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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Teacher aides bring many benefits to students, teachers

As of the beginning of second semester, seniors can now fill an empty spot in their schedules with something that both helps the teachers and gives back to the school. Teacher aides (TAs) have been incorporated into several seniors’ and teachers’ school days for the first time in over three years.

Principal Stefanie Novotny’s own experience being a teacher aide during high school was part of the reason she was inspired to bring teacher aides back.

“I went in to aide for a kindergarten class,” Novotny said. “It just was interesting to be able to…support the teacher.” 

Senior Kayleen Pettinger, who is history teacher Elliot Ruleaux’s teacher aide, agrees that supporting the teacher is a big part of this opportunity.

“It just helps [the teachers] really be able to do little things that they wouldn’t have time for that really enhance their lessons,” Pettinger said.

Senior Maycee Hays makes copies during her period as a teacher aide. Hays is a TA for English teacher Ginger Eikmeier. (Gabi Tederman)

By having her teacher aide make copies, sort papers, check simple assignments and complete other small tasks, English teacher Ginger Eikmeier finds the benefits of saved time as well. 

“It allows the teacher to spend their time and focus on the actual lesson planning, the more in-depth grading [and] working with the students,” Eikmeier said.

Science teacher Leslie Heise agrees that having teacher aides back can be helpful to teachers and classes on any given day, even when the teachers are gone.

“An additional benefit of having a TA is the support they can provide to a substitute teacher,” Heise said. “I can leave in my sub plans that my TA knows how to run the copier and technology in my room, so if they have any problems, they are a great resource.”

Only seniors can be teacher aides, and each teacher can only have one. Teachers also must have a plan for what their TA would do.

“We wanted to make sure that the students were accounted for… [and make] sure that we had some expectations for the students and some procedures,” Novotny said.

Through this opportunity, not only can students help the teacher and their classes, but they can also gain more skills.

“I think it helps the students continue to develop a sense of responsibility because they are helping a teacher with their tasks for their classroom,” Eikmeier said. “It can also help a student develop more organizational habits because a lot of the tasks that they can do relate to organization.”

This can be especially beneficial to students interested in going into education.

“I like actually getting more hands-on experience because going into teaching was something I was thinking about,” Pettinger said. “It’s just more hands on, so I can get a better idea [of] how it’s going to go.”

The biggest benefit is that students are able to give back. I think it’s important for kids to be able to give back to their community.

— Stefanie Novotny

Whether or not a student is planning on going into education, being a teacher aide is a chance to help themselves and the people around them.

“The biggest benefit is that students are able to give back,” Novotny said. “I think it’s important for kids to be able to give back to their community.”

While the program is being piloted right now, many people have hopes that it will remain an option for students in the future.

“I just hope that this goes really well this semester so that we can continue to have TAs because I think it is a great mutual benefit for both the teachers and students to be able to have this experience,” Eikmeier said.

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About the Contributor
Gabi Tederman, Junior writer
Gabi Tederman is a junior and in her third year of journalism.  She enjoys taking pictures and writing news stories.  Outside journalism, Gabi is involved in NHS, volleyball, track, and CrossFit.
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