Managing paraprofessionals

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by anewstart101, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. anewstart101

    anewstart101 Cohort

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    Aug 4, 2013

    I have been teaching for 5 years and I have struggled with this. How do you manage your paraprofessionals?

    This year I will have two full time paraprofessionals.

    I have supervised up to 15 before. . .

    Do you give them detailed schedules?

    They have been with the class for 6 years. What would you recommend?

    Stephanie
     
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  3. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Aug 4, 2013

    I had 2 paras last year. We didn't start the year off very well. Since they both had been there for years, I didn't think I needed to go over expectations or roles in the classroom. But, I quickly found out that what I wanted them to do and what the previous teacher wanted them to do was totally different. They had never monitored goals or data and didn't have any desire to start or learn how. Long story short...I ended up having a mini staff meeting one morning before school and we worked together to type up a list of job roles for each of us. I made up folders with data sheets, goals, and lesson plans for each student/group they were working with and made a schedule for what students and goals they would be working on each day. It worked out really well. I followed a schedule too, just so we were all doing the same thing.
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 4, 2013

    That sounds like a nightmare! :eek:

    We give all of our paras a schedule to follow. Some have more details than others. Ideally, we want someone who can "problem-solve" well-enough to figure out certain things. We don't want to have to give paras a schedule as detailed as what one might put in sub plans, but, sadly, I have had to do that. Most schedules just have the students' names, room numbers, and very general instructions on what to do (i.e. "inclusion support" or "specials support").

    I hate managing paras, but I guess it goes with the job. I'll only have one full-time this year. I'll have others helping out my students in the regular classrooms, but there will only be one who I have to supervise and manage directly.... and I hand selected her. :)
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 4, 2013

    I've learned to not over manage paras.

    Let them know your expectations. Fit them into your routine. Give them jobs and then let the have a go at those jobs...don't micro manage....so your Bb might not look exactly like you imagined...let it go...paras can offer insight on things you didn't notice. Embrace the gift of an extra pair of eyes and hands.:cool:
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 4, 2013

    That's great advice, czacza! Hopefully I can remember that on those days when things don't go as planned. Speaking of.... My absolutely wonderful, hand-selected para voluntarily came in to help me get the classroom ready last week. I put her in charge of the walls/bulletins boards. I gave her minimal guidance and then told her to "Go!" It didn't look the way I had in my mind... It looked even better!! I never would have thought to do it the way that she did. Too bad the tape didn't stick and about half of it was on this floor when I went back in. :mad:
     
  7. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Aug 6, 2013

    :thumb: Wow. Very well said.

    I found out last week that the two classroom paras in the building will be switching places this year. So I'll have a new aide. I'm excited about the change. :)
     

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