End of the Year: Notes for Next Year

So it was pretty noisy for Renay at work today. It has been quite a week rolling into the final days of an academic year. Finding text books, finding technology, updating technology, keeping on top of tests, enlarging tests, finding space to take final tests, carving out final projects, still trying to hold on behaviors, but you know what: you’re just as excited as the students.

Whether you’re staying or leaving, you’ve spent the year getting resources. Just in case you didn’t know here is a list of folks we think are amazing resources.

Some of these folks are blogs, some of these folks are organizations, but all of these folks are great resources for Inclusive education at any level for any disability.  We receive no compensation for mentioning these amazing resources. But why do we continue? Because we always hear “We want more resources” from folks. Part of getting those resources is taking the time to look them up, reach beyond the 8 to 3 day, and to look beyond the student that is just in front of you. This is quite different than taking work home. Sometimes it’s just necessary to do a little investigating, to find out more.

Other good places, if you legitimately don’t know, ask the case manager/special education teacher. They are a wealth of information. They can even provide resources and training if enough people are receptive.

Thinking about next year, as you scan the room you may use as home base, you may be tempted to pitch everything into the recycle bin. And sometimes, it may be true that it needs to go.

But take time to look through everything. Ask some senior staff, “What is this?” (This is very different from “Why do we have this?”) Did you know that the reason we kept this manual from a computer system that doesn’t exist anymore is because we have a standard set of visual communication systems. Sure we rely a lot on the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) to really supply the bulk of our boards, but if we needed a specific word, here’s a jumping point. Or those binders on the shelf: they’re all adapted work for a student that might have been like a student we had previously. So tuck that knowledge away for next year.

While we have you tucking away knowledge for next year: take a moment to reflect who on your campus you like their discipline style for working with students, who has the best way of getting through to a student who is harder to reach. How about the person who is the most efficient at making on the fly modifications and adaptations? Who knows how to speak to a student, to really let the student know they are heard? Who has the ability to wait out a student who knows how to do a certain skill, but hasn’t been demonstrating it lately? Who knows how to appropriately bond with a student as an adult but still put that student at ease? These people don’t have to be other paraeducators, but many should be. Sometimes it’s the librarian, sometimes it’s the school nurse, a consoler, a behaviorist, a student’s peer, or a general education teacher.

The Days are long, the year is short

One hundred eighty days. Sometimes less if the student is sick often. But that’s all we get in the United States. One hundred eighty days, mostly 8 hours a day. Not just for academics but for social and emotional support as well. And after a lot of time, sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes it’s too much. And sometimes, we put our faith in hope.

Some students have left the classroom, crossed the yard and we may never well see them again, they’re moving on either because their family is moving or because they’ve moved onto the next part of their lives.

One hundred eighty days of working with teachers who we may not have known before. Not have understood where they were taking the class but we buckled up we’re a long for the ride as well. The year wasn’t without high points, and there were certainly low points to make the highs seem all the higher.

While we have you here…

We leave up our blog as often as possible for as long as possible. With the exception of the majority of our blog posts from prior to May 2014, they are here as a resource for you. Check out our categories, maybe you will find one that you’ll need to file away for later. Or maybe you’re at summer school or ESY and you’ll need a reminder.

We will have one blog during the summer, so stay tuned. We will be finishing some publications and preparing them over the summer, so keep an eye out.

If you need a resource, contact us. We may have it, or if we don’t have it, we know who can help answer your question.

Thank you for staying with us all academic year. ParaEducate the blog will return August 16, 2018. Enjoy your time off.

ParaEducate ended their 2017-2018 academic year on May 31, 2018. 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.


About paraeducate

ParaEducate is a company run to help reach out to paraeducators or paraprofessionals in public K-12 schools, giving advice, talking about publications that ParaEducate produces, and other useful information regarding working in public school settings.
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