The Para Educator
Creating an effective teacher and para educator team takes work and time to develop common languages, structures and shared student learning goals but it is ALWAYS worth the time and effort in developing these relationships. Here is an article that helps us begin to think about how to cultivate and support positive working teams. Here is another article you may find of interest. I also think this short article could provide some context for this collaboration.
Today Para educators have become an essential part of the special education team in delivering individualized services and playing an increasingly prominent role in the instruction of individuals with exceptional learning needs at all ages. According to the Study of Personnel Needs in Special Education (SPENSE, 2003.), today paraeducators in the United States spend their time: Providing instructional support in small groups, Providing one-to-one instruction, Modifying materials, Implementing behavior plans, Meeting with teachers, Collecting data on individuals with exceptional learning needs and Providing personal care assistance.