Saviors behind the scenes


Teacher’s aids don’t do any work. . . It’s a waste of time to be an aid. . . Teachers don’t need TAs. All of these statements have been made about teacher’s aids, but the reality is that TAs are vital to the teachers of Larned High School. Many high school teachers rely on their TAs to get things done, and that allows teachers to focus on lessons and running the class. 

Teacher’s aids often are not given the credit that they deserve. When we asked the high school chemistry teacher, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, to explain what her TAs do for her, she responded, “They put together all of the labs that we do in class, they label and clean the bottles, and handle dangerous chemicals. They’re essentially my lab managers, and I could never get lab prep done without them.” Being a teacher’s aid can be stressful and sometimes dangerous, but many teachers are grateful to have them. People often think that teacher’s aids don’t do anything, but the truth is, teachers rely heavily on their aids to help them get work done on time. 

Another positive to being a teacher’s aid is it enables students to see what goes on behind the scenes of the classroom. Students get to see how much work teachers have to do to run their classes. Students interested in teaching young kids can aid teachers at the elementary school. This helps not only the elementary teachers but also the student aids. The students get to see what an elementary teacher does every day, and they get to learn from them while gaining real life experience with kids, and the teacher gets a little assistance throughout the day! 

Being an office aid benefits students because it gives them work skills. Students learn how to have professional conversations with adults on the phone. They are also taught the importance of integrity and confidentiality in the workplace. Students inevitably overhear information that should not be shared with anyone else, and the aids must be sure to not share that information with anyone else; this promotes integrity. 

In any case, there is never a dull moment when working with teachers. Mrs. Wilcox relies heavily on her TAs to get assignments graded. Mrs. Wilcox is the high school Spanish teacher; she has to be heavily involved in each lesson by speaking to her students for the entire hour. Therefore, Mrs. Wilcox is not able to take class time to grade assignments; having a TA allows her to focus on teaching without worrying about grading. 

Due to the schedule changing from a four block day to an eight period day, teachers are finding themselves with less plan time compared to the previous school year. This means that TAs are especially advantageous this year to assist teachers in keeping up with grades. Teachers are going from grading four blocks worth of students’ work per semester to grading eight classes worth of students’ work every day all year. Teachers are not used to grading this many assignments, but TAs allow teachers to get assignments into the gradebook more quickly, so teachers do not get behind with the work overload. Overall, teacher’s aids are essential to keeping Larned High School running, and they really are the hidden saviors of teachers at LHS.