- I don't have to worry about taking attendance.
- She knows the community and can tell me what's going on. (Like learning that one of my student's has been absent for over a week because his brother died unexpectedly. When was the school going to let me know?
- She already knows most of the students and so can help talk with them. This is especially helpful when there's someone who doesn't want to do the work because of this excuse or that one.
- I can ask a local parent if my actions are appropriate. Sure the students complain I'm too mean and some of the other teachers say that enforcing the rules is tantamount to chopping off my own head. Being validated by a parent who thinks her son was passed along because this school bended rules to easily allows me to continue to say things like, "No, the deal is, you are in your desk working on your warm-up journal when the bell rings." Or, "You know better than to pull out your binder to look up how to do things on a test. That's a 0. You'll get another chance next week."
But I'm not sure how to maximize her help. Technically, she's there to help me teach the class, especially to help the students on IEPs. (Not that I've seen the IEPs to know who they are. I think there's only one all day, and he just picks up the assignment and goes to the resource room. What they do there, beyond me.)
She doesn't have a strong math background. If I want her to be able to help the students at all with assignments, I need to teach her the lesson before class. This is next to impossible now that the resource room has decreed that aides should always be helping a teacher in the classroom, so we cannot talk during my prep. Before school we have our guard the halls duties. Afterschool she needs to go take care of her family or work the detention room to earn some more money.
She is able to see and hear the lesson multiple times a day. I try to have any assignments worked out for her to look at. But I still feel like there should be some way have her help the students with the math. Any suggestions?