Paramazing Partners


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Presentation at the 2011 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference by Ashleigh Molloy.

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  • Paramazing Partners

    1. 1. National Paraprofessional Conference Copyright 2011 [email_address] Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Presenter: Dr. Ashleigh Molloy Director Transformation Education Institute
    2. 2. Session Objectives To examine best practices as educational partners. To validate the importance of collaboration. To learn strategies that promote student success. To experience a healthy dose of endorphins. To build a sense of community while validating differences.
    3. 3. What are Paraprofessionals? Paras are like... They are the real thing. Paras are like... They care enough to send their very best. COKE HALLMARK CARDS
    4. 4. What are Paraprofessionals? (My Take) Paras are like... They work miracles. Paras are like... They have better ideas. BAYER ASPIRIN FORD
    5. 5. Paras are like... They bring good things to life. Paras are like... You're in good hands with them. GENERAL ELECTRIC ALLSTATE What are Paraprofessionals? (My Take)
    6. 6. V0-5 HAIR SPRAY Paras are like... the Neither rain, nor snow, nor ice will keep them from their appointed task. Paras are like... They hold through all kinds of weather. POSTAL SERVICE What are Paraprofessionals? (My Take)
    7. 7. But MOST of all... Paraprofessionals are like They're GRRRRREAT!!! FROSTED FLAKES. What are Paraprofessionals? (My Take)
    8. 8. Paras are in good company Wyoming State Para Conference Committee
    9. 9. <ul><li>Great gift of giving of themselves to others is priceless </li></ul>Albert Einstein “ How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank “ Only a life lived for others is worthwhile.”
    10. 10. “ The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen, not touched, but are felt in the heart.” Helen Keller If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life from aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. Emily Dickinson
    11. 11. Great gift of giving of themselves to others is priceless &quot;Each time a man stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.&quot; -- Robert F. Kenndy &quot;The capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest meaning and significance.&quot; -- Pablo Casals
    12. 12. Getting to Know You Activity “ UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL” GETTING TO KNOW YOU
    13. 13. Focus on You
    14. 14. Paras Must Think Outside the Box
    15. 15. Paraprofessionals Do Make a Difference: A Parent's Reflection In my personal expereince, Paras have always made a difference in my daughter's life. Lindsey, who has Down syndrome, started junior kindergarten at a young age of 4. I was totally overwhelmed with the idea of my baby girl away from mom. Elizabeth Mora was assigned to be Lindsey's paraprofessional. She was with Lindsey through the primary grades.
    16. 16. Grateful Mom, Michelle Molloy To say this lady made a difference in my daughter’s life is an understatement. This para was compassionate, caring, patient, loving and very much the advocate for Lindsey. Yet she was firm and did chastise when the need arose. They understood each other. When Lindsey started school, she was well on her way to read. She loved books. Elizabeth continued the reading, taught manners, and helped Lindsey with peer-interactions. Our little girl became very sociable At school with most of the other students. Thank you Elizabeth!
    17. 17. Experiences/ Interests Your lived experiential roles as mother, father, husband, wife, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, friend. <ul><li>Confidante </li></ul><ul><li>Work partner </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solver </li></ul><ul><li>Nurturer </li></ul>
    18. 18. Life Experiences They include other employment experiences, hobbies, interests and community service Fishing Traveling Church Service Cooking Art Swimming Playing an instrument Singing
    19. 19. The Wisdom of Mom!
    20. 20. <ul><li>You are the “ CHEERLEADER ” that encourages students to be the best that they can be </li></ul>You are the COMFORTER when life exposes students to hurtful experiences You are the PARTNER who teams up with the teachers to form a dynamic duo that assists with their learning Role Model Transformation Education Institute Copyright 2011
    21. 21. <ul><li>You are the SUPPORTER as </li></ul><ul><li>students navigate their daily </li></ul><ul><li>living challenges </li></ul>You are the ADVOCATE and thus a “voice” for students You are the PROMOTER for students’ independence as you work to prepare them to be as self sufficient as they can possibly be given their different abilities Role Model Transformation Education Institute Copyright 2011
    22. 22. Role Modelling in Action
    23. 23. Activity: “Wright Family”
    24. 24. Para Personal Reflection: <ul><li>Throughout the course of a day, I am called upon to take on my roles: friend, nurse, coach, finder of lost articles, psychologist and substitute parent. </li></ul><ul><li>I am thankful for this wonderful career. Parents have done me the great honor of entrusting me with their most precious gift, their children. I am allowed to spend my days with the future. </li></ul><ul><li>Diona Copsey </li></ul><ul><li>Wyoming </li></ul>
    25. 25. Partnership Goals <ul><li>Lifelong learners </li></ul><ul><li>Effective service to students </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative team members </li></ul><ul><li>Supporter of inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Proud engaged partner in education </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptors for paradigm shift </li></ul>
    26. 26. Unwrapping the Gift A parent’s perspective from Dr.Ash “ GIFT” Definition: A special ability, capacity, or talent Paradigm Shift: You move the perspective from deficiency to giftedness
    27. 27. Being included feels so good !
    28. 28. Classroom Team Environment
    29. 29. Classroom Environment &quot;I've come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my personal approach that creates climate...I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.&quot; -- Haim Ginott
    30. 30. Respect through People First Language <ul><li>The way a society refers to persons with disabilities shapes its beliefs and ideas about them </li></ul><ul><li>Using appropriate terms can foster positive attitudes about persons that are deemed exceptional </li></ul><ul><li>People-first language emphasizes the person, not the identification. </li></ul>Transformation Education Institute Copyright 2010
    31. 31. Respect through People First Language <ul><li>Placing the person first ensures that the “label” is no longer the defining characteristic describing the person. </li></ul><ul><li>It encourages society to focus on the person as a unique individual. </li></ul>Transformation Education Institute Copyright 2010
    32. 32. Respect through People First Language Respectful Sample Language: <ul><li>Use: </li></ul><ul><li>Persons with a disability </li></ul><ul><li>Developmental disability </li></ul><ul><li>She has Down syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>He receives Sp. Ed </li></ul><ul><li>services / He receives </li></ul><ul><li>additional services </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of: </li></ul><ul><li>Handicapped </li></ul><ul><li>Mentally Disabled </li></ul><ul><li>She is a Down syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>child </li></ul><ul><li>He is in special Ed </li></ul>
    33. 33. Persons With Down Syndrome <ul><li>I am proud of the things I know and can do. I like to be treated with respect and dignity. </li></ul><ul><li>I want to have friends and be a part of the school and neighbourhood communities. </li></ul><ul><li>I take pride in my work and my achievements. </li></ul><ul><li>I need time to practice and process new things. </li></ul><ul><li>I am much more that a person with Down syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>I am a person FIRST. </li></ul>
    34. 34. Different perspectives: Lindsey’s Stories <ul><li>Oil of Olay story </li></ul><ul><li>Driving to school meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Birthday Invite </li></ul>
    35. 35. Ineffective Partner Communication
    36. 36. <ul><li>T ogether </li></ul><ul><li>E ach </li></ul><ul><li>A chieves </li></ul><ul><li>M ore </li></ul>Teamwork Collaboration
    37. 37. Teamwork is Essential
    38. 38. Collaboration Essential for Team Building
    39. 39. Collaboration Working with , not for, against, or around others <ul><li>Working with others, isn’t easy. Nor is it necessarily, time-efficient, cost effective, or user friendly! </li></ul><ul><li>Working with others is about communication, relationships, ownership and process. It is at least as much about an attitude as it is about behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Everything is created out of relatedness sustained through relationships, and thrives on interdependence” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Diarmuid O’Murchu in Quantum Theology </li></ul>
    40. 40. Collaboration Activity
    41. 41. Partners in Education <ul><li>Working in collaborative Partnership to ensure student success </li></ul>Paraprofessional STUDENT Teacher
    42. 42. Not always smooth!
    43. 43. Dynamic Duos <ul><li>Batman and Robin </li></ul><ul><li>Mario and Luigi </li></ul><ul><li>Han Solo and Luke Skywalker </li></ul><ul><li>Bert and Ernie </li></ul><ul><li>PARA AND TEACHER </li></ul>
    44. 44. Common TEAM Goals <ul><li>Collaborative team member </li></ul><ul><li>Lifelong learner </li></ul><ul><li>Effective service to students </li></ul><ul><li>Empowered contributor </li></ul><ul><li>Supporter of inclusion </li></ul>
    45. 45. Roles & Responsibilities <ul><li>Communication </li></ul>
    46. 46. Effective Communication =Message Conveyed
    47. 47. Creating A Classroom Team <ul><li>Roles and Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Clear and open communication can prevent confusion and conflict </li></ul><ul><li>It is the teacher’s role to communicate information clearly, both colleagues can move the process along by asking questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback Builds a Working Team </li></ul><ul><li>While the teacher takes the lead in the classroom, both teacher and paraprofessional should have the chance to share feedback. Feedback cuts down the confusion, duplicating tasks, and resentment between paraprofessional and teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Sample Tune-Up Checklist; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we meeting frequently enough? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we sharing information about student performance, behaviour and growth? </li></ul></ul>“ The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
    48. 48. Creating A Classroom Team <ul><li>Respecting Others </li></ul><ul><li>Respect and communication. That’s what teachers and parents say makes an effective classroom team. </li></ul><ul><li>A core quality of the collaborative person is respect for others, for their opinions, experience, feelings, and needs. Underlying that respect must be openness to the ways of thinking, manner of expression, intensity of emotion. </li></ul><ul><li>Active listening demands focused attention . We know that we are listening well if we could repeat not only the ideas the other person presented but also the underlying feeling expressed by his/her non-verbal communication. The test of our listening skill is whether or not the other person feels understood. </li></ul><ul><li>Making decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Learn new listening skills. Dialogue requires attentive listening to what the other is saying without focusing on winning an argument. </li></ul>
    49. 49. Creating A Classroom Team <ul><li>Create a healthy, open relationship between teacher and paraprofessional </li></ul><ul><li>Set aside time to get to know each other. That could include discussing each others background, experience, special interests, and strengths and needs. It also includes setting goals together for your class. The better you understand your co-worker, the easier your day to day life together will be. </li></ul><ul><li>Active Listening is the key to true communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Active listening is a way to really get to know another person and to understand their side of a problem or issue. Active listening helps the person you’re talking with speak freely, explain his/her side of a problem, and work out a solution. It includes the following elements: </li></ul>
    50. 50. Partner Listening Activity
    51. 51. Active Listening Strategies <ul><ul><li>Reflecting: Reflecting shows you understand how the other person feels and brings those feelings out into the open. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: In reflecting, you describe the other person’s feelings: “You seem very upset about what happened today”, or “You sound angry about playground duty. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarizing: Summing up pulls together your entire conversation and sets the stage for further discussions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Review the problem or issue you have discussed and how you will handle it: “I’m glad you’re willing to offer me more input in what we do in the classroom. It will make me more excited and productive. We’ve agreed to coordinate our planning periods so that we can sit down together and exchange ideas.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validating: Validating recognizes the other persons dignity, efforts and opinions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Validating phrases include: “I really appreciate your willingness to help solve this problem,” or “I know it took courage for you to bring this up, I’m glad we talked about it.” </li></ul></ul>
    52. 52. Active Listening Strategies <ul><ul><li>Encouraging: being encouraging shows you’re interested in what the other person is saying and keeps the other person talking when he or she might be shy or reluctant. It helps to use neutral, non-judgmental words to keep your voice free from anger or ridicule. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “Can you tell me more?” or “Could you give me more detail about this problem?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarifying: Clarifying helps you get clear information from the other person and understand his or her point of view so you can find a solution that works for both of you. Ask questions if you don’t understand what the other person is saying or if you need more details. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: clarifying includes asking who, what, why, when and where question, such as “When did this happened?” “Can you tell me exactly what the student said to you?” ”How did you feel about the principals comments in front of the class?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restating the Facts : This technique shows you’ve been listening to the other person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “So you ‘d like a larger role in planning small group activities?” or “I guess you’re saying you need more backup in dealing with the problem kids.” By repeating the basic ideas and facts you’ve just heard the other person express, you make sure you’ve been understood. </li></ul></ul>
    53. 53. Creative Para Problem Solving
    54. 54. The Process for Successful Team Planning <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 students). </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>
    55. 55. The Process for Successful Team Planning <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 team should model excellent listening skills </li></ul></ul>
    56. 56. <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>The Process for Successful Team Planning
    57. 57. Serving different Ability Students
    58. 58. <ul><li>What is the Para to do if the student does not cooperate? Is there a behaviour program in place? </li></ul><ul><li>The Para should be able to give information to the teacher about the student’s response to accommodations and other supports. </li></ul> Student Support
    59. 59. Paradigm Shift: Prepare for the Future
    60. 60. Dr. Ash’s Para Kit Lifesaver To keep you from drowning in everyday chores. Candy Kiss To remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug everyday. Toothpick To remind you to pick out the good qualities in others Chewing Gum To remind you to stick with it, and you can accomplish anything. Sweet Tart To help you accept and appreciate the differences in others. Eraser To remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s okay.
    61. 61. Dr. Ash’s Para Kit Tea Bag To remind you to relax daily and go over your list of blessings. Nail To help you remember that suffering is part of life. Button To remember to button your lip when needed. Band Aid To remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else’s. Rubber Band To remind you to be flexible, things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out. Mint To remind you that you are worth a mint.
    62. 62. Our Mutual Hope <ul><li>I wish for a partner who will see me as a colleague with contributions to make. </li></ul><ul><li>I wish for a partner who will ask for my ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>I wish for a partner who will see me as a person, but feel free to guide me as a tool to benefit students. </li></ul><ul><li>I wish for a partner who will challenge me to do my best. </li></ul><ul><li>I wish for a partner in whom I can see a role model. </li></ul><ul><li>Gary Bunch, York University </li></ul>
    63. 63. Song : This Little Light of Mine <ul><li>This little light of mine </li></ul><ul><li>I’m gonna let it shine (Repeat 3 times) </li></ul><ul><li>Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine </li></ul><ul><li>All among our teachers I’m gonna let it shine </li></ul><ul><li>All among our partners I’m gonna let it shine </li></ul><ul><li>All among our students I’m gonna let it shine </li></ul><ul><li>Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine </li></ul><ul><li>This little light of mine </li></ul><ul><li>I’m gonna let it shine (Repeat 3 times) </li></ul><ul><li>Let it shine, let it shine, shine through us </li></ul>
    64. 64. Resources <ul><li>Bunch, Gary. Inclusion: How To. Toronto: Inclusion Press, 1999/2002. </li></ul><ul><li>Bunch, Gary. The Basics: Supporting Learners with Intellectual Disabilities in Regular Classrooms. Toronto: Inclusion Press, 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Gerlach, K. (2001). Let’s team up! A checklist for paraeducators, teachers, </li></ul><ul><li>and principals, Washington, DC: National Education Association </li></ul><ul><li>Giangreco, M.F., & Doyle, M.B. (2002) Students with disabilities and parapofessional support: Benefits, balance, and band-aids, Focus on Exceptional Children, 34(7), 1-12. </li></ul><ul><li>Giangreco, M.F., Edelman, S.W., Broer, S.M., Doyle, M.B., (2001) Para </li></ul><ul><li>Professional support of Students with disabilities: Literature from the past </li></ul><ul><li>Decade:Exceptional Children, 68, 45-64 </li></ul><ul><li>Jones, K.H., & Bender, W.N. (1993). Utilization of paraprofessional in </li></ul><ul><li>special education: A review of literature. Remedial and Special Education, 14, </li></ul><ul><li>7-14 </li></ul>BOOKS
    65. 65. Thank You And God Bless
    66. 66. Contact Information for Dr. Ashleigh Molloy <ul><li>Website: www. </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: 866-634-8789 </li></ul>