The Teacherand theParaeducatorRole Perceptions andCommunication Betweenthe Elementary Team
Paraeducator: Para- “by the side of”A paraeducator is any individual who worksby the side of an educator. This could meana teacher assistant, a volunteer, or amember of support services.
With class size beginning to rise again and pressure to achieve increasingly higher results, teachers need help!
So your schoolhas suppliedyou with aparaeducator…What now??
Although teachers are trained tomanage the behavior of their students,and create instructional plans, fewteacher education programs offerpreparation for supervising other adults(Carnahan, Williamson, Clarke, &Sorensen, 2009).
Teachers say: They are unsure what roles a paraeducator can fill There is no time to communicate plans with the paraeducator Paraeducators need more training to work with students They need more training in managing the paraeducators
What can a paraeducator do?• Tutoring individual students• Reinforcing lessons with small groups• Preparing materials• Assessing and scoring assessments• Record keeping• Collecting behavior data• Implementing behavior plans
Because the role of aparaeducator is different fromschool to school and district todistrict, it is important thatADMINISTRATION clearly informboth teachers andparaeducators of thedistinctions of their rolesaccording to policy.
No matter what duties areassigned to paraeducators,it is the teacher who has theultimate responsibility(Pickett, Vasa, &Steckelberg,1993).
A good activity touse in roleclarification is listing But doesn’tactivities that take that require time toplace in the class communicateand discussing which ???ones are theresponsibility of theteacher and thosethat could be doneby theparaeducator.