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checkerjane checkerjane is offline
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 236
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checkerjane
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 236
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Para’s responsibilities
Old 07-11-2019, 09:13 AM
 
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Do your paras escort the student they’re assigned to to the gen ed class, specials, lunch, recess, etc? What about toileting? I’m trying to get together a job description type thing for my new para, and like I said I don’t think expectations were outlined very well with last year’s para because I had zero clue what I was doing. And I’m asking y’all for help in this, so I apparently still don’t have a clue.

Thanks!


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readandweep readandweep is offline
 
Joined: May 2012
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readandweep
 
Joined: May 2012
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Paras
Old 07-11-2019, 12:05 PM
 
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Yes to all you asked and generally if the para is a 1:1 someone is supposed to relieve them when the para goes on lunch and break. For classroom paras there is a little more leeway with breaks and lunches.

I would also go over things like how close they are supposed to be to the student, how to take data and where to keep the collected data, where they sit in the classroom and if drinks, snacks and cell phones are allowed. If the student has a behavior plan you need to clearly outline their role in the plan - how to prompt, when to intervene, when to restrain and how to document.

Give them a very specific schedule and go over it with them. Have the schedule laminated and keep copies in case it gets "lost" and the schedule is not followed.

Find some space in your room for them to keep their stuff and give them a container for items like pens, clip boards, reinforcers and schedules.

If your administration communicates with staff through email, I would try and provide a time and place for them to briefly check school email. For example, my current school has desk top computers set up in the library for hourly staff to check emails.

Classes I have worked in with multiple paras have switched up daily or weekly on which para works with which student to prevent learned helplessness, aide burn out and to help generalize skills. Some schools, like my current one, that would not really work out for various reasons.

I would definitely outline what the para is supposed to be doing if the student is not at school, working with you or is with speech or OT. Either the para can take a break then, work with another student or help you with a task.

Also, you may have to be outline the paras duties when they push in to general ed and if the para is expected to do things like monitoring classes on the playground or at lunch.

I would also email your administration and get approval for your expectations before you go over them with the para. Don't want to get into a situation where the principal does not back you up when the para complains to the principal.

Hope this helps. I was a para for two years before getting a full-time teaching job. As a teacher, I have had excellent paras and not-so-good. They can really make or break a classroom, especially if you are a new teacher.

However, most paras really want to help kids and you.
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