This week, it is a little different than past weeks. It isn’t about heading off a problem. It isn’t about responding to situations. It starts with a story. This week is a special week for ParaEducate. It’s our anniversary. We normally don’t pull out any noise makers or fancy scripts, but it’s pretty important. In 2012, after several months of planning, frantic emails, sometimes long nights banging against graphics that would not line up, the book that started it all, ParaEducate, was officially available for purchase online. And it is still there. And we are still selling.
And I can tell you that week was all sorts of awesome. Not only was our book officially available for physical purchase, but I was one foot out the door on a series of trips to go sell our book’s availability at a series of conferences. I have to say, 2012 was a very memorable year.
If 2012 was memorable, 2013 was a banner year. We had no less than 5 public appearances and we sold our book well. In 2014, Megan Gross left the company and I’ve spent the better part of the year salvaging the blog from the great blog disaster and preparing all sorts of things including releasing two new books with several more books on the horizon and individual academic activities in multiple venues.
But that doesn’t really tell you the story of ParaEducate. That tells you that we’re here. That is the story of what we provide.
The story of ParaEducate is much deeper than the materials and lectures we provide. ParaEducate was founded, firstly to respond to the process of dealing with a book written by four people. But, ParaEducate also knew that the niche of addressing paraeducators and special education was very unique. ParaEducate’s origins came from the place of wanting to make sure that inclusion could be possible for as many students as possible, that removing the barriers, especially academic ones, was key to small successes which could lend themselves one day to much larger ones.
ParaEducate started because we know how little time is spent actually training paraeducators for working with students with any disability. We wanted paraeducators to know that they had tools, some of which they already could access, to work with their students. We wanted to add things for them to consider. We wanted to give all teachers materials they could use with all students of disabilities. We wanted general education teachers to know their paraeducators weren’t spies. We wanted administrators to know that their paraeducators were not just over paid babysitters but social and emotional facilitators. We wanted everyone to know as much information about special education that could possibly be provided at the entry level. We wanted to make sure that the value of all students was a message shared by all adults on a campus. And we wanted it all in one place.
ParaEducate is a place for all of this with our blog, our website, our academic materials, and ParaEducate itself. And none of that would have ever existed without Megan, Jenny, Lisa, and Renay all forging ahead on the book.
On our horizon: ParaEducate still has a lot of work to do. We have many paraeducators who need training. We have several books that are being assembled for publication. We have blog topics planned covering more on transitions, technology uses, addressing students and their disabilities, working through the hard days, enjoying the good ones, and most of all, remembering that paraeducators end up being the glue for all the little things that happen in some classes and on some campuses.
We are also very excited to head to Cal-TASH next week where we will be reunited with Megan Gross for the first time in a whole year. Check us on social media to find out where we are. Ask for our materials at Cal-TASH when you see us. And yes, there will be a few copies of ParaEducate for sale, and one very special copy of ParaEducate is coming to Cal-TASH for a special purpose. We hope you find it!
As we begin our third full year of being a company we really want to thank you all for your continued support. You can always find ParaEducate online through Facebook, google+, good “old fashioned” email, and Twitter. We love hearing from you!
Year Four. We’re ready. Are you?
Yes, there will be a blog next week! Are you interested in participating as a Guest Blogger for ParaEducate? Do you have a question for us? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here and here. ParaEducate is 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.