Most teacher aides work with the
special education classes and a couple work in kindergarten and
first grade. The aides in the special needs classroom do educational
work and also help with feeding, wheelchairs, reaching things and
any other help the students might need. The aides working with
younger children use reading readiness programs, including Writing
to Read and Sequoia.
Mrs. Becker, principal for Jefferson
and Northwest schools, said that the aides are very helpful across
the board in various areas. The regular classroom aides work in
tutorial programs helping the students to improve in areas that they
struggle in, such as reading or math.
Writing to Read aides work in the
computer lab and have had some technological training as well, as
the No Child Left Behind Act requires.
Aides also help in the cafeteria and at
recess in supervisory roles, making sure students are not breaking
the rules or getting out of control. Just as the classroom aides and
special needs aides, Mrs. Becker said, there is a library aide who
works between the two schools to provide help with checking out
materials and cataloging for both the school library and the parent
resource library that are available in these schools.
Becker said the funding for salaries
for these teachers comes primarily from Title I, a federally funded
program, with salaries for special needs aides coming from the
special education funding.
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Kidd said that under the No Child Left
Behind Act, teacher aides must have an associate's degree or be able
to pass a test that has been established by the State Board of
Education to show that they are highly qualified to work in this
area. Most of the aides in Lincoln have met the requirements and two
more are working on it. These qualifications must be met by 2006,
and Dr. Kidd says he has no doubt that all of the aides currently
employed will meet qualifications by the deadline.
Kidd said that an interesting side note
is that many aides have studied at Lincoln College for their
associate's degree and have been inspired to go on to college and
become a lead teacher. He hopes these individuals will be
inspirational to encourage students who are unsure about college to
go ahead and give it a try, since some of them had previously
thought that they couldn't handle college or wouldn't enjoy it.
teachers, staff and students of Logan County would be lost without
these dedicated workers who are largely unseen and unrecognized.
Without these dedicated workers, many of Lincoln's students would
not have as much assistance and help with programs that they need.
The aides are to be commended for their hard work and
dedication to a job that is not glamorous and often not appreciated.