Proud to Be a Para Because I Make a Difference!


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Presentation from the 2006 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference

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Proud to Be a Para Because I Make a Difference!

  1. 1. Proud To Be A Para Because I Make A Difference Professor: Ashleigh Molloy B.A., M.Ed., M.R.E., Ed.D (cand.) Director Transformation Education Institute [email_address] NRC Conference Minneapolis, U.S.A
  2. 2. What is a Paraprofessional? (My Take) <ul><li>School employee who works under the direction </li></ul><ul><li>of a certified teacher or other professional staff </li></ul><ul><li>member (e.g., speech and language pathologist, </li></ul><ul><li>physiotherapist) in order to complete a variety of </li></ul><ul><li>instructional and non-instructional tasks. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a Paraprofessional? <ul><li>A valued assistant that teachers and other professionals need to deal effectively within a large and diverse classroom group, or to provide the level of support required to include students with identified challenges. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What are Paraprofessionals? <ul><li>Para’s are like… </li></ul><ul><li>BAYER ASPIRIN </li></ul><ul><li>They work miracles. </li></ul><ul><li>Para’s are like… </li></ul><ul><li>FORD </li></ul><ul><li>They have better idea ideas. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What are Paraprofessionals? <ul><li>Para’s are like… </li></ul><ul><li>COKE </li></ul><ul><li>They are the real thing. </li></ul><ul><li>Para’s are like… </li></ul><ul><li>HALLMARK CARDS </li></ul><ul><li>They care enough to send their very best. </li></ul>
  6. 6. What are Paraprofessionals? <ul><li>Para’s are like… </li></ul><ul><li>GENERAL ELECTRIC </li></ul><ul><li>They bring good things to life. </li></ul><ul><li>Para’s are like… </li></ul><ul><li>ALLSTATE </li></ul><ul><li>Your in good hands with them. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What are Paraprofessionals? <ul><li>Para’s are like… </li></ul><ul><li>V0-5 HAIR SPRAY </li></ul><ul><li>They hold through all kinds of weather. </li></ul><ul><li>Para’s are like… </li></ul><ul><li>the U.S. POST OFFICE </li></ul><ul><li>Neither rain, nor snow, nor ice will keep them from their appointed destination. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What are Paraprofessionals? <ul><li>But Most of all… </li></ul><ul><li>Para’s are like FROSTED FLAKES </li></ul><ul><li>They’re GRRRRREAT. </li></ul>
  9. 9. W-Five: Who <ul><li>The paraprofessional is a person who has been hired to offer additional support to a student or students under the direct supervision of the classroom teacher or other school personnel who have the ultimate responsibility for program design, implementation and evaluation. </li></ul>
  10. 10. W-Five: What <ul><li>The paraprofessional’s duties are created based upon the needs of the student(s), the IPP goals, the teacher’s needs and the needs of all of the students within the classroom or school. One should have a clear job description that specifies roles, responsibilities, expectations and evaluation. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Unit content adapted for a student with disabilities <ul><li>Unit: Solar System </li></ul><ul><li>Date: Month of October </li></ul><ul><li>Concept 1: </li></ul><ul><li>The organization of the </li></ul><ul><li>Solar system </li></ul><ul><li>Adapted information </li></ul><ul><li>Multilevel curriculum and </li></ul><ul><li>Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>There are 9 planets </li></ul>
  12. 12. Unit content adapted for a student with disabilities <ul><li>Unit: Solar System </li></ul><ul><li>Date: Month of October </li></ul><ul><li>Concept 2: </li></ul><ul><li>The characteristics of earth </li></ul><ul><li>Adapted information </li></ul><ul><li>Multilevel curriculum and </li></ul><ul><li>Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>The earth is made up of </li></ul><ul><li>land and water </li></ul>
  13. 13. Unit content adapted for a student with disabilities <ul><li>Unit: Solar System </li></ul><ul><li>Date: Month of October </li></ul><ul><li>Concept 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Rotation of the earth and </li></ul><ul><li>sun </li></ul><ul><li>Adapted information </li></ul><ul><li>Multilevel curriculum and </li></ul><ul><li>Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>The earth revolves around </li></ul><ul><li>the earth and sun </li></ul>
  14. 14. W-Five: Where <ul><li>The paraprofessional is to work with the student(s) in any school board-approved location, under the supervision and direction of a designated teacher. The safety of the assistant and student(s) must be ensured in any location (within and or outside e.g., excursions). </li></ul>
  15. 15. L.R.E Guidelines <ul><li>Student is an immediate danger to self or others </li></ul><ul><li>Other ways to manage behavior have failed </li></ul><ul><li>Staff are properly qualified </li></ul>
  16. 16. W-Five: When <ul><li>The paraprofessional is to be available to help in situations that require their intervention. Some paraprofessionals work full time with one student; some work with a variety of students; others work within a school or program as a general support to that program or school. </li></ul>
  17. 17. W-Five: Why <ul><li>Funds have been made available to the school district to be used to support students who are challenging and require additional support to be successful learners. Paraprofessional support is one form of support that is funded through educational funds. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>T ogether </li></ul><ul><li>E ach </li></ul><ul><li>A chieves </li></ul><ul><li>M ore </li></ul>
  19. 19. Parameters of Responsibility: Teacher and Professional Staff <ul><li>Initial design of the pupil plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., teacher lesson plan, developmental program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide paraprofessionals with the necessary information, training and direction to fulfill their responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation and evaluation of the instruction </li></ul>
  20. 20. Parameters of Responsibility: Teacher and Professional Staff <ul><li>Coordinate communication within school, community (e.g., medical professionals, social workers) and with the home </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative and inclusive team-building: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Welcome and work with educational and other professionals (as full participants and not just as temporary visitors) when planning the educational program </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Parameters of Responsibility: Paraprofessional <ul><li>Direct and indirect support of all students </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage peer interaction in all settings </li></ul><ul><li>Assist with the implementation of the educational plan </li></ul><ul><li>May assist in collection of assessment information, but certified staff maintain the responsibility for assessment and decision making at all times </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Skills: Communication <ul><li>With staff colleagues, administration, parents, and students </li></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality, freedom of information </li></ul><ul><li>On regular basis (e.g., daily journal with home, dedicated discussion with teacher) </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Skills: Communication <ul><li>Comprehensible and accommodating (e.g., verbal/non-verbal, languages, avoid “educatrese”) </li></ul><ul><li>Specific (e.g., identify skills, tasks, behaviors) </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewing progress </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage support from home </li></ul><ul><li>Professional and constructive </li></ul>
  24. 24. The Skills: Child Development <ul><li>Know typical learning and growth patterns of children </li></ul><ul><li>Know how disabilities or other challenges affect a student’s learning and school life </li></ul><ul><li>Age-appropriate ways of supporting students </li></ul>
  25. 26. A Case in Point Recommended Resource: The Source for Syndromes by Gail J. Richard and Debra Reichert Hoge LinguiSystems Inc., 1999 <ul><li>Special needs in cognitive function, language, hearing </li></ul><ul><li>Health issues: heart malformations, endocrine abnormalities, ligament abnormalities, hypotonia, vision abnormalities </li></ul>Down Syndrome <ul><li>Impairment in social interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Impairments in verbal and nonverbal communication </li></ul><ul><li>Restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities </li></ul>Autism
  26. 27. The Skills: Teaching & Support <ul><li>Guided by educational plan </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiated learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual learners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tactile learners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Auditory learners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student motivation: positive and proactive </li></ul><ul><li>Use of a variety of strategies, resources (e.g., technical supports and equipment) </li></ul><ul><li>Intervention that respects dignity and rights </li></ul>
  27. 28. Sensory Modality
  28. 29. How do we learn? <ul><li>10% if read </li></ul><ul><li>20% if heard </li></ul><ul><li>30% if seen </li></ul><ul><li>50% if seen and heard </li></ul><ul><li>70% if discussed with others </li></ul><ul><li>80% if used in life </li></ul><ul><li>95% if taught to others </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Putnam, Memorial University </li></ul>
  29. 30. Encourage Cooperative Learning <ul><li>Positive interdependence </li></ul><ul><li>Individual accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperation skills </li></ul><ul><li>Face-to-face interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Heterogeneous groups </li></ul><ul><li>Equal opportunities for success </li></ul>
  30. 31. The Skills: Knowledge <ul><li>What is to be done? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher will plan lesson framework, the paraprofessional will work within this framework to create a successful learning experience for the student(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What supports are required? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapted materials, extra time, visual/auditory/tactile cues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who offers the support? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan on giving support when it is needed: no student needs support all of the time (e.g., give choice, from afar) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes working with peers, sometimes working with teachers, sometimes working alone </li></ul></ul>
  31. 32. The Skills: Knowledge <ul><li>When do you need to offer support? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some support at critical times is better than constant support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinforce asking for support properly instead of giving support when student “acts out” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When to talk and when to listen? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning how to participate in conversations may be more important than academic learning! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The paraprofessional should model excellent listening skills </li></ul></ul>
  32. 33. The Skills: Knowledge <ul><li>What is expected of the student? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Realistic expectations must be established </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Task specific goals and behavioral goals should be planned in advance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criteria need to be skill-based and observable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is recorded? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on established goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication book to share with parents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidentiality </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. The Skills: There’s More! <ul><li>Time management </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., to schedules, to students, to colleagues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Negotiation: finding common ground </li></ul><ul><li>Management of transition </li></ul>
  34. 35. No two children with a similar exceptionality are the same!
  35. 36. The Paraprofessional in Inclusive Education: the Inclusion Facilitator
  36. 37. Classroom Culture <ul><li>The inclusive classroom is one that has accepted the right of any student to participate with all others in the process of learning. Difference in race, ethnicity, and gender do not lessen that right. Neither does difference in ability . All learners are accepted as members of the classroom community as equal participants within their abilities and needs. </li></ul>
  37. 38. Inclusion: Basic Principles <ul><li>All children have a right to a place in the regular classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Each student should participate, at some level, in all classroom activities </li></ul><ul><li>All children have individual abilities and needs that should be recognized </li></ul><ul><li>All children are learners </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers, paraprofessionals and students are colleagues in the act of learning </li></ul>
  38. 39. Types of Participation <ul><li>Full participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student joins others throughout the activity to the same extent as his/her peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., group work, cooperative learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Partial participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student participates in some part of the activity that is seen as important and equal to what the students are doing </li></ul></ul>
  39. 40. Types of Participation <ul><li>Parallel participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student completes a similar activity at a similar time and within the same environment as his/her peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work is different, but expectations, environment and learning process is the same </li></ul></ul>
  40. 41. Types of Participation <ul><li>Pull out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student taken to a specific area to complete a specific task that is seen as necessary to that student’s learning that cannot be achieved within the classroom </li></ul></ul>
  41. 42. A Few More Words… <ul><li>Student never “pulled out” because you do not know what to do with him/her </li></ul><ul><li>Student should be “pulled out” because you know what you need to do and you believe that working in a specific setting would be more beneficial than working within the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Helpful to have a peer(s) accompany the student and join the activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1:1 work may be perceived as stigmatizing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning to work with others is more important than learning to work alone </li></ul></ul>
  42. 43. Paraprofessional’s Goals <ul><li>Lifelong learner </li></ul><ul><li>Effective service to students </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative team member </li></ul><ul><li>Empowered (internally and externally) contributor </li></ul><ul><li>Supporter of inclusion </li></ul>
  43. 44. Paraprofessional’s Hope <ul><li>I wish for a teacher who will see me as a colleague with contributions to make. </li></ul><ul><li>I wish for a teacher who will see me as an assistant to all children, though with particular focus on a few. </li></ul><ul><li>I wish for a teacher who will ask for my ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>I wish for a teacher who will see me as a person, but feel free to guide me as a tool to benefit children. </li></ul><ul><li>I wish for a teacher who will challenge me to do my best. </li></ul><ul><li>I wish for a teacher in whom I can see a role model. </li></ul><ul><li>Gary Bunch, York University </li></ul>
  44. 45. Resources
  45. 46. Questions?
  46. 47. Thanks for Coming!