Open Discussion Forum

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  • 1.  Assistants

    Posted 03-21-2019 04:22 PM
    It seems that my assistant and I are clashing again this year.  We have had discussions of expectations in the past.  These expectations were agreed upon, but have yet to be followed up on. However, it seems that administration makes excuses for actions, or lack there of.  Our personalities are very different and any constructive criticism is twisted into something hateful. I am completely at a loss as to what to do, any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • 2.  RE: Assistants

    Posted 03-22-2019 07:02 AM
    I am sorry to hear that you and your colleague are going through a rocky time in your work together.
    You mention that expectations were made clear, but are not being fulfilled.  Can you give an example?  What type of disagreements are you having?  Does your colleague see that there are problems, too?
    The source of the conflict will impact the steps you take to address it of course, but like most relationships, sharing a classroom with an assistant teacher (or a co-teacher) comes down to holding a shared vision for your work with children and strong communication.
    It might be helpful to ask a trusted administrator to help facilitate a conversation between you and the other teacher where, together, you name and define the issues and make a plan for steps you can both take to move forward.  There will need to be routine follow up conversations to check in about progress and adjust course as necessary.
    Hang in there and good luck in your efforts to re-build the partnership!  Sharing a classroom is not always an easy experience, and the relationship requires honesty, clear communication, and mutual trust.

    Karen Watson
    Karen Watson
    Bloomfield Hills MI

  • 3.  RE: Assistants

    Posted 03-22-2019 09:13 AM
    Good Morning Kayla,

    It truly is challenging to create a well honed working relationship with others.  As Karen inquires more specific information about the situation, such as environment, age of children, length of time working together, challenges from the previous year, what helped, what carried over, what are the sticking points this year, communication of the assistants perception or perspective of problem(s).  In addition what specifically is administration 'excusing' and how do you each feel about those responses?  You also share perceived personality differences, concretely, or how these personality traits are expressed in the classroom is valuable to include in the conversation for balancing out conflict.

    If you are uncomfortable sharing specifics in the forum, understandable, feel free to contact me, peer mentoring is one of my most enjoyable exchanges.  Best of luck and please let us know how it works out.  Happy Spring!

    Laveeta Sweeney
    Ellicott City MD

  • 4.  RE: Assistants

    Posted 03-22-2019 12:16 PM
    Can you give more information as to what expectations you both agreed upon?

    Lela Messick
    Quality First Redesign Director
    United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona
    Sahuarita AZ

  • 5.  RE: Assistants

    Posted 03-22-2019 02:14 PM
    As a director for my school.  I appoint my head teachers that they are the supervisor for their classroom.  If there's a conflict between my head teachers and their staff.  I highly encourage to solve their differences, and if it doesn't work.  Then as director I step in to see what solution I can provide to help resolve the conflict.  Your assistant should be helping you and not telling you what to do.  Your her supervisor, and you can write her up for of insubordination.  If it cannot be resolve between the two of you, then your director should be helping you to find a solution.  Hope this helps.

    Peter Tedtaotao
    Honolulu HI

  • 6.  RE: Assistants

    Posted 03-25-2019 12:57 PM
    Expectations among teams should be in writing and all parties, including administration to sign saying they understand what the expectations are.  That helps when things like this keep going.

    Gwen Simonetti

  • 7.  RE: Assistants

    Posted 03-26-2019 03:32 PM
    Try to quantify it i.e. when, where, over what, time, date in everyday reflections so as to better analyze what might be at the root of this.
    What are your classroom management expectations? Have you heard of "Capturing Kid's Hearts" where Social Contracts are posted?  Open discussion ensues, accountability is enforced and happy things are discussed by ALL (teacher and assistants included even substitutes) every day and there are launches of positive sayings, songs etc.  Speaking of; put music on and make the environment harmonious, welcoming and integrating of all participants.  Do you know what your Assistant's strengths are to involve him/her to feel more included and build self confidence?  You could even discuss helping he/she get his/her certification to teach some day.  *&:  )

    Germaine Jackson
    Round Rock TX