Budget cuts are here and they are brutal. Many school systems across the country will do whatever they can to not have these deficits impact people, but it's inevitable that they will because of the sheer amounts of money that need to be cut.
In many cases, the first people to see cuts will be teacher assistants. In our county (Cabarrus County, NC), the proposal is that TA's will be cut from 8 hours to 6, while still retaining benefits (cuts 25% of their pay though, which is meager to begin with). In addition to this, we are expecting to cut 10% of the TA staff in the county.
It makes me sad to see these cuts because I've been lucky enough to work with some awesome teaching assistants over my 11+ years as a classroom teacher and tech guy. So I thought I'd give some space to honor teacher assistants in a time when they almost certainly are feeling a bit brushed aside....
Awesome stuff I've seen my (and other) TA's do in schools:
- Hug crying kids
- Buy and put in new hairbows and ribbons for little girls who hadn't showered/bathed in more than a week :(
- I'm a guy. If it weren't for Angela, Donna, Myrna, Rhonda, and Lisa my walls both inside and outside of my classroom would have been the lamest, dullest thing you'd ever see.
- Teach kids how to read
- Teach kids how to write
- Sit with kids who have trouble focusing on their own, helping them stay on task and learning
- Keep up with kids' medication better than I ever could
- Open about a billion milk cartons
- Pump kids up to their parents both inside and outside of school
- Clean up puke
- Clean up spills
- Change kids' clothes that had wet themselves, without harming their dignity
For all this and so much more, I want to say THANK YOU to not only the awesome TA's I've worked with directly but also all the others out there on the chopping block. You are much appreciated by myself and I'm sure many others out there, especially the kids you serve every day.
If you're visiting, feel free to contribute to this list if you've worked with an awesome TA!