Teacher aides fill multiple roles at the middle school level

Conner Hall, Web Editor

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When teachers are absent, and there are not enough substitutes, it can be a stressful situation for administration. Thankfully for them, there are always some teacher aides available to help.

The job of teacher aide is never constant and varies day by day. One minute, they could be grading papers for a teacher, the next, filling in for a teacher who had to abruptly leave.

“It depends on the teacher and students I’m working with,” Malisha Collins, one of Sevier’s teacher aides, said. “I may take a small group of students to work on an assignment, or I may work with the teacher doing full group work.”

Jennifer Cheek is another teacher aide at Sevier Middle School. She has a busy routine as part of her job.

“My day starts at 7:00 with morning duty in the gym and the 8th grade hallway,” she said. “I work with 8th grade teachers, Mr. Mallick and Mr. Blair.”

Cheek also covers all grades’ lunch detentions and lunch for Mrs. Rigsby in ISS. That’s not all.

“I am pulled [sometimes] to substitute when we don’ t have enough subs to cover teacher absences. I also substitute for [the secretaries] Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Stoops in the office.”

Because the duties can sometimes be very hectic, the job of being a teacher aide is challenging.

“[The] most challenging part [of the job] is [that] your schedule is never guaranteed because you could get pulled to something else,” Cheek said. “The most challenging part of working with students is dealing with bad behavior.”

Collins has a different take on the challenges of being a teacher aide.

“The most challenging part of my job is not having my own space to work with students,” Collins said.

Sevier’s teacher aides also have some advice for students.

“My advice is to enjoy every minute, make great memories, make good choices, work hard, and play hard,” Cheek said.

Collins believes in the importance of present opportunities.

“What you learn now will help you in the future,” she said. “Don’ t waste your time now because you’ll forget it later. Also, enjoy your childhood. It’s much more fun than adulthood.”

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