A Teacher's Guide to Working with Paraeducators and Other Classroom Aides

A Teacher's Guide to Working with Paraeducators and Other Classroom Aides

A Teacher's Guide to Working with Paraeducators and Other Classroom Aides

A Teacher's Guide to Working with Paraeducators and Other Classroom Aides

Synopsis

Leading the classroom instructional team -- Assigning roles and responsibilities -- Improving communications -- Monitoring the quality of your paraeducator's work -- Providing on-the-job training -- Creating a feedback loop -- The logistics -- Troubleshooting -- Practicing what you've learned.

Excerpt

This book addresses what is considered a “new” role for teachers: supervising paraeducators. If you feel that this is a role for which you were not prepared in your undergraduate teacher training, you are not alone. Most teachers have received no such preparation, although they (and you) may have often worked with paraeducators at practicum sites or during student teaching placements. Even special education teachers—who regularly work with paraeducators— typically receive little training in working with other adults.

There are good reasons for a book addressing this so-called new role for teachers. First, the number of paraeducators working in schools across the United States has increased substantially in the last 15 years. Second, although we agree with the belief of many people that adults should, and generally do, work things out between themselves, we also believe that working together as adults involves many skills, and even the most willing and experienced teachers and paraeducators can learn to work together more effectively. This book will cover the basic skills that you as a teacher need to make the best use of the wonderful human resource that paraeducators represent for our schools and our children.

We use the term paraeducator as the most up-to-date term being applied to the people you may call aides, teaching assistants, instructional assistants, or by a variety of other titles. The term paraeducator was coined by Anna Lou Pickett (1997), director of the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals in New

Portions of this chapter were published previously in Ashbaker, B., & Morgan, J. (1997, April).
Teachers, what’s your supervision style? Theories and Practices in Supervision and Curriculum (Journal
of the Utah ASCD) viii: 34–37. Reprinted by permission of the editor.

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