The Magic of Paraeducators

After surviving the “week of candy”, otherwise known as the days following Halloween, it’s a little hard to put a focus on the things that may be going on in school.

But that’s just it: it’s about the point in the year that students are melding into their year. Sometimes they need more help than others. But this is the point of the year that paraeducators, especially those who are veterans sit a little further away from their students. They know and see the cogs of the machine of education rolling exactly as they should be. Even if their student may not always be an efficient or want to be a cog. The difference between saving and helping has been established.

There are postvention discussions over circumstances that may have happened.

They ignore the little digs. “I don’t have to listen to you.” Or, “ You’re not the teacher.”

They can spot trouble, they can see the end goals, and they are figuring out IEP information as it is changing because the annual and triennials are piling up very quickly. Unusual behavior is documented, discipline reports are filed, and they managed to make copies for a class of nearly forty students.

They followed the health plan of four different students and responded to an email about the changes in the schedule for the day. They managed to help students get some independence.

They have done all these amazing things on a thinner budget, with less pay, with less formal training, and with less time than any other educator on campus.

And most choose to return every year. And the days are long, years are short. It’s more than a calling to work within special education. It’s more than being patient. It’s knowing if you wait long enough, there will be magic. Students stepping up and demonstrating skills independently or students making social or academic connections that they did not previously do without prompting. The magic of a student showing understanding of a complex topic in class. A student who finally found the subjects that inspire them or they have a lot of interest in so they can connect with their classmates.

Those are the magic moments. Those are the moments that are happening right now.


ParaEducate will be taking a week off in three week for the US Thanksgiving holiday. Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Find ParaEducate online herehereherehere, and here. ParaEducate is company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.

About paraeducate

ParaEducate is a company run to help reach out to paraeducators or paraprofessionals in public K-12 schools, giving advice, talking about publications that ParaEducate produces, and other useful information regarding working in public school settings.

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