Skip to:

Help The Economy: Put A Teacher's Aide In Every Classroom


I am a paraprofessional. I take pride in the fact that this “warm body” has warmed the hearts of children for 35 years; I’ve helped shape the minds of hundreds of kids. I have helped countless children succeed in school and in life. My impact is far-reaching. In fact, study after study shows that paraprofessionals can make a difference in students’ lives. (See this summary that shows the benefits of paraprofessionals to student achievement). I'll give TFT (The Frustrated Teacher) the benefit of the doubt and assume that he or she has been too busy to question why the school system didn’t adequately prepare its paraprofessionals and volunteers for their job assignments, but I'm happy to say that it isn't the norm. I am proud of who I am. I am proud of what I do. And, most of all, I am proud of the impact I make on children’s lives.

Don't forget that putting a warm adult body in a classroom doesn't mean that body will be helpful. Often, when an aid or parent volunteer come in to a classroom to help, they need more direction than the kids. Plus, the teacher has to make sure the extra adult is doing the right thing. In my experience, unless I know the extra person and we are on the same page, they just get in the way. Instead of using kids and schools as a means to solve society's problems maybe we should look to real solutions: -Universal health care -Free, high-quality early childhood education -Decent school lunches -A modern Conservation Corps Economists shouldn't be giving advice on schools--or maybe anything, for that matter, considering how screwed up the economy is.


This web site and the information contained herein are provided as a service to those who are interested in the work of the Albert Shanker Institute (ASI). ASI makes no warranties, either express or implied, concerning the information contained on or linked from The visitor uses the information provided herein at his/her own risk. ASI, its officers, board members, agents, and employees specifically disclaim any and all liability from damages which may result from the utilization of the information provided herein. The content in the Shanker Blog may not necessarily reflect the views or official policy positions of ASI or any related entity or organization.