March 5, 2018
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.