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What’s an Assistant Teacher?

Yesterday when I was on my way out of my polling place, a very well-off public school on the Upper East Side, I stopped to look at a display of the school’s employees. There was an array of smiling photos, labeled with names and positions. Among the familiar roles of teachers, SETSS (special education teacher support services) providers, and counselors, I saw a position unfamiliar to most teachers in the Bronx and similar communities: Assistant Teacher.

Assistant Teacher? You mean, like someone to help the teacher provide extra support and attention to the students in their classroom? But why would any effective teacher who has mastered differentiation need someone else to help them with their students? It’s almost like this school thinks more individual attention is something valuable for their students. Weird.

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