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Making a Path: Creating Opportunities to Document and Share Promising Strategies or Practices Across One State


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Making a Path: Creating Opportunities to Document and Share Promising Strategies or Practices Across One State by Mary Fisher & Mary Jo Dare.

From the 2009 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference.

Published in: Education
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Making a Path: Creating Opportunities to Document and Share Promising Strategies or Practices Across One State

  1. 1. Mary Fisher and Mary Jo Dare Indiana University at IUPUI and Hamilton-Boone –Madison Special Service Cooperative The Keys of WIZdom - The Power of Teams NRCP Annual Conference 2009 Salt Lake City
  2. 2. State funded  One year at a time  Local district-university collaboration  Local district initiative around advanced  paraeducator preparation
  3. 3. Get some paper and a pencil ready.  Mary will give you a word or phrase.  Record that in a column down your paper.  ▪ C ▪ O ▪ L ▪ U ▪ M ▪ N Record a second word /phrase in a next  column.
  4. 4. C O L L A B O R A T I O N S H A R E D S U P P O R T Think of a famous person for each pair of initials.
  5. 5. C O L L A B O R A T I O N L E A R N T O G E T H E R Think of a famous person for each pair of initials.
  6. 6. Provide support to instructional assistants as  an incentive to remain in the district Series of workshops on specific practices  Provide coaching after group presentation  Capture this work for other districts   Content  Connections to new learning for students
  7. 7. IN numbers 2008  Teachers – 8,802 Paraed. – 8,342 Fed numbers  Teachers – 408,075 Paraed. – 364,584
  8. 8. Anderson Community Schools ParaEducator: Lifelines in the Classroom and others Evansville-Vanderburgh Schools Multiple resources Indianapolis Public Schools Paraprofessional’s Guide to the Inclusive Classroom ParaEducator Lifelines in the Classroom South Bend Community Schools The Master Teacher
  9. 9. Working with paraeducators on the job…
  10. 10. Paraview Who  It has been very helpful to meet regularly. We had tried  3-5 team members and some of these ideas before but we let them fall by the 1 facilitator wayside. What  It is important to have the outside person. She comes without the history. She is not so likely to be  A child who worries discouraged. Her enthusiasm helps us be more willing the team to try again. When  She asks us questions that we don’t ask ourselves.  During work hours Supports Where  Outsider willing to be a critical   Conference room or friend classroom  Team investment in the conversation and solutions
  11. 11. Who  Paraview  1 coachee and 1 coach I can’t believe that someone is interested in my work! What It works for me when there is a strategy I need to work  on so that I can ask my coach for feedback on  A child who worries something specific. the coachee or a new strategy Supports When  Outsider willing to be a critical   During work hours friend/coach and ask thoughtfully Where  worded questions  Classroom  Teacher support for content/strategy acquired!
  12. 12. Working with paraeducators on the job – providing direction and support
  13. 13. They need professional development.  They need direction and feedback.  They need appreciation and  acknowledgment. They must be valued members of educational teams.
  14. 14. Autism – a book perspective  The IA’s role  Overview of critical practices  Thinking about prompts  Thinking about visual cues  Problematic behavior and communicative  intent The STAR program  Supporting students in general education  settings
  15. 15. Setting goals 1. 2. Reflecting on goals 3. Asking for feedback on goals 4. Sharing work with colleagues 1. Among ourselves 2. With critical friends
  16. 16. Still have an expert although…  Your goal  Any observation shaped by you  All next steps designed by you Like writing workshop  Genre [practice] immersion  Try it out… use another writer’s style, phrasing, a line you wish you had written  Revise and edit  Invite feedback; revise and edit  Author’s chair
  17. 17. Identity  Agency  Goal  Giving and getting support   Help is valued! “Knowledge as practice…”  Protocols 
  18. 18. Identity Agency • Your advocacy comes through • How did you figure that out? • What problems did you come so clearly! • What a strong advocate you across today? • Has anyone else had this are! • You are an insightful problem? How did you solve it? • How are you planning to go observer of young people • You must be proud of your work about this? • Where are you going with your with Marguerite. • What are you doing as a level of assistance? • Which part are you sure about kidwatcher today? • What have you learned most and which part are you not sure recently as a kidwatcher? about?
  19. 19. Given the content so far, how might this  apply to your practice?  With students  With colleagues  With families Meaningful Doable “Observable”
  20. 20. Decide when and how often to use a  reinforcer Decrease my use of verbal prompts in favor  of visual cues Increase the number of appropriate social  interactions in the classroom
  21. 21. Identify ways to encourage a student to  accomplish more work Teach student to initiate and complete  morning arrival routines with minimal adult support Increase independence and advocacy skills  Help student know that sometimes he does  need help from a grown-up.
  22. 22. Communicate concerns in an effective way –  whom do I really report to? Resource? GE? Administrator? Share my thoughts with teachers  Share strategies that have worked with fellow  paraeducators
  23. 23. At least get acquainted with some of our  tools  reflection  goal-writing  coaching conversation
  24. 24. Consider carefully  Skyrocketing numbers  “One to one” assignments  Appropriate supervision and evaluation
  25. 25. More research   into reasons why numbers are skyrocketing  about roles performed by teachers and paraeducators Clarification from professional organizations   the use of “1:1” paraeducators (e.g., CEC draft statement) Planning and planning tools 
  26. 26. Principals know everything about something. Teachers know something about everything. But paraeducators are expected to know everything about everything… --Kent Gerlach
  27. 27. Across Indiana, for example:  IN Council for Administrators of Special Education  ISEAS University Forum (Teacher preparation faculty and special education administrators)  Indiana Institute on Disability and Community  IN*Source  IDOE grant projects ▪ IN Inclusive Schools Support Project ▪ IN Paraeducator Support Project