What do you do?
Barbara Michaels

Where do you work and what is your title?
       Im an educational assistant at Buena Vista Elementary.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I work in many of the classrooms helping special needs children with reading and math skills. I help the teachers in whatever area they need me. I also take on going classes to increase my knowledge and help me to better help the students I work with.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       Seven years total and all on the Westside (Howbert and Buena Vista.)
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       I like seeing kids making successes. When they are successful, that is huge!
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       Many aides work as hard as the teachers and dont get the same recognition monetarily or with benefits. Id like to see more support from the school district.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       To have patience and to wait for the answer. That is the biggest challenge. I went to school to be a nurse but finding good daycare for my children was really hard so, because of the hours, I worked as a bus driver (all grades) and I found out I liked working with kids. And so here I am!
What makes working on the Westside special?
       The people. And its so quiet and peaceful over here. Weve lived here over 12 years, and my husband was born and raised here.

What do you do? is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesnt live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.