[nobe-l] teach without an aide

Heather Field missheather at comcast.net
Mon Jun 13 04:02:16 UTC 2016

Hello Kayla,
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 
handwriting lesson.
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.

-----Original Message----- 
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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