Before we forget, it’s officially past October 19 so we can share now that ParaEducate will be at SXSWedu this March 2017, in Austin, Texas. More specifics are coming soon, but know that ParaEducate will be presenting with Nicole Eredics (The Inclusive Class), Sheryl Zellis (an OT, a professor, and parent of a child with a disability), Beth Foraker (National Catholic Board on Full Inclusion and a parent of a child with a disability), and Robert Tummel-Hudson (a professor and a parent of a child with a disability). This will truly be a #BetterTogether Experience as we will meet up with Torrie Dunlap of Kids Included Together. We are very excited to be heading to this new venue and very excited for the first time for all of us to be in one place together.
This week we have been looking at strategies to get paraeducators comfortable with being in a general education classroom. And then we got distracted by the new TV show, “Speechless”.
I will have to say, that there were a lot of expectations riding on this TV show. And then they have delivered so far.
The story was originally promoted as a family comedy show where the family has a child with a disability. And for the most part it has been a typical 30 minute comedy show centered around a family. But what has drawn ParaEducate to this show is the open honest relationship that the family (DiMeos) are having with their quest for a ‘voice’ for their son JJ who uses an AAC. And for us, that first day is very important.
An example is this YouTube clip here between JJ, the young man who needs support due to his extensive disability, and Kenneth, his recently hired aid who has a lot to learn and yet, no one is really guiding him. And Kenneth is making it all up as he goes a long. Like so many of our paraeducators.
“Speechless” is on ABC, check your local listings. ParaEducate recieved no compensation or has any connection with ABC or “Speechless”.
For all the paraeducators though, here are some tips:
- Look for routines. Know what pattern your teachers have.
- Look at the entire unit your teacher is presenting, even if you haven’t had it completely presented. Referring to the text book (even if they aren’t using the text book, in California a text book must be available for every student!) Just to get an idea of the material being presented.
- Ask the teacher when you’re uncertain.
- Share materials with your other co-workers. Use collaboration time or other meeting times to talk about specific academic strategies to understand complex topics
- Take community college courses in science, history or math. These courses may help you get a degree or another degree if you so desire while you understand complex ideas that are discussed briefly with students in their courses.
But why should you know the information? Because knowing the information helps with your ability to break down information or even help a student understand their role in a project based learning or the eventual outcomes. It’s not about the answers it’s about understanding material well enough to impart the necessary information.
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.