The Plight of an Instructional Aide

Instructional-AssistantI love working with special needs students.  In fact, I love it so much that I often recognize when a little more work might be needed on a topic/lesson and so I take it upon myself to go that extra mile. The consequence is that during the school year, I might just work an additional hour or two at night on my own time.  Many teachers ask me for my opinion, and I am grateful. I feel appreciated and a part of the process. It is always nice to be included and be valued for my opinions.

I believe that instructional assistants should have a voice. After all, we are part of the team carrying out the IEP goals and consequently, have insight on student achievement and motivation. After eight years of being an aide, I finally learned that the most powerful gift that I can give my students is faith, words to express their feelings, and the opportunity to respect who they are even when they are at their worst. I believe what I am doing is empowering students with a sense of belonging and significance.

Please consider the instructional assistant an asset to the classroom and realize that we are just as invested in the student as the other members of the staff that touch their lives. I am in it for the kids!


About talkcounts

Diana Loiewski has been teaching special needs students for over thirty years. She not only is a classroom high school teacher, she also serves as an administrative designee in IEP meetings, and case work trainer for the military Exceptional Family Member Program. In addition, she presents on special education topics all over the country and is a co author of Individual Education Plan Workbook for Success, and Healthy Relationships a multimedia workbook for special education teens and adults. ___________________________________________________________________ Elizabeth Dominick is the parent of an 18-year-old special needs student. Elizabeth and her husband navigated the special needs odyssey from the time their son was 3 years old to the present. She and her husband have placed their son in both public and private settings and have worked with attorney advocates to get better services. Ultimately, they ended up educating themselves on special education law. Elizabeth is a past reporter and editor and currently writes parent meditations and other articles for __________________________________________________________________ Sharon McCormick is a special education teacher and blogger. She has been in the classroom for over fifteen years. Prior to that time, she worked with emotionally disturbed youth in residential and group home settings. She is clever and creative and enjoys supporting students with special education needs. ___________________________________________________________________________ Renee Tompkins is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Services. She is an amazing and energetic professional with fifteen years of experience working directly with special needs students. She also serves as a board member of the Special Education Foundation and supports fundraising efforts for teachers within the Poway Unified School District. She is currently employed with the Poway Unified School District and she delivers services to both groups and individuals in the transition program working with adults eighteen-years-- twenty-two years of age. Her current responsibilities include organizing and running a healthy relationship program with both men and women with intellectual disabilities.
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1 Response to The Plight of an Instructional Aide

  1. Kat Mc says:

    Reblogged this on A Beautiful Hurricane and commented:
    I wish I could talk more to our IAs! They are the ones that often work directly with my son – I want to know THEIR opinions and thoughts, too!

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