Would you give a paraprofessional opportunities to teach your class?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Dare2Teach, Nov 2, 2017.

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Would you let a paraprofessional have opportunities at teaching if he/she showed potential?

  1. Yes

    37.5%
  2. No

    62.5%
  1. Dare2Teach

    Dare2Teach Rookie

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    Nov 2, 2017

    Hello, everybody. This is Dare2Teach.

    It's been a while since I have been on this forum. Most of you may not remember me, but I made a thread here a few months ago about a debate as to whether or not if I should be a paraprofessional or a substitute teacher, as I have aspirations to be an elementary school educator. After deciding to become a paraprofessional, I made another thread about what an educator would do if a paraprofessional was in his/her classroom.

    I have not been successful securing a position as a paraprofessional, so far.

    Over the summer, I applied for some paraprofessional positions. I did get a call back for an interview for one of the positions, where I actually ended up being one of 5 selected for an interview out of about 30 applicants/hopefuls. Sadly, I did not get the position.

    Since then, I have constantly been checking for more paraprofessional positions, and I recently applied for another position. Hopefully, I will be successful in obtaining this position.

    Since I aspire to become an elementary school educator, I want to make the most out of a paraprofessional position, should I get the position I applied for.

    I want to go above and beyond the position to the point where I can show potential, and convince the lead educator, and possibly the administration, to let me have opportunities to take over a classroom, or more responsibility, at the very least.

    This endeavor brings me to this question.

    If you had a paraprofessional in your classroom who had aspirations on wanting to become an educator, and showed potential for it, would you give the paraprofessional opportunities for more responsibility, or even whole group teaching? If so, how would you implement this?

    Thank you for your time, and I'm looking forward to hearing your responses.

    -Dare2Teach
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 2, 2017

    I think it depends on the job duties in your particular district. Sometimes paraprofessionals aren't permitted to do whole-group instruction.

    If I believed that the paraprofessional working in my classroom had both the interest and skills to lead instruction at whatever level was permitted in my district, I would absolutely go for that. I wouldn't if I didn't think the paraprofessional could handle it.
     
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  4. svassillion

    svassillion Rookie

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    Nov 2, 2017

    I would for sure. However, I may not make it too routine as I feel like there would start to be parent complaints that I was too lazy to do the teaching. But I would have no problem giving my para control over doing say the social-emotional curriculum (once a week), leading morning meeting, or leading a math lesson once in a while.

    Seeing as you haven't been offered a para job yet have you reconsidered subbing? I found subbing to be very influential in securing a teaching job later down the road, because you're not just making a good impression with one school's admin, but admins across the district. So if a position opens in another building, they'll know you too. Just a thought while you're waiting for a para position.
     
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  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Nov 2, 2017

    I would allow a para to lead small group instruction planned by myself, or from a scripted intervention program. At my school, it would be frowned upon for a para to do whole group instruction.
     
  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Comrade

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    Nov 2, 2017

    I'm in my pre-practicum now to prepare for student teaching next semester and I am starting to lead the main lesson when I attend school once a week, But it takes a lot of time for on my mentor's part to prepare for me teaching the lessons. This past week, we talked over the phone over the weekend for about 15 minutes, she emailed me materials in advance, and we reviewed the lesson for about 30 minutes before school. This is a huge investment on her part (and I really appreciate it) but it is part of her responsibilities this year. Therefore, I imagine that preparing a para to teach a lesson would require a similar time investment that teachers might just not have. I would ask the teacher if she would like you to lead small groups to start and make it known that you are comfortable leading a lesson if she ever needs. For example, if she needs to do individual conferences with students, she might be very appreciative of you offering to teach a lesson! I would also frame it in a way where you are offering to help her and the students, not in a way that she needs to mentor you.
     
  7. Belch

    Belch Rookie

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    Nov 2, 2017

    By paraprofessional, do you mean an assistant teacher?

    Your question assumes that trust is not an issue, so I don't see why not. I am a teacher-trainer, and I often hand my class over for ten minutes at a time to students. It gives them a chance to see what it's like to be front and center, and honestly, I welcome the break it gives me.

    Hell, I even pretend to be a difficult student if I feel the student can handle it.
     
  8. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Nov 3, 2017

    Sorry, but in my district, this would not happen. Aides assist with teaching and reteaching; they are definitely part of the lessons, but the responsibility for teaching lies with certified staff.
     
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  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    Nov 3, 2017

    I agree wholeheartedly with this.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 3, 2017

    In my district it is common for the para to take over when the lead teacher is out of the classroom. Instead of having the sub fumble through the routines and plans, the para takes over and the sub in essence becomes the para. It's best for the kids. However, the para usually gets the short end because subs make more in daily pay than the paras do. @@
     
  11. Kristi Winters

    Kristi Winters New Member

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    We have teacher’s aides in my building that have no college hours that get pulled to cover collaboration for an hour every day. I did not think this was legal. We do not feel comfortable being in control of the class and especially with behavior issues that occur. Can anyone help with this?
     
  12. Kristi Winters

    Kristi Winters New Member

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    Nov 4, 2017

    In the past
     
  13. Kristi Winters

    Kristi Winters New Member

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    In the past, I have always been told that only certified staff can cover a class when the regular teacher is out of the classroom. Teachers aides that have no college at all or being pulled to cover collaboration every day for over an hour. We do not feel comfortable doing this, especially with the behavior issues that are currently out of control in schools today. We are getting the runaround to get answers. Any insight on where I can get some help to get this question answered would be greatly appreciated!
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I have an IA this year because of how large my class is. I expect her to take the lead when I have a sub in, but otherwise, I would not ask her to teach whole-group lessons. That's not what her role is, and sitting back and watching an IA do my job certainly is not my role.
     
  15. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Nov 6, 2017

    The only time I would be able to let them is if I was out and had a sub that didn't know what in the world to do. The aide would be more knowledgeable than the sub. But they aren't supposed to do direct instruction.
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    Nov 6, 2017

    This is a question more of what the school/district allows more than what an individual teacher would allow. The paras that I work with function as the sub if I am not present, but I still present class materials and the lesson plans. The minute I step back into the building, their instructional capacity is virtually eliminated other than individual instruction for students they work with. I would be remiss not to add that all of our paras have college degrees, with many working on their graduate degrees.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    The requirements vary greatly from district-to-district for paras.

    In my district, for example, they only need 12 college units and must pass a placement test.

    Other districts have much more stringent qualifications for paras.
     
  18. Dare2Teach

    Dare2Teach Rookie

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    Nov 6, 2017



    This is EXACTLY what I wanted to hear.

    I wouldn't want to necessarily take over the teaching position fully; just some small yet beneficial opportunities, such as going over morning warm-up, reading a book to the entire class, introducing a lesson, etc.

    Thank you so much for this answer, svassillion! This is what I wanted to hear.

    -Dare2Teach
     
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  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 10, 2017

    This may be what you wanted to hear but isn't necessarily common or typical.
     

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