You’re Going To Be Okay Anyway

For the past week, we’ve been working on a series of things to release and the graphics are nearly ready. These new items will hopefully be very useful to some folks very shortly. Early samples were really very useful. And then last night we received news that we crossed 800 followers on Facebook.

It is a bit of a celebration, but we temper this fact that our followers and supporters nee more than us just to be there and a connection out there in virtual space. We know that getting materials that others can use is very important to us.

Our time on the road did do us in, in fact we had missed a lot in those four days we were away. But this does make us think a lot about the struggles a paraeducator may have when a teacher is a substitute.

Some reminders for everyone:

  • Realize that some classes feel threats are a challenge to meet and exceed. This not to confuse patience with passivity. Students, even students with disabilities might confuse this information. Cooler approaches prevail.
  • Paraeducators in a classroom, even the ones who are specifically assigned 1:1 with students do have relationships with the other students. Some students may be slow to trust substitutes and that trust can be establish in a regular class period. A gentle reminder to students follow the school rules can be very helpful to everyone
  • Health plan information needs to be clearly marked to the substitute. As do recent additions if at all possible. As soon as that student is added to the class at least shove a sticky note just in case you’re out the next day.
  • Sometimes have your finger on ‘escape’. A student who might not approach well with any changes perhaps ask for their buy in to be somewhere else for a short block of time to work on the same content in a different location. Reward students for being proactive in their learning.

If a polite, “Hey you wouldn’t do that if the teacher were here.” can diffuse the situation and get a student back on track, then it’s not a big deal.


It seems like a lot of information to leave a substitute for a general education class. But it also lets the substitute be aware of any nuances in advance of a class.

No, there is no obligation truly written into any contract that requires a paraeducator to help keep tabs on students when a substitute has come to class. A professional courtesy is helpful. It is exhausting and can be very draining. But think about the bigger lines. Respect between individuals, the infractions that  will get a student sent to the office. If a polite, “Hey you wouldn’t do that if the teacher were here.” can diffuse the situation and get a student back on track, then it’s not a big deal.

A word of caution, not all substitute teachers are receptive. It can be surmised usually very quickly. Always have a place of assuming positive intentions.

We’re well aware…

We’ve not skipped our Cal-TASH recap. We’re waiting to hear back on some folks from Cal-TASH. Though we did get to spend one more minute with Adiba Nelson and met her daughter, the inspiration behind ClaraBella Blue!

One more thing…

ParaEducate will be taking Spring Break March 28th and April 4th. We have something planned. We hope to be ready to share by then.

ParaEducate will be off for Spring Break March 28th and April 4, 2019. Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to be a guest blogger? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online herehereherehere,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.

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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