Parapros- what are they allowed to help with? (Besides the obvious).

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MMRbella, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Aug 28, 2008

    This year I will have a child with special needs included in my classroom. As a result, I will have a paraprofessional in my classroom with me during certain times of the day as an in class support.

    Question- is the paraprofessional allowed to do anything besides sit next to the child with special needs and help them as needed? I keep receiving conflicting answers...

    Last year a colleague had a parapro, and in addition to supporting the child, she also assisted the teacher in other tasks- making copies, putting up bulletin boards, working with small groups of kids, etc. Is this okay? I thought it was- but someone told me that a parapro should not be doing anything BUT supporting the child with special needs. I was told- "She's going to be your in class support, not your assistant." However, the person who said that is brand new to the building and I'm not really sure how accurate this statement is.

    Parapros and teachers that have worked with parapros-- please advise! As a 2nd year teacher, I don't want to let the parapro do anything she's not supposed to!
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Sigh. That's a tall question. There are many many many many things aides can do in general. There are a WIDE variety of perceptions on what aides can and cannot do. Last year I passed out a worksheet and the staff divided up into teams. One team checked 3 out of 23 duties as to what aides can do. Another team checked 20 out of 23 duties as to what they thought aides can do. That's an eye opener.

    That's the general part. There are also a variety of types of aides. I am a classroom aide. This sounds like a one-on-one aide. That's a different bag. The bottom line has to do with the school's policy. Personally, here's my view...it depends on the student. If something happened while the aide was busy, that's not good. Some students are a little more independent.

    Having said that, review the aide's job description (ask for a copy), talk with the aide and ask what their previous experiences were like and what they like to do and go from there. Just because someone DID that kind of work, doesn't mean it is acceptable practice at your school. It also doesn't mean it isn't acceptable practice at other schools. It really does vary and there is no easy answer.
     
  4. inhisgrip20

    inhisgrip20 Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Typically if a child requires a one-on-one parapro, that paras job is to support and assist that child in your classroom, not be your assistant (making copies, putting up bulletin boards). Review the child's IEP to get an idea of what types of support the aide will be providing.

    Does this student recieve pull-out services as well? You may want to speak with his/her special education teacher to see what the function of the parapro will be in your classroom.
     
  5. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2008

    I am interested in the answer to this question as I have just been hired as a teaching assistant for a student with ADHD and Dysgraphia. While I know my work will be primarily with him, as an ed major and future teacher, I would also love to help in any other way I am able, work with all the kids in some capacity and would have no problem making bulletin boards,etc.

    I have yet to discuss my job description with anyone. I did sit in on a parent/teacher/Principal meeting this week, which is when I learned I would be this student's aide. It was more important during the meeting to get the parent's feedback than it was to discuss my duties, and by the time the meeting was over, the teacher had to leave, and I left shortly thereafter.

    I am hoping to talk to this teacher prior to next week to see what she feels comfortable with. I would also like to see the student's IEP so that I know how they handled things before, but I do not know if I am permitted to see that information.
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Check with your job description. Many teachers aren't comfortable with even having a special need student. You want to make sure they aren't "using" your position. At the same time, if your school allows it, you want to make sure you are being the most benefit to everyone since you want to make a good impression and be the most help.
     
  7. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2008

    I have not seen my job description yet. :whistle:

    I am hoping HR calls me tomorrow. Really hoping. :whistle:
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Aug 28, 2008

    If the person is a one-on-one parapro for a special needs student, they should not be asked to do other tasks. Their "mission" is to assist and adapt activities for their assigned student.

    If the para is assigned to the classroom rather than to a specific student, there is more leeway, though I would still say that during instructional time they should not be assigned tasks outside of the instructional classroom.
     
  9. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Aug 29, 2008

    The parapro who comes in for a bit in the morning and all afternoon is assigned to the three special needs kids in my class. She works with them to make sure they are attending. contributing, and processing. That's it. She's assigned to them, not me.
     

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