Pros: flexible work schedule, work in many different environments, can be fun and rewarding, learn a lot
Cons: inconsistent work hours, not a high-paying job, usually no benefits, high burnout, can be difficult to work with some families and clients depending on the needs
A typical day at work: Spending a day in 1 or multiple classrooms assisting client with work or activities, utilizing interventions to address client behaviors, and transferring skills to teacher(s). With home and community hours, going into the home or community and utilizing interventions to address client behaviors and transferring skills to family or caregivers.
Learned: Expect the unexpected! Home environments are a challenge because you never know what to expect with how clean the home is or the family values/functions. School environments range from long and boring days to fun and quick days. Teachers and staff members have different expectations, and you have to be able to work with everyone and give reminders of what your role is and is not. Need to be able to problem solve and come up with solutions. Many times you have to try interventions or ideas to see if they work. You won't always know the solution immediately to a situation that comes up.
Hardest part of the job: Maintaining patience and not feeling discouraged or defeated! You're working with clients that have behaviors such as non-verbal and antisocial to aggression. You are also working with staff and caregivers that have different expectations and ideas of what they want you to do.
Most enjoyable part of the job: Seeing your hard work pay off! Watching clients progress and seeing the difference you make in their lives and the families is rewarding.