Regional Conference Leadership Meetings

The NRCP Leadership Meetings are open to “National/State Paraeducator Leaders”, that is, people who are engaged in activities to promote paraeducator leadership at a variety of levels within their respective districts, states or countries. For example, state staff; state or regional training and TA staff; higher education personnel; persons promoting leadership through involvement in various state activities, labor organizations, committees, advisory groups. Anyone who is interested can attend.  Please note the Leadership Meeting is designed to be interactive and provide opportunities to learn from other states and local districts. Is your state/district excelling in areas tied to Paraeducator training and certification, standards, etc.?  Come share, let your voice be heard! The next Leadership meeting is January 11 with our Eastern Regional conference. 

We have hosted 2 Leadership meetings this year as an important part of our Regional Conferences and here is what the participants are saying about their experience.

We asked participants: What did you enjoy most about the Leadership meeting?

The friendliness of everyone and how supportive everyone was of a newbie like me. I enjoyed being moved into smaller groups so my voice could be heard even though I didn’t have a lot to say. 🙂

I enjoyed the whole session it was very helpful.

I enjoyed seeing that there is a VERY strong investment in my state’s (WA) educational teams to continue to be a leader and they are willing to listen to staff on the ground. I found that lack of communication about required training, or follow up on provided training, being a consistent issue to be interesting and wonder about ways that could be fixed on a national level.

Hearing examples of strengths and weaknesses others are experiencing in their current roles.

The group breakout sessions to talk with and hear what concerns other people around the country are having.

Being able to share with others who are doing the same types of job.

Talking with paras from other states and getting perspective on how things are going in other places.

Personal connections with presenters.

Since I’m new to the field, it was really nice to feel validated in the challenges I had been experience because I kept thinking that I was lacking in years of experience/skill. I liked hearing about actual programs that can be implemented in different locations like the mentor program and bridging systems within the education field to continue to move paraprofessionals forward (within their career or in a new position). I feel more like a leader just by hearing all the “good” that others are doing and that I can now offer to my school.

The interaction and feedback between everyone.

I really liked the information on the history and importance of the Paraeducator position within not only the schools but the communities as well.

Also enjoyed the conversations with others from different states and hearing what they are doing and going through as well.

Hearing about what is happening in other states to work towards better training and standards for paraprofessionals. Learning about what’s working well in other states and districts. Hearing that many places are experiencing the same challenges and that we’re not alone.

That we were able to have small discussions and speak freely. It was nice to know that most everyone in my group from the same school district share the same concerns I do.

Washington State’s work with the State Recognized Paraeducator Board. I also enjoyed hearing the voices of Paraeducator-Leaders.

Knowing that all regions have challenges, and what solutions do we have.

We asked: What were you hoping to gain from attending the leadership session?

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the leadership session, but it did inspire me to learn more about what is going on in my state and to ask some questions of my local school district.

I hoped to gain an idea on the state of the working conditions and training opportunities for paraeducators across the western region as well as potentially new ideas on how other paraeducators are addressing issues they discover.

More insight from other states.

A better understanding of what trainings need to be offered to strengthen the class room teams.

More knowledge to use with the students I come in contact with.

How to better help the paras I work with to understand their roles and what should be expected of them.

Validation/confidence mostly. Validation in that there are so many aspects that are challenging right now but that everyone is also experiencing and are actually acknowledging it. Confidence in knowing that I am not “doing too much” by advocating for my scholars or myself when it’s needed.

Information I will need moving forward to help with my career and provide me with ideas of things I need to do to make things happen in a positive way.

I would have liked to have more attendees. I was interested to hear more about other states.

Answers to challenges I may face.

I was hoping to gain ideas of what paraeducators want/need from leadership to better my districts abilities

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