Pauline Cayabyab, Instructional Aide, Spectrum Center Schools and Programs
I was a general education teacher in the Philippines for six years before moving to California. I have a passion for education, so when I learned of the Instructional Aide position with Spectrum, it immediately piqued my interest.
Spectrum introduced me to a different side of education and opened my eyes to the struggles children face when diagnosed with a learning disability. I always enjoyed my work as a teacher, but working with the students at Spectrum is more rewarding because the progress they make is beyond just academic achievements.
As an Instructional Aide, I’ve learned about behavior management through training and mentoring from my supervisors. I understand how to improve a students’ behavior, and I apply the skills I’ve learned to teach children the appropriate ways to communicate, socialize with peers and utilize independent living skills. I take pride in the fact that I have a good rapport with my students and it is gratifying to see our students learn and succeed despite the severity of their disabilities.
Because of the deep meaning I find in my work and the constant encouragement I receive from my administrative team, I was recently inspired to go back to school to earn my Master’s degree in special education. Spectrum supports continuing education and provides scholarship opportunities to ease the financial burden. I want to lead my own classroom again, and Spectrum is helping me make my dream a reality.
For the past five years it’s been incredibly fulfilling to watch children who previously struggled academically, emotionally and socially, learn the skills they need to transition back into a general education classroom. This job provides me a tremendous amount of happiness and I am proud of the difference I make in the lives of our students.
Carrie Dytrych, RBT, Instructional Aide, Spectrum Center Schools and Programs
Ten years ago, I was a stay at home mom interested in reentering the working world. I wanted a job that would provide me the flexibility to be home in the afternoons when my five children returned from school. At the time I was living in Illinois and my sister, who was an educator, suggested I research Instructional Aide positions available within our school district. Almost a decade later, I can say that was a life-changing piece of advice.
After working for eight years in Illinois, in 2016 my fiancée was transferred to California. Within a few weeks I had an interview at Spectrum and loved what the center director had to say about the Instructional Aide position and the company. I accepted the job and I’ve never felt so supported by an organization, both professionally and personally. My director is always available to answer questions and provide advice and the rest of the staff is equally as supportive.
A typical day as an Instructional Aide consists of making connections with students by assisting with academics, playing games or reading a book. When you make a connection, you become a positive reinforcement for a child and you can help students thrive.
Being an Instructional Aide with Spectrum has been so meaningful it motivated me to do more in the field of behavioral health. Over the past two years I earned my Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) certification and I am currently completing my bachelor’s degree to become a Board Certified Assistant Behavioral Analyst (BCaBA).
If you are looking for a job with purpose and interested in making a difference in the lives of children, I recommend exploring an Instructional Aide position with Spectrum. It was definitely the right decision for me and I absolutely love my job.
Sarah Hernandez, Behavioral Specialist (former Instructional Aide with Spectrum Center Schools and Programs)
Spectrum introduced me to the exciting field of behavioral health in 2006 when I was first hired as an instructional aide. I was interested in working for Spectrum because of the purpose of the program and I wanted to work in an environment where I could help children thrive.
As an Instructional Aide, I was provided a comprehensive overview of what is required to provide our students with a successful educational experience. Every day I worked with the classroom instructor to prep the classroom each morning and I assisted in the classroom throughout the day. It was rewarding to watch our students advance and become more independent.
Through the years I transitioned from an Instructional Aide to a Clinical Assistant to my current role as a Behavioral Specialist. Spectrum provided me with more than a first job, they provided me with a career path. The training and opportunities for advancement within this organization are impressive and the administrative team has supported me along the way.
Working with a company that provides a robust vacation and competitive benefits is definitely a perk, but the reason I’m still excited about coming to work is because I truly feel good about what I do. It is incredibly gratifying to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.”
Tatiana Baiandin, Instructional Aide, Spectrum Center Schools and Programs
Not everyone is lucky enough to go to a job they enjoy, but fortunately for me, I am one of those people! I started working for Spectrum 15 years ago when my sister learned about an Instructional Aide position and encouraged me to apply. Since my first day on the job, working for Spectrum has given me the chance to live out my passion of working with children.
Spectrum students are extraordinary, and the specialized education we provide makes a huge impact on their lives. Every day I am motivated to come to work because I help provide these students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school and in life. I help our students hit milestones they didn’t think were possible and seeing them succeed drives me to do my best for them every single day.
Working on Spectrum’s campus is like working with family. Several of my colleagues have worked here for 8, 10 or even 20 years. We understand each other, and we are always there to offer support both professionally and personally. We know we have each other’s backs if we are having a challenging day, if we need to call in sick or we just need a little extra help in a classroom. This tremendous level of support from my coworkers, the teachers and the Spectrum administrators is a huge part of why I have worked here for so many years.
If you are looking for a job where you can live your passion for helping kids, Spectrum is right for you. Knowing I play a role in helping our students become more independent and successful makes being an Instructional Aide a very rewarding career.
Crystal Byrd, RBT, Instructional Aide, Spectrum Center Schools and Programs
Working in a position where I can help people has been my career goal for more than 15 years. Prior to taking the position with Spectrum in 2003, I assisted at a local adult day program. Although the job responsibilities were completely different, both provided me with what I was looking for…an opportunity to help improve the lives of others.
Being an Instructional Aide is interesting, fulfilling and a lot of fun because every day is a little different. The students enrolled in the Spectrum program can be challenging because they struggle with issues that require special services typically not provided in a traditional school. This is why Spectrum provides comprehensive training to ensure Instructional Aides understand the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) goals and how to handle various emotional and behavioral issues. For the first three days I observed the classroom and by day four I was ready to jump right in leading small groups and providing interactive instruction. The Spectrum team provides all new employees with a great deal of support because they want you to feel comfortable in the classroom starting on day one.
After so many years, this job continues to be enjoyable because I continue to learn new things and I never tire of watching students improve and transition back to their district schools. We are helping children reach levels of success that they were unable to achieve in other environments, and that is rewarding.
When people ask what it’s like being an Instructional Aide, I always tell them how much I love my job, so much so I am currently earning my teaching credentials. I also say this job may not be for everyone. You have to be motivated by making a difference and you have to find personal fulfillment in helping children reach milestones, no matter how small or how challenging the process may be along the way. Working as an Instructional Aide was definitely the right choice for me.