Survey of Paraprofessionals on Assignments- Post NCLB

From Tish Olshefski at AFT: The AFT recently surveyed paraprofessionals on the issue of assignments post-NCLB. We specifically tried to determine if paraprofessionals are ever assigned to work without being under the direction of a teacher as outlined in NCLB. A secondary issue is whether paraprofessionals are assigned to work as substitutes. This is a … Read more

Praises for Paraeducators

From the island of Kauai, Hawaii comes a story about the important role that paraeducators play in the classroom: I help regular education teachers modify student work,” Kaneshiro said. When she is in the classroom, Kaneshiro can see a lot more of what is going on than the teacher who is busy instructing the class. … Read more

Outstanding Paraeducator Award

A story of the recipient of the Outstanding Paraeducator Award in Marshaltown, Iowa: After taking a moment to compose herself, Crouse did her best to put into words why she comes to school every day and does what she does. “I love kids. It’s as simple as that,” she said. “I love them and I’ve … Read more

…Aides Seeking Better Pay

Townsend, MA- A second-grade teacher states, “There should be more of them. And they should be paid more” as she pickets along with 15 paraprofessionals to send a message that they deserve more.

The teacher goes on:

From preparing worksheets to showing the children how to tie their shoes, teaching assistants do all sorts of tedious yet important tasks that she doesn’t have the time to do herself. As the class sizes increase, these assistants, or so-called paraprofessionals, play growingly critical roles in classrooms, she said.

The Importance of Para Feedback

Dick, who is a special education teacher and parent of two boys with developmental disabilities writes about the need for special education teachers to provide effective feedback:

I have yet to meet a teacher who had spent time systematically training their paras and giving them regular feedback. If the paras are fortunate, they will get an annual evaluation. By then, it is too late to make any real improvements.

Paras in the News

Loud and Clear

This article introduces us to Grace Williams and here experience in receiving the Baha System that helps her to hear. Don’t miss the picture of her on the left in the classroom.

Williams, a paraeducator, can hear everything, from kids chatting at their desks to the phone ringing from across the room, Allar said.

Midyear Teacher Assistant Transfers- NCLB

Kilroy’s Delaware blog has commentary on this article: From the article: The transfers, being done to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act, will move assistants rated qualified to schools in poor neighborhoods, while those considered not qualified will be moved to wealthier schools. and this: “You’re pulling people in the middle of … Read more