Teachers are missing their teacher aides. Assembly Bill 1012, signed into law last year, bars students who wish to serve as teacher aides and in-school work experience.
In a letter to school superintendents, the School and College Legal Services of California said that students enrolled in those types of courses “were not receiving meaningful instruction,” which violates the California Constitution’s promise of equal education.
In general, teacher aides help with making copies, setting up for different class activities, and directing the class when the teacher is occupied. The passing of AB 1012 takes away this extra help that most teachers need in their classrooms.
AP Chemistry teacher Mrs. Nicole Trapasso said that aides were helpful in the classroom. Mrs. Trapasso’s TAs would help set up and take down labs as well as grade assignments or tests.
Mr. Ramani Visvanathan, the AP Calculus/Integrated Math 3 teacher, said his teacher aide last year served as more of a tutor in his AP Calculus class, which was helpful when Mr. V was occupied.
“He helped out with classroom organization,” Mr. Visvanathan said. “We were able to cover the whole classroom.”
Both teachers believed teacher aides were of great assistance, but Trapasso understands the reason behind the bill.
“Students should be in a legitimate class,” she said.
Another course the bill refers to is work experience, which allows students to job shadow, take apprenticeships and receive a taste of life after high school. This is helpful for students who don’t see themselves attending college.
Supporters of AB 1012 say that students are not get- ting the work experience they deserve as teacher aides.
A petition on Change.org calls for the repeal of the bill, as some believe the lack of teacher aide and work experience opportunities impedes on skill development. It has 105 signatures, with its goal being 200 signatures, and will be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown once the goal is reached.