A paraeducator is a school employee who works in a classroom under a teacher's supervision. This position does not require a specialized degree; a high school diploma (or equivalent) is required, although an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in an educational field is highly recommended. It is also typically required of a person in this position to have plenty of experience working with children.
As this is a classroom position, the hours are traditionally compliant with school hours and the school calendar. Paraeducators work primarily in classrooms with younger children (preschool or kindergarten) or children with special needs.
A paraeducator’s duties and responsibilities vary depending on the needs of the particular school system and individual classroom/s. This person will work directly and indirectly with students while implementing plans and programs related to academic or functional skills. The paradeducator will generally: assist the teacher with academic instruction; assist with implementing individual education programs; provide physical and/or academic assistance to special needs students; provide clerical support (such as grading, copying or organizing) to teachers or professionals; monitor medical needs of students; prepare instructional materials; and assist with preparation of learning centers and bulletin boards.
Naturally, a paraeducator should be eager to work with children – especially those with disabilities. Those in this position should exhibit positive and fair attitudes, as well as patience and ingenuity, and should maintain confidentiality within the position. Finally, paraeducators absolutely must have excellent communication skills – with students, teachers, parents and supervisors alike.
Assist the teacher in the development and implementation of the Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Assist the teacher with the designing of instruction and follow through.
Evaluate student progress on work assignments and shares information with teacher.
Assist students with the integration into regular education classroom.
Assist the teacher with planning and implementation of any type of community based instruction.