A special education paraprofessional is a teacher’s assistant who has undergone special training to assist with students who have physical, intellectual or emotional disabilities. Unlike a teacher’s assistant in a regular classroom, the special education paraprofessional must learn how to provide support for the specific needs of children that can range from learning difficulties to autism spectrum disorder.
The type of training that a special education paraprofessional receives can vary by state. In some states, there are no requirements in place for training except for a high school diploma or GED. Other states require paraprofessionals to undergo specialized training and pass an exam before they are able to work with disabled children in an educational setting. Some schools also assign their own training programs for their paraprofessionals and may require them to pass an additional exam.
If you work in special education, then you already know what an important role paraprofessionals play in the classroom. These teachers’ aides are instrumental in helping children with special needs succeed in their studies and achieve academic goals that may not have seemed possible before.
It can be challenging for paraprofessionals to receive the proper training that will help them become more effective in supporting students with special needs. Special education paraprofessional training programs provide these professionals with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of what is required from them when working with children of all ages and learning abilities.
In the United States, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees a free and appropriate education to all students. Special education paraprofessionals play an important role in helping children with disabilities receive this education.
As a special education paraprofessional, you may be asked to perform a variety of instructional duties in areas including English, math, social studies and science. You also may be asked to assist with non-academic tasks, such as monitoring behavior, lunchroom duties and playground supervision.
As part of your duties, you might be asked to work one-on-one or in small groups with children who have learning or behavioral issues. You also may be asked to assist teachers by listening to students read aloud or helping them write assignments.
To become a special education paraprofessional, you typically will need at least a high school diploma. Some employers require an associate’s degree or certificate program in early childhood development or special education.
Special education paraprofessionals work with special needs students. They are responsible for assisting the teacher in creating a positive and productive learning environment for the students. The paraprofessional is also responsible for helping students with their daily activities, as well as meeting their educational and behavioral needs.
Special education paraprofessionals are the people who work in special education classrooms, assisting teachers and working with students. They often work with special needs students in small groups or one-on-one, helping those students to keep up with their classmates.
A special education paraprofessional is sometimes called a teacher’s aide, but that name doesn’t always encompass the full range of responsibilities these professionals have. These aides may prepare lesson plans, take attendance, grade papers and tests, or tutor students who are having trouble in a particular subject.
Although these individuals don’t have to have a college degree in order to work as an aide in most states, they must meet certain requirements before they can work with special needs children. Most states require that paraprofessionals have at least two years of college credits and must pass a test demonstrating their competency to be an aide.