Spring 2016

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Page 14 of 43 | 15 in special education and later in technology, she says her heart found a home when she began working as a teacher's aide alongside Faubion. ATPE News spent a day with Lloyd and learned about the tightly knit bond between educators and students in a small-town Texas school. What do you enjoy about working with pre-K children? They are so funny. Nothing bothers them. They tell you exactly what they think. On top of that, you get hugs—they are my babies. As a teacher's aide, what are you responsible for? In the morning, I take the kids to PE and to work on computers. After that, we do large-group and small-group activities, and then we go to lunch. Once lunch is over, I help put them down for their nap. While they are resting, I put their homework bags together with their behavior folders. I also drive a bus. Every day, I take home a young boy who is in a wheelchair and has seizures. And when we go on feld trips, I drive the bus. What are some of the unique issues you deal with in a pre-K class? Wet clothes. Some of them haven't learned to say, "I'm going to throw up," and they don't hurry to the bathroom. There are messes out here on the foor that we have to clean up a lot. We wipe snotty noses. Sometimes, we have to be part-time nurses. We also have to be a shoulder to cry on. Kids at this age can get their feelings hurt very easily; so we hug them, and hold them, and carry them. We even fx and re-do hair! We really do a little of everything. What are some of your favorite moments in the classroom? My favorite moment is when you can see the light bulb go on. It's just like day and night. They are in "La La Land" one moment, and the next, "Ah! I know what you're talking about!" When the kids fnally see what is going on, it's wonderful. What's your relationship with the teacher like? We can fnish each other's sentences. Mrs. Faubion and I have worked together for about fve years. It's so important for the paraprofessional and the teacher to have a good relationship. It would be tense if we weren't in the same line of thinking. For example, when she's working with large groups, I do crowd control. I help make sure the students are doing what they are supposed to be doing. And we can manage discipline together. We work really well together—and we have fun. Why do you choose to stay in a small town like Ballinger? It's more of a family relationship than just work. My kids have been in this room. And I knew Mrs. Faubion's kids when they were growing up. I have two daughters who both graduated from here, and I graduated from Ballinger. In a small school like ours, we are a big family. We know when somebody's sick. We know each other's families. Not just Mrs. Faubion and me, but throughout the entire building. In a bigger city, I don't think people know everyone—and we do. When you meet someone on the street, you know them and they ask about what's been going on. I just like it. I feel as if these are my friends. They're here for me and I'm here for them.

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