[nobe-l] teach without an aide
missheather at comcast.net
Mon Jun 13 04:02:16 UTC 2016
It is difficult to answer your questions since they are so general. It is
theoretically possible for a competent blind teacher to teach without an
aid. Indeed, many very competent blind teachers teach without an aid every
However, there are situations in which a blind teacher may choose to have an
aid for a portion of a teaching day, or lesson. The circumstances may vary
widely. For example, a blind teacher teaching in the early elementary grades
will need an aide to be certain that students are learning handwriting
correctly, so she will choose to have an aide assist for the 30 minutes long
A blind teacher may choose to have an aide in his 5th-grade classroom during
the 45-minute practical science lesson. An 8th-grade teacher may have
several students with special needs included in her English class and these
students will have an aide assigned to support them in the class. The blind
teacher could request the aide to assist with various classroom supervision
tasks, depending on how she determines the aide's time is best used to
benefit the special needs students.
A high school music teacher may choose to have an aide present during
certain of his band lessons to ensure that students are marching in correct
formation and making the changes tightly enough. The circumstances when a
blind teacher may choose to have an aide are many and varied.
However, who chooses to have an aide, for what lessons and for how long
depends on many circumstances and may sometimes depend on the teachers
perception of their own competence. So, one blind teacher may say that they
never have an aide, while another may say they have requested one as a
reasonable accommodation and have an aide in their classroom most, or all,
of the day.
Furthermore, there is the vexing area of record-keeping, IEPs and other such
Most blind teachers with whom I have discussed the paperwork side of
teaching have told me that they use aides to assist them with this horrible
part of the teaching responsibility. Others hire readers or use aides to
assist with marking. These days there is a lot of data entry work where
teachers are required to enter information into software applications which
are not very accessible. So, aide assist blind teachers with this work.
Finally, there is the area of special education. If one is teaching in a
special education or resource classroom then teacher aides are automatically
assigned whether the teacher is blind or sighted. So, from this very limited
discussion of the topic, you can see that there isn't really a simple answer
to your question. If you are wondering if you will be able to teach without
an aide, the answer is probably, it depends. It depends on the grade you're
teaching, the lessons you are teaching, whether you have lots of paperwork
to complete and on your actual level of competence.
I hope this is helpful.
From: Kayla James via NOBE-L
Sent: Sunday, June 12, 2016 7:45 PM
To: National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List
Cc: Kayla James
Subject: [nobe-l] teach without an aide
Is it possible to be a blind teacher and teach without an aide with
you? Does it feel like you're less of a teacher without an aide.
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