Special education paraeducators act as assistants for the special education teacher, helping them achieve educational goals and helping maintain supervision and care for special needs students. The special education paraeducator acts in a subordinate role to the teacher and is responsible for carrying out curriculum plans according to guidelines constructed and implemented by the teacher. Additionally, they also help the teacher in clerical duties such as grading papers. Other tasks may include assisting with the safety, mentoring, and transportation of special needs students.
The special education paraeducator must have an interest in special education and helping special needs students. Success in this position requires the patience, emotional maturity, and dedication necessary to help execute teaching plans and oversee students who each have unique needs and challenges.
A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum necessary for most school systems hiring special education paraprofessionals. This position often requires extensive training in special education programs, which is usually offered by the school and completed after employment begins. Special education paraeducators may be required to update or continue their training as school systems create and introduce new guidelines. Previous experience in childhood education, especially in a special educational capacity, is preferred. The successful applicant must have a strong understanding of basic math and possess strong organizational skills to maintain records as delegated by the special education teacher.
Special Education Paraprofessional Tasks
- Tutor students directly and document useful information for assessment.
- Coordinate with teachers to enhance instruction and lesson planning.
- Support the education and environment of students with special needs.
- Create and implement games and social events for enriching student development.