As educators, we are fortunate to have a supporting cast. The work of our educational assistants is often behind the scenes and sometimes goes unnoticed to the unobservant eye. And yet, for any of us that have had the privilege of an educational assistant working within our classrooms – supporting the students with the greatest needs – we know how vital their work is to the effectiveness of each day.
Many of these individuals have chosen to work with special needs children as their career. It is not glamorous, high profile or well-paid and yet it is so important to the work we do as teachers.
Most of our support staff are leaving our school this year. Our students, their families and our staff will be devastated by the changes. Since these individuals work with our students in such close proximity, they become a critical support to these students: academically, socially and emotionally. On Friday, I made contact with many of the parents whose children are affected by the changes. Hearing the sighs and sometimes the tears on the other end of the phone is a testament to the impact our educational assistants have had on our students.
Our supporting cast is essential to the success of each school year. I value their dedication, stamina and passion for the work they do… for the love of children.