Help with paras

Discussion in 'General Education' started by urban teacher, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. urban teacher

    urban teacher Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2016

    I am a long term special Ed teacher who just moved states (CA to GA), severity of students (mild/moderate to severe) and started in a new school. There are at least 3 issues. 1) The principal and the paras have an adversarial relationship. Last year, issues arose so she moved all of them around without talking to them. They all talk about her. My issue is that she assigned lunch duty to them this week without talking to me or anyone so they cover the cafeteria and I am alone for an half hour.
    2) New to the severe pop., I'm not sure what to expect from paras. My para in the past and I function as a team. These 2 consider themselves only responsible for certain students. They don't interact with the other students.
    3) Because I am new and don't plan to be here long, I'm not sure how much I want to push things. Plus, I know admin will not back me. I'm more looking for ways to help get them to interact with all the students.
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 25, 2016

    Sounds like you have ended up in the middle of a dysfunctional "family." You can only know how they are assigned if you read the IEP. Some are 1:1, others not so much. I certainly can appreciate your intent to not get into the middle of things. Maybe, if you find that they are not there as 1:1 with specified students, you can share that with the paras and see if they can't "help you get through the days ahead." That leaves them feeling appreciated, while keeping admin out of it. Knowing what is actually written in the IEPs will give you leverage. Use it.
     
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  4. urban teacher

    urban teacher Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2016

    Thank you. It is a dysfunctional family. They are not 1 on 1s. They are just used to doing their own thing except showing up for duty. I finally got them to help in circle by asking. A lot of special ed departments have the us against them mentality but this takes it to an extreme. They are so mad at the admin that they pretty much don't do anything.
     
  5. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Aug 26, 2016

    Figure out your expectations and write them down. Hold a meeting and review this with your paras. I have us all sign an informal contract that is displayed in the room. Set up a supervision schedule that includes which students they will have at what times based on IEP requirements. I have mine as a table divided into 30 minute increments down the left side and all our names across the top. Schedule weekly meetings to review expectations and to discuss all those little things that come up. I always end with a questions comments or concerns where my assistants can voice anything that's on their mind. The purpose of these meetings is to build rapport and stop the little things from snowballing into big things that require administrator attention.
     

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