Paraprofessionals

Report
2013 Illinois Council for Children with
Behavioral Disorders’ Conference
Sheila Marie Trzcinka, Ph.D.
Consultant
[email protected]


Midwest Urban School District
Demographics





Racial: 84% Black, 9% White, 5% Hispanic, and
2% other
SES: Median Household Income: $27,195
K-12 enrollment, 9,519
One: Day Treatment Program for students
with E/BD
The paraprofessionals within the day
treatment program






Paraprofessionals provided no instruction,
instead:
Recorded only behavioral data points
Reprimanded students by reinforcing
inappropriate behavior
Conducted personal activities during class time
(e.g., craft projects, eating, reading).
Restrained and physically attacked students.
Refused to carry out instructional requests from
their assigned teachers.


Culture of corruption – jobs are political
patronage (untouchables)
"Iron rice bowl“*
*A Chinese term used to refer to an
occupation with guaranteed job
security, as well as steady income and
benefits.



There is no problem - denial
“Paras have all been adequately trained”*
Resistance to change
* Any instructional
paraprofessional
employed after
January 8, 2002,
must either have
completed two
years of college,
hold a two-year
degree, or pass a
state or local
assessment.



Help administrators/teachers recognize
there was a problem.
Help administrators/teachers understand
what a paraprofessional should be doing.
Change the picture in his/her head of a
responsibilities of paraprofessionals.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
What are your expectations for your teachers in this
school?
What are your expectations for your paraprofessionals in
this school?
What training or qualifications are people required to
have to work here in day treatment?
What additional training have they received?
How happy are you with the performances of your
teachers and paraprofessionals?
Tell us about your school and classroom rules and
behavior.
What behaviors do you expect teachers to punish and
how do you expect them to punish the student?
What behaviors do you ask your teachers to reinforce or
reward?
Initial
assessment to
start the
conversation
about the duties
and
responsibilities
of paras.
Grskovic &
Trzcinka,
2013

CEC Para-educator Professional Development
Standards










Foundations
Development and Characteristics of Learners
Individual Learning Differences
Instructional Strategies
Learning Environments and Social Interactions
Language
Instructional Planning
Assessment
Professional and Ethical Practice
Collaboration


Conduct Needs Assessment
Provide Professional Development

Role clarification - Understanding role/work of
a paraprofessional
 Understanding the hierarchy
Classroom management skills
 Skills in teaching social skills
 Skills in how to teach academics (reading)

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
What do you consider to be the most important
abilities that your job requires?
What are some aspects of your job that you like the
best/least?
What are some ways in which your supervising
teacher can help you do a better job?
In what aspects of your job do you feel you need
more training & experience?
What recommendations would you make to help
the classroom run more efficiently?
(Grskovic & Trzcinka, 2013)

In preparation for next week’s session, please briefly describe your
experiences with helping students with the following areas of reading. What
do you use with students? Worksheets? Read a louds? Games or other
techniques?

Phonics

Reading comprehension

Comprehension in subject areas

Word attack skills

Letter recognition

Sound recognition

Providing context skills

How could you be more effective increasing the student achievement in
reading? Use the other side also. Thank you.

Provide Training
5 one-hour sessions (after school)
 Self-assessment of paraprofessional’s skills
 Role clarification
 Videos (image in the head)
 Skill training







Lack of attendance (avoidance)
Conflict with a student teacher (called the
union)
Change in Building Principal
Change in Principal expectations
Change in teacher expectations
Change in paraprofessional behavior


Developed Paraprofessional Manual
New Beginnings
 New Roles: Supervision of Paraprofessionals
 New Roles: Paraprofessionals
 New Administrator
 New Teachers
 Acknowledgement:
Research conducted by Dr. Janice A. Grskovic and Dr.
Sheila Marie Trzcinka to support the professional
development efforts of a mid-western urban school
corporation through a university/school collaboration.







Orientation
Planning
Scheduling
Delegating
On-the-job Training
Monitoring task performance
Managing the workplace
 French, 2008


1. Define paraprofessional roles

a.

b.
Specifically define classroom
responsibilities
Follow/create job description
2. Train paraprofessional to fulfill roles

a.

b.
Describe classroom procedures for para to
fulfill
Initially, monitor closely para performance

3. Evaluate paraprofessional performance
a.
 b.



c.
Develop method to assess performance
Create a schedule of when and how assessments
occur
Share assessment form and schedule
4. Communicate, collaborate, redefine, reconstruct
paraprofessional role within guidelines of CEC
and
district job description

a.

b.
Establish periodic meetings to review role
responsibilities
Meet informally to briefly ‘touch-base’ on red
flags
Role
confusion
Social versus professional
relationship confusion
Skills and knowledge of team
members are not known
Elusive long-range goals
Confusion about how teams will
operate
 Gerlach, 2010





Coordinate Your schedule and Theirs
Establish CLEAR goals for classroom
professionalism with students AND adults
Provide time for Daily or Periodic planning
Utilize Strengths and Interests of
paraprofessional to delegate supportive
instructional, behavioral, clerical tasks
Schedule time for observation and feedback to
the paraprofessional
























As the educational staff in the classroom, both the teacher and paraeducator work together to facilitate the academic and social
growth of our students. The teacher develops; the paraprofessional supports. The following agreement outlines the recognized
activities we agree to pursue within the classroom.
As the classroom teacher, I will:
•
Take responsibility for delivering whole class instruction to students
•
Develop educational and behavioral plans for individual students
•
Develop a classroom management program
•
Prepare the paraeducator to perform all classroom tasks asked of him
•
Evaluate paraeducator performance objectively
•
Meet with parents, teachers, and related service providers
•
Notify paraeducator of changes to the academic or behavioral program in the classroom
•
Listen to and consider the insights the paraeducator has for students
As the classroom paraeducator, I will:
•
Support students in need of academic assistance during instructional periods
•
Implement educational and behavioral plans, designed by teacher, for individual students
•
Assist with implementing the classroom management program
•
Ask for guidance from teacher in using appropriate consequences for students
•
Prepare materials provided by teacher to be used for student instruction
•
Collect data on student academic and behavioral performance as instructed by the teacher
•
Collect student work at the end of instructional periods
•
Provide information to teacher to assist with instructional and behavioral interventions.
Together, the teacher & paraeducator accept responsibility for the classroom and will implement, to the best of their ability, the
duties outlined above.
Signed:
Teacher/Date
Paraeducator/Date
Adapted from: Maggin, 2009
Provide Clear Directions

Providing clear directions and helping students comply is essential to maintaining a productive learning

environment.
Establish eye contact with the student

Look at the student and state the student’s name when making a request.

Example: “John, put your book away and line up at the door.”
Make requests specific

In a calm, clear voice, provide a precise description of what you expect from the student.

Example: “Sam, quietly read the first paragraph on page 14.”
Make one request at a time

Do not ask the student to do several things at once. The student may be overwhelmed and

may not be able to remember everything. After the student has complied with one request,

you may make an additional request.
Allow time for compliance

State what you want the student to do and give the student three to five seconds to comply.

If the student does not comply, restate the request.
Praise the student for complying

Provide verbal reinforcement when the student complies with your request. This will encourage

further compliance in the future.
Physical Assistance

Full prompt – Hand-over-hand assistance

Hold the student’s hand while the student holds a pencil

Partial prompt – Supportive guidance

Support the student’s wrist while the student writes
Verbal

Direct – Clear statement “Put your book in your desk.”

Indirect – Ask a question “What should you do next?”
Model

Show student, student imitates

Write the student’s name on a paper,

Student then writes or traces his/her name
Gesture

Movement/motion

Put your finger to your mouth to remind the student to be quiet

Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network







What will I be doing?
How will I know what to do?
When will I be told?
Can I make adaptations or modifications?
What data should I collect? How often?
What is the format for data collection?
How will the data be used?
Reading components emphasized:

Phonemic Awareness

Phonics

Vocabulary building

Comprehension

Fluency
Never be afraid to seek clarification!!!

Determine the focus of the lesson

Memorizing facts?
 Addition
 Subtraction, etc.
Developing math skills?
• Money
• Time
• Budget creation
• Transportation Navigation
 Analyzing/solving word problems?




How specifically does the para assist student?
Explicitly describe the exact accommodation
from the IEP!!!!
Explain:





What to do if student needs something different during
the testing situation
What to do if the student asks for something different
What to do if the student becomes emotionally upset
What to do if the student cannot respond to the test
What to do if the student becomes noticeably tired

Change in the manner in which a student
responds or demonstrates knowledge

Read a passage that a student cannot read
independently
 Whenever accommodations are made, BE SURE to have
the para document what was done




Training Schedule
Task: Implementing Classroom Management
Package
Method: Paraeducator will observe teacher for
three sessions, implement with teacher support
for three sessions, and implement without
teacher support.
Schedule: Sessions will occur during wholeclass language arts on a daily basis.

List of Potentially Important Outcomes
Number of paraeducator praise statements, total disruptive
behaviors, number of students to complete work on time,
aggressive behaviors, number of paraeducator academic
questions
Rank Order of Important Outcomes
1. Disruptive behaviors
2. Aggressive behaviors
3. Number of students to complete work on time


Define Outcome Most Important to Measure
Disruptive behaviors will be those behaviors demonstrated by
students that do not comply with classroom rules. These
behaviors include calling-out, unapproved talking to peers,
and refusal to do work




Data Collection System
Para will collect data by moving a marble
from the right pocket to the left pocket for
each disruptive behavior observed,
• Frequency of Data Collection Sessions
Data will be collected on a daily basis, per
the training schedule.
• Total Behaviors Observed for this Session:
• Goal for Next Session:
 Maggin, 2009






Acknowledge your role as supervisor, not a friend
Define & continually refine communication
between you and your paraprofessional
Learn to delegate the instructional & clerical
supporting tasks using clear descriptions
Train the paraprofessional how to use your Lesson
Plan book
Establish an effective, caring, professional
interpersonal relationship
Clarify continually your expectations
Area Special Education Cooperative. (2003). Special education paraprofessional handbook. Grand Forks, MN.
Carnahan, C. R., Williamson, P., Clarke, L., & Sorenson, R. (2009). A systematic approach for supporting
paraeducators in educational settings: A guide for teachers. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41(5).
34-43.
Council for Exceptional Children, (2011), Special Education Professional Ethical Principles and Practice
Standards: Special Education Paraeducator Common Core Specialty Set. Arlington, VA: Author.
Doyle, M. B. (2008). The paraprofessional’s guide to the inclusive classroom: Working as a Team. Baltimore:
Brookes.
French, N. A. (2008). A guide to the supervision of paraeducators. Port Chester, NY: National Professional
Resources
Grskovic, J. A. , & Trzcinka, S. M. (2013). Paraprofessional Handbook (DRAFT)..
Gerlach, K. (2010) Let’s team up! A checklist for paraeducators, teachers, and principals. Washington, DC:
National Education Association.
Grskovic, J. A. , & Trzcinka, S. M. (2013). Dismantling barriers. Teacher Education Division of Council for
Exceptional Children. Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Maggin, D. M., Wehby, J. H., Moore-Partin, T. C., Robertson, R., & Oliver, R. M. (2009). Supervising
paraeducators in classrooms for children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Beyond
Behavior, Summer, 2-9.
Riggs, C. (2004). To teachers: What paraeducators want you to know. Teaching Exceptional Children, 36(5), 812.
Trzcinka, S. M. (2013). Paraprofessionals supporting teachers: Reading for students with emotional disabilities.
Gary, IN.
Riggs, C. (2004). To teachers: What paraeducators want you to know. Teaching Exceptional Children, 36(5), 8-12.

similar documents