really do not know the students that well and I do not know how to help them. Sometimes, I will help a student only to have a teacher say that it was done wrong and needs to be done again. That does not make me feel good. Plus, the students do not want help. If they do have a question, they will ask the teacher over you. Pretty much all you have to do is get after them for their bad behavior.
While I understand that the associate’s job is to help the student so that the teacher can get other things done, I sometimes believe that it is not necessary and that the student is not learning responsibility. Some associates hold on to materials and assignments for the student. The associate tells the students how to behave. The only time the students really need help is when it comes to assignments and tests.
I feel bad for those students and while I never give up on a student, it is sometimes tempting. There is a boy in sixth grade that will probably drop out of school someday. He has a very bad attitude about everything and throws tantrums whenever he gets mad. It will be difficult for him to ever get a job because of his attitude and also because he cannot read.
Another student just wants to sleep all the time. He will constantly put his head down on his desk. After being told several times to sit up, he freaks out and flips desks. In this case, I blame the parents for not getting him to bed sooner.
Not all the students have behavior problems. But all of the students are very slow learners. But I think we need to look at associates jobs differently so that the students will be successful both in the classroom and in life.