At some point in our educational careers, we are all going to work with a paraprofessional or aide in the classroom. Sometimes we get lucky and these people are AMAZING to work with! Other times we have to help them learn our expectations for helping the students.
little smiley graphic by Mr. Magician
Here are some tips that I’ve found to be helpful when working with parapros in the classroom:
- be specific about expectations
- give them examples that they can reference again and again (We went to school for years to learn how to manage a classroom, so don’t expect them to take in too much information at one time and remember it all!)
- let them watch you
- give honest, but kind, feedback about what they are doing well and what can be improved
- if things are not going as you expected, intervene sooner than later – it’s hard to break bad habits, so it’s better to get them taken care of right away – talk to your administrator or another teacher who has a good working relationship with this person if you are unsure about how to approach the subject
- don’t bellyache about your para – if you think teachers are underpaid, think about the time/effort/money these people put into their day even and how little they make! they are doing just as many great things for students as we as teachers are!
What other tips would you add to this list?