While the definition of a teacher varies in New York State Education Law, a teacher's customary duties might be described this way: Teachers usually perform duties that include planning educational experiences for students, providing classroom instruction, supervising students in noninstructional periods such as lunch and study hall, attending faculty and other professional meetings, participating in school conferences with parents, supervising extracurricular activities and attending school functions such as school open houses.

Teaching Assistant (State Education Law)

The teaching assistant provides direct instructional support to students under the general supervision of a certified teacher. The teaching assistant works as a member of a team in the classroom where the teacher has ultimate responsibility for developing and planning the educational program. Teaching assistants (sometimes referred to as paraprofessionals) work with individuals or groups of students.

Teacher Aide/Monitor (Civil Service Law)

The teacher aide is a non-instructional school employee. Teacher aides (sometimes referred to as paraprofessionals) provide non-teaching services such as assisting students with behavior or physical needs, grading papers and proctoring exams under the supervision of the building principal.

Secretary/Clerk (Civil Service Law)

The secretary/clerk provides direct or indirect services to students, school personnel and parents. Secretary and clerk duties vary depending upon their civil service job classification.

Custodian/Cleaner (Civil Service Law)

The school custodian/cleaner maintains the facility. He or she takes care of and oversees the maintenance and cleanliness of the building and grounds and frequently deals directly with the staff and students. The custodian's and cleaner's duties vary depending upon civil service job classification.

Bus Driver/Bus Monitor (Civil Service Law)

Bus driver/bus monitors are in charge of the safety and well-being of the children, as well as the vehicle itself as they transport students to and from school. Their duties vary depending upon their civil service job classification.

Food Service (Civil Service Law)

Food service personnel work directly and indirectly with the staff and students. They maintain the kitchen and food supplies and inventory and order supplies and food that they also prepare, serve and sell. The food service supervisor and helper duties vary depending upon their civil service job classification.

Security (Civil Service Law)

Security personnel help provide a safe environment for students and staff at our schools. They work in and outside the buildings during the school day, after school and at evening functions, as directed.

School Nurse

Registered professional school nurses provide care to the students and staff and act as a community resource. They maintain records documenting the children's health. They assess for medical, emotional, social and family problems; screen for vision, hearing and scoliosis; medicate as ordered; coordinate services in emergencies; address the needs of the medically fragile child; assess students for substance ingestion; arrange school physical examinations; and prepare referrals and reports to other agencies.

Guidance counselors, school social workers and school psychologists are professional educators employed by a board of education or BOCES to devote a substantial portion of time to ancillary or supportive educational services.

School Psychologist

School psychologists conduct individual psychological tests and assess students with disabilities and gifted children. They diagnose learning difficulties of children and suggest programs; investigate causes of personality and social maladjustments; and supervise diagnostic and remedial measures and procedures used by teachers and supervisors. They give pupils individual instruction in overcoming their difficulties; confer with teachers and parents with regard to the learning and behavior problems of children; and advise teachers, principals and the superintendents of schools with regard to all matters relating to psychological problems of children.

Guidance Counselor

Guidance counselors confer with pupils on extracurricular, curricular and personal problems, school policies and related problems; confer with parents, teachers, specialists and community agencies on the educational, health, social and vocational problems of pupils; give instruction in school orientation, curriculums and courses of study, further education, occupational information and related topics; maintain current and reliable information on higher education, special training and occupational opportunities; assist pupils with employment problems; prepare, maintain or supervise the maintenance of pupils' cumulative records; and advise the superintendent, principals and other staff members in regard to all matters relating to educational and vocational guidance services.

School Social Worker

School social workers perform case work service with individual pupils to correct certain personal, social or emotional adjustments; they perform case work service with parents as an integral part of helping pupils increase their parents' understanding, participation and use of appropriate resources; consult and collaborate with other school personnel to establish and plan for respective roles in modifying the pupil's behavior. They also cooperate with other members of the pupil personnel service team in the referral of pupils, cooperation with parents, contact with community social agencies and coordination of school social work services with the work of these agencies.

Health Care Professionals

NYSUT represents thousands of health care professionals — including nurses and technicians — working in hospitals, visting nurse services, schools, academic health science centers, colleges and universities all over the state.. The union also is affiliated with the New York State Psychological Association.