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ERIC Number: EJ902000
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
First-Year Early Childhood Special Education Teachers and Their Assistants: "Teaching along with Her"
Appl, Dolores
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v38 n6 p34-40 Jul-Aug 2006
Cathy, Kelly, and Lisa are early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers in inclusive, classroom-based programs. Each of them worked with paraprofessionals, primarily their assistant teachers, during their first year as ECSE teachers, and that experience resulted in difficulties of varying degrees. For Cathy, those difficulties were most profound. During her first months of teaching, she expressed feelings of isolation in spite of having an assistant in her classroom. How can beginning teachers and their assistants develop positive working relationships, which, in turn, can potentially decrease the pressures of first-year teaching? The use of paraprofessionals in early intervention and special education is steadily increasing because of the rise in the number of children with disabilities being served and the shortage of qualified professionals. Some infant and toddler programs purposely employ paraprofessionals who may be able to "bridge the social distance" between families and agencies. Employing paraprofessionals produces economic and philosophical benefits, but the practice also has drawbacks. In this article, the author provides a brief overview of the regulations concerning paraprofessionals and their supervision. She also describes the working relationships between the three beginning teachers and their assistants by excerpting examples from qualitative data gathered during the teachers' first year of teaching preschoolers. (Contains 1 table.)
Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act