Rock solid employment with appreciative supervisors
1:1 Aide (Former Employee) – Grayslake, IL – February 16, 2017
A 1:1 teacher's aide has a standard day length anchored on their 1:1 student's schedule, which includes bus transport to job training sites and occasional school events (plays, concerts, award ceremonies). I learned that patience, kindness, and modeling gentle friendly behavior builds rapport, then trust. Always check with the teacher in charge, early and often, and match her actions in accord, so if she is pursuing a "No smiles 'till Spring, all smiles after Spring" policy, you are right there with a unified front.
School management places a high value on your being able to handle the classroom without drawing frequently on their limited supply of attention, and being kind and organized before an emergency greatly simplifies the resolution of the emergency. Workplace culture is smoother when you internalize satisfaction at being there, do not complain, and in fact smile warmly at the secretaries. They are key to everything, and crucial to all operations; learn their birthdays.
The hardest part of the job is maintaining self-care so that you have genuine emotional reserves to draw on when the children have empty-tank days. The most enjoyable part of the job is the longest and hardest to accrue, but it is the reputation you build over time as the person the teachers can count on to handle any situation with confidence and with care. That reputation, and the respect that goes with it, is deeply satisfying, and extends out into the community for years afterward.
Recognition in the community for service, long term
Parents of students can drain emotional energy