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Paraeducator news and views...
This is a great article that answers the questions, What do Paraeducators Do?, What Training Do Paraeducators Receive?, and What Standards Are There for Paraeducators?.
From the article:
Paraeducators generally work under the supervision of the teacher. "Para" means "alongside of" and, like paralegals and paramedics who assist and support lawyers and doctors, paraeducators assist and support teachers in a variety of ways.
Early Bird Registration Ending Soon!
If you are planning on attending this year's conference, be sure to register before Friday, February 28th to take advantage of the discounted early bird rates.
Conference Lunch Forums
New this year, the National Resource Center is hosting three lunch forums during the conference. These will occur during Thursday and Friday lunch breaks. Interested participants would have an opportunity to purchas ea box lunch and join one of the sessions. Topics will address: research, community colleges and administrator issues.
Lunch Forum A: Topics in Research Related to Paraeducators
Hosts: Pat Mueller and Carol Long
Lunch Forum B: Community Colleges
HOSTS: Sue Simon and Joyce Evenski
Lunch Forum C: Topics for Administrators
HOSTS: Barbara Jo Stahl
See you in Salt Lake City!
Here are a few paraprofessional news and views from around the Internet:
A paraeducator with a blog shares thirteen things that she likes about her job, including #5:
The job is challenging. I need to be a detective of sorts, trying to figure out, with the guidance of the classroom teachers and the Special Ed teacher, the best way to help our young people succeed.
"Most recently he worked as a para-educator at Sunnyside School, where he was known for always treating his students in the manner he wanted to be treated, with respect rather than pity."
The The Wrightslaw Way blog replies to a parent question of whether a specific paraprofessional can be specified in an IEP. In short, the answer is "No".
Enjoy and Happy New Year!
If you are looking for someone to cheer for on the television show Survivor this season, consider throwing your support behind Susie Smith. Her official bio lists her occupation as a hairdresser, but in an article titled, 'Survivor' mom back in Iowa from Gabon we learn that Susie is a paraeducator in a resource room in an elementary school:
Smith, who also works as a para-educator in the resource room at Lincoln Elementary School, said she tried out for the show because she wanted to achieve something for herself while showing her students and others that all it takes to transform life is to try.
You probably already know about our newsletter, but there are also a number of other excellent newsletters that focus on paraprofessional issues. As a new feature, we will be sharing with you some of the content in paraeducator newsletters around the country.
- The Spring 2008 Issue has some great advice on dealing with behavior problems in class, including an articles on monitoring and recording behavior, aggression, and the ABC's of behavior.
- The focus of the Winter 2008 Issue is Diversity and includes information on insensitive behavior and supporting ESL students and minority groups.
- The Fall 2007 Issue includes some helpful tips as you begin the school year and includes a chart with information on what paraeducators may and may not do.
In addition to the articles noted above, each issue also contains links to helpful resources and a "Healthy You Corner" with tips and advice on taking care of yourself.
We are looking forward to new editions of the Para Post for the 2008-2009 school year. If you know of a paraprofessional newsletter, please let us know about it in the comments- thanks!
In case you missed our last newsletter, the 2009 National Conference for Paraprofessionals will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah from April 30th to May 2nd. More details are available on the conference page including:
We have a number of videos from the 2008 National Conference that we will be sharing in the next few weeks. To begin with, here is a short 2-minute clip of Ann Lou Pickett, the founder of the National Resources Center for Paraprofessionals. Anna Lou shares how she became interested in paraprofesssionals, some of the early lessons she learned and the important roles that teachers and paraprofessionals play in the classroom. Enjoy!
This is an outstanding video to watch as you begin the school year:
From Dalton Sherman:
There's probably easier ways to make a living, but I want to tell you, on behalf of all of the students in Dallas, we need you. We need you now more than ever.
From Ocala, Florida, a well done article on Katrina Lamar, a 24-year veteran teacher assistant who was selected as Marion County's School-Related Person of the Year. From Superintendent of Schools Jim Yancey:
"In addition to her family and professional commitments, and as a breast cancer survivor, she helps counsel others facing difficult times with this disease and the uncertainties of the future."
First-grade teacher Cecilia Raid wrote:
"In short, Mrs. Lamar makes our lives easier and happier here at Reddick-Collier by just being her wonderful caring self... We couldn't do it without her, and we don't want to try."
Read the rest of the article here: Teacher assistant nominated for state award
A video on YouTube of Sheryl Traetow, a paraeducator at Hansen Elementary School in Cedar Falls, Iowa accepting the Education Support Professional of the Year Award from the Iowa State Education Association.
Here are three more presentations from our recent National Conference:
Paraprofessionals Fueling Change
Building Foundations for Para-professionalism
Ann Birch, Dr. Jill Morgan
Paraprofessionals As Certified Educators
Pamela O. Brucker, Southern Connecticut State University and Dana Corriveau, Connecticut State Department of Education
Look for a page with all of the conference presentations coming soon!
Here is another presentation from today- this one goes through each of the sections of our website and gives a little bit of insight into some of the projects we are planning on working on in the coming months. Enjoy!
As a result of a discussion with the group, my next big project on the website will be building a "Newsletter Hub", gathering newsletters from different states and organizations and highlighting content. Look for it in the next couple of months and if you know of a newsletter that deals with paraprofessional issues, please let us know!
Here are the slides and notes from my first presentation today at the conference today on some ways to find good resources online:
Here are some of the links that we discussed in the presentation:
- Ask.com- a user-friendly search engine
- Dogpile Web Search- a search engine that searches other search engines!
- MetaCrawler- similar to Dogpile
- TeacherTube- YouTube for teachers
- Project PARA online training- from the University of Nebraska Lincoln
- SongTapper- Identify a song that you have forgotten the name of (don't ask!)
- Cafepress Paraeducator Products
- Facebook- a way to find other paras online
- Site Meter- a simple, free way to track visitors to your website
Look for more conference presentations to be posted soon!