Posted on April 19, 2013 in Autism
Another idea from You’re Going to Love This Kid!
If you are a paraprofessional or work with a paraprofessional, you know just how challenging this role can be. One of the primary difficulties of the job is getting feedback in a way that is streamlined, efficient, and useful. Paraprofessionals are typically busy in their direct support of students and classrooms; this leaves little room for meetings and collaborative planning. One way to be sure that paraprofessionals get the support they need is to regularly build in time for supervision and coaching.
The type of support a child with require across a single year should change quite a bit. The first months of school usually require the most direct supervision and many indirect and direct cues. As time goes on, however, curricular adaptations will change and the level or type of support the learner needs may also change. Therefore, at least twice a month, a certified teacher/supervisor should conduct short coaching sessions with paraprofessionals. This may involve the teacher supporting the child while the paraprofessional watches or vice versa. In either instance, it can be helpful to have the paraprofessional and teacher target an area of growth (e.g., involving more peers in providing support and cues; providing more communication opportunities) to observe during an observation.
These coaching sessions will undoubtedly make paraprofessionals feel more confident, but will also give them concrete tools to improve the support they provide.
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