Drinking From A Fire Hose

It is easy to get caught up in an educational passion. We’ve seen passionate Science teachers, English teachers, Kindergarten teachers, History teachers, fifth grade teachers, and many more. They not only love the content but they love the age the student is at for a variety of reasons. This is a good thing we promise you. Passion yields students who want to connect and students who as a whole move forward in ways that might not have been previously possible. However, with passion, and when speaking about students in a classroom with disabilities, differentiation, or even modification may not always be enough.

Case in point: this week, Renay attempted to modify a text this week. We know Renay is fairly adept, so we had no fear that this would be done with a general whole hearted effort that would give the students who needed it access to the text. Renay has now officially dubbed this text “The Novel that Probably Shouldn’t Be Modified.” Part of the issue lies in the fact that she’s never seen this novel taught. The rest was caught up in the author’s natural propensity for flowing exposition that cannot be cut easily due to the nature of foreshadowing. Complicating modification of this novel involves the fact that the novel was written with strict adherence to English Grammar from the year it was published. This has since aged the flow of words in light of the modern era.

If she didn’t attempt to modify the text and worked through line by line with the student, perhaps the student would achieve what the teacher wanted, even a modified goal of half of what the teacher wanted, perhaps by May in all honestly. But that also requires a student who is willing to pair up with a paraeducator and discuss those expectations and be willing to pass or continue on those things.

While as a writer, Renay appreciates this author’s work, the question that remains at the top is looking at the text in this five by six published work of art, she knows her students will be less likely to want to interact with the text. The density and spacing of the text makes the book look like a solid black line for some students. Though it is the size of most student’s hands, this book can easily look and act like a dictionary. But, fortunately for the students Renay serves, this isn’t the first time she’s come up against an academic wall on the way to modified curriculum.

Some reminders:

  • Is it all necessary? Especially within reading, many students with disabilities don’t like reading because they honestly struggle. They’d rather not do the ‘hard’ thing than be found deficient. Even in a school that models growth mindset behaviors. Appreciating an author’s senses to be filled in sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste, is a skill many students, no matter the age needs to experience at least once, and for some, perhaps briefly. Combat this with reaching to the general education teacher and asking which key passages will be needed to connect to literary elements that will be explored in the reading. (Then take those segments, retype only those in 14 pt font, at least 1.5 spacing if not double spaced!)
  • Avoid the trap of being in early in the year of “Nope, not going to work at all.” Even when you know the student. A little shove at the beginning of the year is a lot easier than a bulldozer in April or May. Certainly do a little shove now, see what happens. You may still need that bulldozer in April or May but you’ll have a first attempt now in the early part of the year to decide how big of a bulldozer.
  • Older students find some Sparknotes to be very useful. The summaries and focus on the characters helps at least outline plot points and help students to look and then connect segments to the reading.
  • Be visual. Build a box of things that are related to the story. Bring in pictures or show pictures from Ancient Greek Antiquities. Show pictures from trips around the Mediterranean. Have pictures of modern day Wyoming. Bring in a car enthusiast who can talk about the importance of car races from the 1950-1960s United States. Draw a time line and have students line up plot points as a sequence of events.
  • By now you’re probably wondering, “Why not use the movie?” or “Audio book?” And yes, those things are useful. But most movies cut parts of the reading for time or alter things for exposition. Like the book, the movie also can be creatively different, while some students can compare and contrast those things, some students aren’t ready to do that level of thinking yet. And some audio books are limiting, especially when the teacher asks the class to go back to page 20 and find 3 examples of figurative language.

For the passionate educator, don’t despair. This isn’t to limit your love of teaching the way you want to, even for a student with a disability. If you’re aware that your students aren’t keeping up, pause more often. Don’t feel like more is always better. And appreciate when a student does rise up and meet at least some of your expectations, just as you would for a student who met all your expectations.


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.

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The Ostrich

There are all sorts of behaviors that students in a classroom exhibit when facing academic challenges. Whether the task is writing, reading, math, finding a question to ask about a topic over their head, lack of interest in the material, or some combination of all the mentioned the student isn’t engaging.

But why?

There are many reasons.

  • “Too boring”/”I can’t tell you I don’t understand”
  • “I didn’t get enough sleep.”
  • “I don’t like the teacher.”
  • “I don’t like the direction.”
  • “Something else is going on and I can’t focus on this…ever.”
  • “I’m socially aware that I shouldn’t look like I care. Go away.”

So what can you do?

They are a students identified as persons with disabilities for a reason. And it’s your job to help them out. However, there is something especially defeating about watching a student with a head on the desk. But students are also allowed to make choices and choices have consequences. And sometimes failing a class is preferable for a student than dealing with the issues.

For some students, having a rapport will not be enough. Knowing if there is support on your campus for students having issues at home and larger emotional support needs is very important.

Sometimes it’s literally as simple as walking up to the student and gently nudging them on their shoulder to get them to pick their head up.

Sometimes, it will take a teacher telling them they have to leave the classroom. And in a quieter space, they can demonstrate respect and attentive behavior because the classroom is too much for them for whatever reason in that moment.

Unfortunately, if the student doesn’t value the class material or the classroom teacher you’re going to have a harder time convincing the student to attend to activities or expectations. But getting the teacher to buy in to positively rewarding the student either with praise or even an occasional special treat will be very useful to giving a start on a relationship with the teacher and the student so you will not always have to be the bad guy.

Students get to make choices about things in their lives. Sometimes it’s the little things, like paying attention that need to be let go. Being able to respect a student’s choice can be very difficult for some staff to honor, but it is a choice the student can make. There will be a point at which you need to sit back and see if the student tries on their own. Just reminding them that your are there and you are willing to help. Hopping around and helping the other students can help remove the stigma. Modeling interest and showing interest in the content helps — when the students see you are actively doing the math homework by long hand and helping the other students they often take pause and consider your role in the classroom.

October, the month that always celebrates

In no particular order:

  • October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month,
  • World Cerebral Palsy Day (October 6)
  • National Bully Prevention Month
  • National Spinal Bifida Month
  • Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 7-13)

October is quite the month for awareness and prevention. We will be looking more at this through October.


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.

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Unsteady

When Renay came in today, we could hear her shoes. Not because they were especially loud shoes, but we noticed they squeaked. When asked, Renay said, “They’re two months old, I’ve broken the air pocket. I’m averaging eleven thousand steps a day over five days.” While Renay is working on finding a new pair of shoes, making an algebra tile template, and planning the strategies to help advance the next few books, it got us all thinking about what limits are needed professionally to keep paraeducators in the trenches.

Certainly a few are more skilled in academic areas, but is it really fair that certain paraeducators only see students for certain academic subjects, to become hyper experts in that subject? How does on go about breaking through to learn about the subject to be helpful without breaking rules of actual direction of teaching students to learn the subject matter, especially when approaching inquiry based modeling?

But Renay has also counseled us in this flip of the statement: How many subjects are too many subjects to manage? It is an eight-hour day, almost without question that every subject matter will be addressed, no matter the age of the student. How does one address all the topics looked at, help students navigate their behaviors, and guide through social situations? Add to this looking for positive behaviors in the halls of a school  with contact over 150 students and some paraeducators can be stretched thin. The job of a paraeducator is physical, academically mentally challenging, and the job without a doubt can make demands emotionally.

Many districts mandate the state minimums for paraeducators for breaks and lunches. Take them, make your co-workers take them. Sometimes breaks don’t come when you really need them: offer to give your co-worker a break so they can take the time to get themselves back on track. It is taxing to make a hundred decisions in a half hour. Sometimes one can try and stay the course, but still end up frazzled. Add to the fact that most paraeducators cannot make ends meet independently on one job, most paraeducators Renay knows work two or more jobs to help pay the bills and support their families (in many variations of families can be). Some are also taking college classes at the same time.

Learn some ways to unwind and separate from work. Many options are typically physical (walking, jogging, meditation), but so are finding something that makes you laugh or smile, spending time with loved ones, doing gardening, performing music or dance, or video gaming if that’s what you prefer. For some, journaling helps let go of all the stress that can be in a day.

One can only run at the top speed for so long without tripping. But the last reminder is a reminder for us all, as we know Renay is watching the recap of the coverage of the Senate hearings right now, is if you need more support to not be ashamed to get that support be it psychiatric help or medical help. There are many issues surrounding getting help based on ethnicity and cultural stigma but we will reiterate: if you need help, please get help, the right professional to help you is there you may have to try a few to see if they are the right fit for you.

Paraeducators are human. Nothing will be ever exactly perfect, even when you put in procedures in place. There are a thousand pieces in a work day, and all of them uniquely assembled. Take care of yourself and take care of each other. Be the representation to your students that you want them to learn to be.


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.

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The Missed Teaching Moments

There was something that bothered Renay a lot this week. There was something echoing from a student, a side comment that Renay did not address right away. Instead, she let the student who made the comment continue on and have a chance with the purpose of the connections that occurred. Sometimes it happens that way, but what about those missed teaching moments? When do they end? Even when interventions aren’t always working, what is the difference between the first contact or the change in a student’s life?

There are easily thousands of missed teachable moments. And you’re going to get some of them. You’re going to lose some of those moments. It’s okay.

But when you’re ready to step in and talk to a student, especially a general education student, there are some ground rules.

  1. Remember the students with disabilities have a right to privacy. If they didn’t over hear the comment, they don’t need to be posted to the pillar as an example. This also means that you don’t call out that the general ed student’s comment may have been ill timed because there was a student with a disability in proximity. This is also often where you check if you are ready to have a conversation with a student.
  2. Avoid approaching the student with “Don’t say that!” or “We don’t use that language.” This is often too vague, even for young students. Try instead, “I understand you have some questions about the fact that the student didn’t respond to you, maybe I can help you understand something about your classmates…” Notice nothing about “disability” is said in that statement.
  3. Take a deep breath. We’ve said this a lot lately. But this is about teaching, not about the anger that you feel as a gut reaction. If you’re off the beaten path shouting or even feeling steam rise in your ears, you shouldn’t talk to a student about redirecting themselves. You just get branded “Crazy Adult At School Who Spoke To Me”. This title has many variations. Some may even be quite unprofessional.
  4. Remember that some students with disabilities have siblings at the same campus who may not have a disability at all. A sometimes, the sibling says comments hoping to get attention away from their sibling.
  5. Follow the school procedure for reporting a student who continues to repeat infractions. Likely a student who has an honest conversation with an adult will realize their mistake and try to do better. Some students, unfortunately, don’t care and you can help follow through and help them learn how all members of a community share to learn. Discipline may involve increasing interactions with peers specifically with disabilities, and through shared time, perhaps learning more about each other can foster some bonds.

The inroads are sometimes slow and winding. You never know when they are going to need a lot more repair than others. But the idea that a school is it’s own community, with its own values that are upheld is not an unusual idea. It helps create a better situation for all.


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.

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Too Many Eyes

We observe. We observe the teacher interacting with We observe behavior. We observe group dynamics. We really watch the students and try to get a feel of what we need to do, what is reactive, and what might work.

But under that magnifying glass, many students with disabilities are often repeat offenders. Either with behaviors or outlandish behaviors. And these behaviors are often preventing peer friendships or putting academics on the far back burner.

But there is a built in disservice our observations give many students with disabilities.

First and foremost, they’re often called out on their behavior. Not taking out a book when the teacher said to? (prompt) Didn’t get their homework out? (prompt) Even if it is a good natured, “What is your classmate doing?” that prompt dependence can build up.

Of course there is also the fear of social bias. Many students with disabilities are also students who are ethnically more diverse in general than the teaching staff. Students with disabilities also tend to be male compared to the generally expected female teaching and paraeducating staff. Inherently these two paths crossing can yield some biases, many of which individual adults are often unaware.

How does one decide which hills of behavior are worth the climb?

  1. If the behavior really does distract more than one student especially if it derails the class. This is a behavior that the general education teacher can redirect. Sometimes students do certain behaviors for friends and that gets a reaction from adults.
  2. Decide if it is a cluster of behaviors or it’s a challenge of transitioning. If you wait it out, does the student calm down and change gears into class or at least find something worth sitting through and dealing? Certainly when a teacher is trying to get a class to come back in from recess and any student who is demanding attention. Waiting it out sometimes proves to be a useful strategy.
  3. Call out the good things you see a student do. “Catching the good” for many students helps get students to do better. And it helps the anxiety over waiting for things to fall apart.
  4. Realize that sometimes that no matter what, you are just not going to get the student to keep it together. Take a deep breath and make sure you follow the behavior plan.
  5. Take data. Take data how many times you said something to the student, take data when the events happen. Maybe you can help find a pattern. Sometimes you find that the only common factor is you. So maybe you need to back up and wait things.

Take a deep breath. No student has to be a perfectly behaved individual to be included. It does help a lot when getting to make new friends, getting help, and being naturally receptive to learning even when things are very difficult to understand. But keep an eye out to learn what is really going on.


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.

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Hands Off, Eyes Up

At some point in their academic career, most students with disabilities start having some issues with an adult who may follow them a little closely. Certainly, many students love the extra attention. But many do not. There are subtle methods for shaking off an adult: getting sent out of the room, refusing to make eye contact, or just flat out rudeness.

And when this comes within the first weeks of the new school year, one feels a little slighted. And it certainly stabs to the heart of the matter when you’re not a stranger to the student in question.

So some steps to deal with this behavior.

  1. Q-TIP: Quit Taking It Personally. While with a familiar student, this is hardest, but you can’t take it personally. Breaking away from adults is a part of growing up.
  2. Privately speak with a student about the behavior. You may find that they feel the extra adult attention is too much. This is a great time to set some limits and find ways to check in on their academic progress. Some students do rise to the occasion and it’s great to watch them have that growth.
  3. Setting limits with their time away with you is an important conversation to share with their case manager. Agree that you’ll be in the room for help, but you won’t be within their eye line all the time, and you’ll be helping other students. While you may be able to circle around the room to see what they’re up to, but you’re not standing next to them prompting them to get on task or checking that they have all the parts of their project to take home. Define their behavior though, they aren’t to be verbally rude to you if you do ask them a question.
  4. If this is the situation, be honest with the general education teacher that you’ve moved into data collection and will be supporting the entire class.
  5. If this method fails, have a plan to see how the changes will occur to still help the student have some control over their independence in the classroom. It is also important to remember that though this failed, that there will be other opportunities for independence but not at the expense of their academic progress.

Though the year has officially underway, it may feel like you’re trapped, but you’re not. Remember to support your colleagues on campus, paraeducators, office staff, general education teachers, and special education teachers. It will make the weeks seem less difficult when they can be very trying.


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,

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Too Many Words

Renay has come in the last few days in a malaise. Anything extra beyond sleeping and eating has really been put to the back burner. Days are filled with new schedules, new observations, new professional relationships, new students, and new syllabi.

While syllabi are a part of secondary school, for students with disabilities this may find this part of their day going over their head. And yet it’s time to really decode the syllabi.

What can a student with a disability, especially since this is a high stress time hearing things that they may not understand?

  • Reward the students for following along.
  • If they keep the page in front of them, reward them.
  • If they turn when their classmates do, reward them.
  • Give the student a list of key words to find and circle in the syllabus.

As for rewards: this varies by student. If they’re able to quietly leave, allow them to. Give them a favorite book to look at. If your campus allows it, give the student access to an iPad for some time to decompress. It’s been a long time since any student has heard a litany of words compressed into hour after hour. We can’t change that this is a part of the education process, but we can help provide a path to make this process easier.

Speaking of too many words, just a reminder in those early days to keep directions short and to the point. For some students with disabilities it’s really hard to sift through a lot of words.

Phrases like “Pencil please” is much more effective than “Get out your Pencil, paper, and text book for science.” Even better: try a visual schedule of things for students. The visual schedule is helpful and lets you walk away, giving the student some independence and a reliable path to finding some easy reminders. For students who can read, just write the words. If they cannot, either draw the picture or find pictures online to create the schedule for use in class.

Yes, it’s available now!

We’re very excited for our new book, “On The Shoulders of Giants”. We are hearing some good things about the book. Check it out here.


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

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You Set the Tone

There are an awful lot of ice breakers in the first week of school. Name games that are old hat to some students, they are brand new to many others.

So how do you support a student with ice breakers?

If you can, get them to join the circle. Step back. See what happens. If it’s a memory recall, ask if the student wants support, but realize that some cases the student might get support from peers without your help. Remember the point is to just have fun. There’s not a grade or a moment that is so important they can’t step away. And especially in the afternoon, perhaps that is something a student may need.

If they don’t want to join the group, have them watch. Take notes for yourself. Be away from your student so you can observe them in the class. Go ahead and join the class in the group, set the example that you’re participating too with peers. This will help you learn the class’ names and give students a chance to learn yours. Yes, you’d have preferred if your student joined but if you keep an eye out, you may just find they will eventually join without a lot of bargaining.

Why should the beginning of the year be about fun?

It’s about getting to know each other, finding boundaries and being willing to be flexible. Already information can be observed in a large group setting and in a small group setting. You can already see how often a student might need a break, you might be juggling to figure out when you can take your break or where to meet up to transfer materials for a student who needs materials for communication or behavior. Most of all, it’s about getting students to buy in that school is the place to come to because while there is work, it’s also fun. Too often adults forget the ‘fun’ of school, although adults would prefer the fun to be at least directed and examine the process of learning. But the fun doesn’t happen unless we start to find common ground. That’s why we need the fun.

You told us about a book…

We can tell you our book is back with the publisher after a careful edit and review. We will also tell you we’re very excited to talk about “On the Shoulders of Giants”.  It is forty-three one to two page biographies of scientists through the ages, specifically scientists who contributed to the field of science and changed the way people thought about the world around them through the lens of science. The reading and questions for the scientists focus on students with more severe disabilities giving them material equivalent to their peers to connect to the information that may be occurring in science class. For each scientist, there are two sets of questions, one set is multiple choice directed to the reading for a student to answer. The second set of questions is research based giving students a chance to further their understanding about the scientist who was read about. Scientists from all around the world were selected and contributed in different ways. The book is coming. We’re very excited to provide this book.

Black background, green bars at 1/2 and 7/8 of the way down from the top of the image. White boxes on the 1/2 green bar from left to right two closed containers with arrows showing difference between with more arrows, a segment of DNA in purple (backbone), red, yellow, blue and red-violet nucleotides, and books on a shelf with different colored spines, different number of spine supporters four books standing straight up, one book tipped, two books horizontal.
Cover for the upcoming book

The flip side of selling this book, when we were setting the book up, we were discussing pricing with the publisher. The surprise came to us because the price point for color printed books had recently changed…by a lot. For a 200 page book, it would have been nearly $50 retail if we kept the book in color printing. We went back through the entire book and reissued all the illustrations, nearly four hundred and fifty illustrations. The book is much more reasonably priced. And for the first time ever: we’re offering a library edition of our book. So we’re very excited. As of this morning, our book is nearly 99% ready according to our publisher. Actual release date will be soon and we’ll let you know when that occurs.

Speaking of things we sell…

We were sorry to hear that Teachers Notebook is closing their options for selling in September. This affected us as one of the venues we were selling individual products through. We recently went through the settings and removed our store from Teachers Notebook. If you bought an item from us through Teacher’s Notebook and want to update your product if we update it through our Teachers Pay Teacher’s Store, contact us and we’ll get you set up.


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

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Early to Rise

The new school year is upon us. Whether you’re a veteran, newly hired, newly reassigned, it’s much like starting a race. There is a lot of hope that goes into the new academic year. Did students grow up over the weeks we didn’t see them? Were the students safe? What new wonder did the student uncover during the weeks we were apart? Will we get a long? Will I get along with the new teachers? How was your summer? What’s something you’d like to learn this year?

The beginning of the academic year is a fury of activity. For the first day, be as prepared as you can. Bring with you:

  • Water
  • A pen
  • A pencil (with an eraser)
  • A highlighter or a color pencil
  • Notebook paper

Everything else, you can get later, but having these ready to go no matter how old your students are, you’ll be able to start supporting them right away.

How you support a student on the first day may vary. If you know nothing about a student, you may be reacting to the situations as they rise, and this can be very unsettling. By the third day, you’ll settle into a routine and can better anticipate changes as needed. And yes, sometimes what the general education teacher is going to need to come second or third as a student settles into routine. But it’s not the end of the world. We’re still all learning in those first few days and getting the buy in to return is a part of developing a professional relationship with a specific student, but also that class the student is a part member.

Be ready to participate in all the ice breaker activities, make a stab at getting to know the students’ names and start sifting through when you have a chance to look for peers that might be good allies for students you support. Hopefully the general education teacher has started doing so as well, but a second glance doesn’t hurt.

But on the second day, you’ll have changed. You’ll know that you don’t have to be reactive to every breath, but you’ll find other things that might catch your attention.

We mentioned earlier about developing a professional relationship with the students—bring a smile, something to laugh at. Remember a moment of humility as the things that students uncover for the first time matter to the student, even though you may have known it for years.

If you’re a veteran, spend some time with the newer hires and help them learn to navigate their return. It’s a marathon, don’t sprint, find a pace to keep you steady. Together you’ll find the way through the academic year.

Welcome back. It will be fine.  (No, really it will be. We promise.) We’ll all learn together.

Just in case you didn’t know…

Since 2012, ParaEducate has been a resource for Special Education Teachers, Paraeducators, and advocates for people with disabilities. We have provided a variety of information through our books, blog, and conferences. We are currently scheduled to be at AZ-Wins 2019 and have a few other conferences planned. We publish the blog weekly during the academic school year taking time off for holidays. Our primary focus is on the world surrounding paraeducators working with students with disabilities in K-12 inclusive settings. Feel free to contact us.

While we have you here…

So at this moment, for a second major review, our upcoming book is on temporary hold with the publisher. We should know in the next few days and be able to announce the finalized publication of “On the Shoulders of Giants: Selected Biographies of Scientists” included in this book are a series of introductory comprehension questions. Over forty scientists based in history cover the pages with their works contributing to the world of knowledge we have. Our vision for this book includes giving students with disabilities a spur in their connections to the material that their peers may be pursuing. The readings can help students with disabilities have information to provide their peers, even at a very basic level to contribute to class discussions or group projects. These figures of science have all given a variety of achievements and some successes are quiet while others changed the way everyone perceived the universe. We are very excited to share this book with you. And for the first time, a book will be available on an extended platform, look for our book being ready to go to libraries and traditional book stores.

Did you know?

Since 2012, ParaEducate has been a resource for Special Education Teachers, Paraeducators, and advocates for people with disabilities. We have provided a variety of information through our books, blog, and conferences. We are connected to a variety of other special educators through #BetterTogether


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.

Posted in #BetterTogether, Begining of the Year, blog, Conferences, Disabilities, General Education Students, ParaEducate, paraeducators, publications, Students | Comments Off on Early to Rise

On Recharge

We have been off for weeks. And it’s sort of glorious to not have to go through the ins and outs of work. But the summer off for ParaEducate also means publication work.

We were ambitious eight weeks ago. We have a post it note on the main computer of the next twelve books we have in progress. And then we started fast tracking the first three on that list. We are not able at this time release the publication, but what we can tell you, we expect it to be ready in the next few weeks. The early lookers have given quite a bit of praise and support, and we believe you will like it too.

But the summer is about recharging and not just about the work needed to help make the academic year possible. Meet ups for breakfast with coworkers, friends, or other family, late night movie runs with kids, getaways even for a few hours, this is a side benefit of a education schedule, a block of time to schedule to do the ins and outs of not thinking about work. Certainly, one cannot generally survive on only ten months of paychecks, most paraeducators we know work a second and third jobs to make ends meet. But this isn’t the forum for ‘better pay for paraeducators’ (though to be fair we’re always thinking about ways to make that happen).

Between all of these things that we find necessary for life, we know in a few weeks we’ll return to our sites. We’ll peak a little looking for glue sticks or a sticky note pack. We might think about the birthdays we have right away when we get back to work, even of the co-workers.

We are actually out and about tomorrow at the annual California Teacher’s Summit. We take our road show to Sacramento State typically and connect there with different teachers and work on solutions for the past year and try to find a few new tools to walk away with. You might find Renay in the halls tweeting for us. Stop on over and say ‘hi’. We hope to meet with you there.

Enjoy your summer. Recharge. Unfortunately, vacations end with a bell for us. That bell is going to ring soon.


We will return August 16, 2018 for the 2018-2019 academic year. 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.

Posted in ParaEducate, Professionalism, publications, Summer | Comments Off on On Recharge