Graduate project

A Collaborative Professional Development Handbook For Teacher/Paraeducator Teams In the Elementary Setting

Paraeducators are an essential component of special education programs as they serve to support students during classroom instruction, reteach and review concepts with students, provide accommodations, support behavior improvement, and assist in classroom management. Due to time and budgetary constraints, paraeducators rarely come to a school site fully trained and prepared to perform these important duties. The responsibility of training paraeducators frequently falls on the special education teacher/case manager, even though teacher preparation programs rarely address the process and procedures required to train paraeducators. Major themes that developed during the literature review process include: the changing role of paraeducators, challenges for teacher/paraeducator teams, and the role of collaboration in teacher/paraeducator teams. The purpose of this project is the development of a handbook designed to be used by paraeducators and their supervising teachers during weekly meetings as a tool to facilitate communication, define expectations, and allow for ongoing professional development. This handbook is divided into four sections: orientation, professional duties and responsibilities, communication and professional development.

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