Disability Resources: Paraeducator Support

Paraeducators are a very important part of the educational system. Paraeducators are those that work with disabled students to make sure that they receive an education tailored to their needs. Paraeducators have a very specific but also very important role in the classroom and are considered an integral part of any teaching team.

Paraeducators generally work in teams which include the students that they work with as well as the student’s other teachers, parents, and special educators.

Paraeducators provide essential services while under the supervision of some type of licensed educator.

Paraeducators have unique competencies, and should be greatly valued and appreciated for their contributions and hard work.

Paraeducators receive orientation and some type of entry-level training before beginning to work directly with students.

Paraeducators continue to receive further training on the job to match their specific responsibilities.

Paraeducators need to have access to other learning opportunities in addition to any on the job experience they develop.

All schools should have practices established to hire and recruit paraeducators.

Substitute paraeducators really should also be available so students never miss out when their main paraeducator is out of the classroom.

Each school needs to have a well planned and agreed upon process for determining when paraeducator support is necessary for a student.

When support for a student by a paraeducator is deemed necessary, a written plan should be developed to state what exactly the student’s needs are.

It is a good idea to assign paraeducators not to a specific student but to a classroom where their knowledge can help multiple students.

Input should be gotten directly from paraeducators when administrators are working to make assignments to meet a certain student’s educational needs.

Paraeducators should have a specific job description that outlines all of their responsibilities.

Paraeducators should be compensated for their work based on their level of education and experience.

Paraeducators need to have constructive interpersonal skills when dealing with students as well as other staff members.

Paraeducators should always demostrate attitudes and habits that encourage the students they are working with.

Within the classroom, paraeducators should serve as a support system to students under the supervision of the classroom teacher.

Paraeducators need to be informed about the different educational needs and objectives of the students they are working with.

Paraeducators should have the opportunity to contribute to the development of lesson plans that involve the students they are working with.

Paraeducators should support the implementation of different instructional programs and help to facilitate the learning activities of the students they are helping.

Further Resources:

Paraeducator Learning Network – A wealth of information for those wanting to learn about paraeducaors and their importance in the classroom.

What Is A Paraeducator? – An in-depth definition of a paraeducator and their roles and responsibilities in the classroom.

Paraeducator Resources – The Paraeducator Resources and Learning Center, featuring some great resources for paraeducators.

Training Resources – A great list of training resources for those working as paraeductors and their supervisors.

Paraeducator Jobs – A job board for those looking to work as paraeducators, also contains some great resources.