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LETTER: Wilson Kindergarten Teacher Explains Need For Aide

"Without another adult in my classroom I would have a very difficult time meeting the needs of all of my students," writes Wilson Elementary kindergarten teacher Nicole Manseau.

My name is Nicole Manseau and I am the new full-day kindergarten teacher at .

I also happen to be one of the three full-day kindergarten teachers who started the year off without an aide.

I cannot even begin to tell you what it is like to start off the school year without any help — I spent the majority of my time managing behaviors when I should have been teaching and providing my students with academic opportunities.

Instead of teaching I was busy tying shoes, putting band-aids on cuts, monitoring the bathroom, reminding students how to sit, reminding students how to stand, reminding and teaching students how to line up, turning on and off the water, wiping up spills, calling the office for behavior problems calling the custodian for “accidents.”

When I finally managed to do something academically and students were sent to their seats to work — handful of students finished almost instantly and needed something to do while they waited, another handful needed reminders about what they are supposed to be doing, another group of children often spent their time wandering around and avoiding their work, while the last group of children had no idea what they were expected to do (this last group needed one-on-one support which is impossible to provide when you are one adult working with 20 children).

The addition of a 12-hour aide to my classroom has been amazing. She helps to “fix” cuts and bruises, she helps manage behaviors, and she provides academic support to all of the students in my classroom.

In addition to being interrupted less during lessons I am also finding it easier to accomplish more “things” academically.

Furthermore I am able to spend more time with those “struggling” students. Without another adult in my classroom I would have a very difficult time meeting the needs of all of my students.

The hours that my aide is in my classroom feel the most productive and most successful.

I urge you to continue funding kindergarten aides I can’t put into words how important they are to our classrooms.

Nicole Manseau

Full-Day Kindergarten Teacher

Woodrow Wilson Elementary
 

Herb Chasan October 22, 2011 at 01:33 PM
If you really want to support the kindergarten aides, please come to the selectmen's meeting at 7 PM at the Memorial Building on 10/25 and to town meeting on 11/1 at 7:30PM at the Memorial Building. Please support the whole rebuilding schools list of: one teacher, one late bus, Kindergarten aides, secretaries at the elementary schools, and library assistants.
Tanya Lipp October 22, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Ms.Manseau is totally right. Did you know that there are still kindergarten classrooms-some at 23 students, including ELL students and students with pending IEPs and SPED issues in our district 1/2 day classrooms who are not provided an aide? These teachers have to cover the entire curriculum in less than half of the time of the full day classrooms and they do not have the benefit of an additional adult in the role of aide for the year. A 23:1 ratio for 5 year old children in one class while other classrooms have an 11.5:1 ratio isn't acceptable or fair to those middle and working class families who can't afford full day tuition, yet do not qualify for tuition assistance, or for those families who wanted and requested a full day classroom with an aide, but were denied and waitlisted and placed in a half day classroom.
Lloyd Kaye October 22, 2011 at 03:43 PM
Great letter......there are those in Town meeting and other parts of the government that support Education for Framingham....and we will do everthing to provide the funds for the core needs of this school system....we will not stop until we have the funds..but its up to the voters of this town to get inolved and support your kids and teachers.....and those of us in Town meeting...who are fighting for you....we need selectmen that support education and make it a PRIORITY...and more town meeting members who support schools - the best investment in ANY town . ..Great letter keep at it.!
Susan Petroni (Editor) October 22, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Great discussion here! Thanks for posting!

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