I love the first of the year meeting. Looking across the tables and catching up on whatever we’ve been doing as individuals away from work, those minutes before the meetings get started, are very priceless. And then you meet the new additions. Whether the new paraeducator on your campus is a veteran or someone who has never worked a day with a person with disabilities there are things your new paraeducator should know.
There are the basics: which teachers are going to be supportive in their daily schedule, where the bathrooms are, and where to find a safe place for lunch.
There are more complex things: what should a response be to a student with complex behaviors, what hints work for getting a student to the evacuation areas, where those evacuation areas are, what are good alternative activities for students who cannot complete academic expectations, and who are good resources on campus for those alternative academic adaptations and modifications.
Then there is just getting to know that new paraeducator. What they think they might be really great at, or what they look forward to being able to contribute in the new year.
Welcoming a new staff member to your team is important, to them, not just to your year long relationship.
Some other useful hints:
– Believe that everyone has honesty in their actions.
– Set your actions so that it builds the team up.
– Understand that everyone has a fear on a campus. It could be wood shop, it could be PE, it could be math.
– That not all the problems will be solved the first week. Go home, enjoy being away from work
– Have a plan to decompress and invite the new team members along.
Welcome to the New Year. I hope you are ready to have fun.
Do you have a question for us? Find ParaEducate online 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.