ERIC Number: ED453573
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Paraeducators: A Powerful Human Resource.
Ashbaker, Betty Y.; Morgan, Jill
Streamlined Seminar, v19 n2 Win 2000-2001
Paraeducators were first introduced into American classrooms in response to teacher shortages during the early years of the post-World War II baby boom. Today, they are major participants in the delivery of education and special services, from early childhood through high school, for children with and without disabilities, and for those who speak English as a first or second language, especially in inclusive classrooms. Rural and small schools, which often have limited resources and difficulty attracting highly qualified teachers, are particularly dependent on paraeducators, whose roles and responsibilities have become increasingly complex in recent years. Although they enjoy an important role in American education, their rapid growth has given rise to a number of concerns: many paraeducators spend up to 50 percent of their time providing instruction to individual students with no teacher present; many currently lack formal (or even informal) training and a recognized place within the school, despite the fact that they may have as many as 20 or even 30 years of classroom experience. Paraeducators often are hired the day that school starts, have no formal job description, have no mailbox to receive school information, and are generally excluded from inservice or orientation training offered to the professional staff. This article offers ways in which principals can show paraeducators that they recognize the valuable contribution they make to schools, like providing mailboxes and including them in internal mailings, including them in faculty meetings, including them in parent-teacher conferences, providing time for teachers and paraeducators to plan their work together, and orienting paraeducators hired during the school year. (DFR)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Paraprofessional Personnel, Principals, Public Schools, Supervisory Training, Teacher Aides
National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Principals Resource Center, P.O. Box 1461, Alexandria, VA 22213 (single copies, $2.50; 10 or more, $2 each). Tel: 800-386-2377 (Toll Free); e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.naesp.org/.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of Elementary School Principals, Alexandria, VA.
Note: Published four times a year. Theme issue.