A few years ago, we followed Casey and her schedule and looked at what a paraeducator might encounter. Today, we have “Todd’s” Schedule.
Todd is a paraeducator who has worked for five years at the middle school and the high school level, a full academic day is eight hours with a half hour of lunch. Though the students start the day at 8:30, Todd’s contract starts at 8:00. In the room shared by case managers, other paraeducators are already swapping notes and preparing for the day. It’s a ‘normal’ schedule, so today it’s just expecting that students show up.
Todd is one of two men on staff for students who are on the case manager’s list so, with a case load of students who are primarily male, locker room support is his primary duty.
At 8:30, his first student appears, a male student with a health concern requiring constant supervision. The student has PE first, but is also assigned another staff member. Todd will only supervise the student in the locker room and then return at the end of the period to once again supervise the locker room changing. The majority of the class time is shadowing a student who has a teaching assistant job in the library. Here, the student is learning how to file books and help the librarians prepare for classes that may come into the classroom.
At 9:15, is nutrition break. But Todd doesn’t get a break yet. He meets up with a student who is working on following a set schedule. The student greets Todd and needs help with his juice pack he has every day for snack. The students on break linger outside the classroom. Todd supervises these students while a co-worker goes inside to discuss the day’s events with the general ed teacher to prepare for his student and the others in this class to participate. The bell rings, and the student isn’t finished with his juice. Todd stays outside while three other students with disabilities goes into the classroom.
After this class, Todd has met up with nearly one hundred students and provided support for six students.
The next class is a science class, there are four students in this class that he is familiar with, and an additional eight from other parts of special education. Including the teacher: there are five adults in the room for thirty students.
Todd now has to make it back to PE to help supervise some male students in the locker room. The students need support in PE as well and Todd spends his last class before lunch supporting these students.
After lunch, Todd has another science class with two students. One student needs constant redirection to access sensory breaks.
Todd meets up with a student in another room for the sixth class of the day, it is a self-contained math class with one student, but they share the room with another student doing math and two students doing reading intervention. While his student is on a different math program, he is able to take notes so the student’s family knows what their student is doing in math throughout the day.
Todd will then take this student and support him in PE that afternoon. Todd will then escort the student to his pick-up person at the end of the day.
Todd has made contact with 220 students, 18 of whom he has a direct responsibility for.
Paraeducators are amazing folks, it’s a long day for everyone.
Do you have any questions about this week’s blog? Do you want to offer a guest blog? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. Paraeducate is a 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.