Committing to the Long Haul
The part that gets frustrating is paraeducators expect to be trained. Most are tossed into the fray and the results are hope for the best. For some people trial by fire works because the only way to know if one can really handle what might be happening is to really experience it. And this creates a level of either those who can or those who find that this method is not the best way to go about helping students along the educational process.
But every time Renay goes out to give training to paraeducators, there’s a small problem. When planning for twenty to fifty people for a training, suddenly at start, there are only five. And of veteran staff one person if we really looked at the numbers. All too often veteran staff feel disenfranchised and do not attend trainings.
But how to fix this?
- Offer Professional Development, or chance to increase payment.
- Build presentations that help veterans teach a campus culture to new staff.
- Offer smaller trainings (1-2 hours) specific to awareness/tips for working with a specific student
- Have general ed teachers teach the highlights of specific upcoming units.
- Have a specialist (OT, PT, or Behaviorist) come in and teach specific skills to staff for collecting data or interventions. Perhaps while it may be directly suited to one student, the skills learned could help other students
Every year at this time, we talk about things we’d like to accomplish over the upcoming year at ParaEducate.
We’ve been looking at our publishing list, the books we have in process, and we’ve looked at the books we’d like to start. We aren’t certain but we know we will keep working on our books. We’ll get it right.
We appreciate our supporters all around the world.
We want to connect more people. Beyond just social media. We’re looking forward to sneaking a few #BetterTogetherIRL moments.
We want to keep making skills review for paraeducators on line.
How can I do all of this?
Often we are asked “Wait, you did this all on day one?” Actually no, Renay managed to learn this all by about day 400 and is still learning. What is right for one moment is not right for the EXACT same reason twenty minutes later. And not just because it’s a different student or a different relationship with a general education teacher.
What we suggest though: do one thing.
- Demonstrate that you believe the student can do the things asked of them.
- Demonstrate that you believe your co-worker is ready to take that leap and work with the student
- Stick to one task with a student and praise them for following through
- Stay organized, keep things in one place so you can find them.
- Have more patience for students who need more time to process speaking, let them find their words themselves
There are many others, but try one of these. Resolve to keep one of these suggestions for a week. See what happens to your life professionally.
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 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.