Paraprofessionals & Aides

Welcome back to Week 4 of our Special Education Summer Blog Hop! It's crazy how fast this summer is going by! This week we are talking about paraprofessionals and aides.

My key to success with paras is having a weekly, monthly or quarterly meeting. Each year your paras will have a different chemistry with the kids and the other paras/adults in your room. Some years you might find it necessary to only have a quarterly meeting and other years it might be necessary to have a weekly meeting. It all depends on the kiddos in your room and the paras that are assigned to you.

Here is an example of an agenda for my monthly aide meeting. This is a very informal write up of the key points I would discuss in a monthly meeting.

Three things to remember about your paras:

1. They didn't go to college for special education. Everything they know about working with students they learned by working with students. They don't get extensive formal training like teachers so you cannot expect them to do things the way you do unless you teach them and set an example.

2. Some things are above their pay grade. I had a friend who worked as an aide and the teacher she worked with expected her to write the IEP! Don't have unrealistic expectations for your aides- they certainly don't get paid to grade your papers at home at night or plan your reading groups on their lunch break. 

3. Paras get burned out too. We know teachers can get burned out but paras can too! Sometimes even more than teachers. Watch for this throughout the school year and if you sense that a para and a child are starting to really get under each other's skin, mix things up so they can have a break. Never let a para get so burned out from a child that it interferes with their ability to help the child.

Bounce on over to Julie at Superheroes in Sped to see what she has to say about paraprofessionals!

Can't wait for our last and final week so we can talk about every teacher's favorite thing.... the first week of school! YIKES!

ALSO make sure you come back on Monday for our FREE Back-to-School E-Book that is loaded with freebies! I'll be hosting a giveaway this week- you won't want to miss this!


  1. Love this post Sarah! I have a clip board with a list of tasks that need to be done if there is down time in the classroom, too.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Mrs. P’s Specialties

  2. I love your meeting notes! I think it is a great idea to address a different EBP at each meeting! Awesome!
    Mrs. H's Resource Room

  3. What amazing meeting notes. I usually just throw together a powerpoint, but I like the meeting notes. I'm going to try that next year. I had to suspend my meetings last year when I was given student #10 and no extra help. I started feeling so overwhelmed that it was the first thing to go. I'm excited to bring them back this year. :)
    You AUT-a Know

  4. Love that! I have heard of people who go over the job description with their aides just so the roles are defined and no one feels "put upon"


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