A comprehensive and rigorous paraeducator training is critical to serve students with disabilities. The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), enacted by Congress is December 2015, emphasizes this need and requires professional advancement and training of paraprofessionals. The number of paraeducators supporting students with diversity learning and behavioral needs –autism, intellectual disabilities and multiple disabilities– has increased in recent years and their role has changed significantly with the promotion of inclusive practices. Paraeducators provide direct instructional support in a broad range of academic areas and work with students with the most complex educational and behavioral needs with the least amount of professional training.
Concerns raised by a number of studies, if the paraeducator support is facilitating positive outcomes for the students or hindering student’s growth of independence, clearly indicate an urgent need for adequate training for paraeducators. Effective paraeducator support to students with significant disabilities has to be choreographed carefully –student-centered, non-intrusive and non-stigmatizing– and delivered with sensitivity and subtlety. With a rigorous paraeducator training program carefully crafted with essential training components, paraeducators can deliver optimal support to students with significant learning and behavioral needs to assist in maximizing their academic and social learning opportunities.
Padmaja’s Ed311 Publications:
Paraeducator Power Training
for Supporting Students with Disabilities
A CD with PowerPoint Presentations, handouts,
assessments and a trainee manual.
STEM Teaching Strategies:
For Young Learners
(Pre-K and Kindergarten)
A Laminated Reference Guide
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