The job description of a paraprofessional entails various duties and responsibilities of assisting students and teachers in schools and colleges.
Paraprofessionals provide aides and support to teachers in classrooms and colleges. Even without being lead teachers, paraprofessionals work responsibly assisting head of departments and senior teachers. In the recent years, owing to stress and pressure on teachers in schools and colleges, paraprofessionals have been recruited to provide assistance in a variety of educational set ups.
The No Child Left Behind Act initiated a series of efforts to improve the accountability and working of schools and teachers, the work pressure on teachers increased. This led to the need of trained assistants in the school leading to demands of assistants or substitute teachers or paraprofessionals.
Why Become a Paraprofessional?
Paraprofessional jobs is a relatively newer entry into the school systems in the US. Why do some aspiring teachers choose to become paraprofessionals in the initial years of their teaching careers. Well, there are several insights an individual can learn about the teaching job while working as a paraprofessional.
The immense joy and learning associated with young children and adults is something that motivates many people to aspire for this position. Love of working with children is indeed the fundamental motivation of many dedicated teachers in this field.
Working as a paraprofessional opens up tremendous opportunities for learning as one even gets a chance to work in the absence of the teacher. This provides insights to the person regarding handling kids in a classroom.
Many teachers who have retired love to teach and help children. For them, the paraprofessional job is a great opportunity to do something interesting in their free time. For several people, the adjustable schedule and flexible working hours of a paraprofessional seems an attractive package.
Supervision and assistance are the most important facets of a paraprofessional’s job description. They help teachers by supervising children in various departments of educational institutions.
A certified teacher and a paraprofessional work together to enhance the efficiency of educational efforts put in by teachers. They ensure that all efforts put by teachers in understanding concepts and problems to students are explained properly. The paraprofessionals help teachers to plan in handling lectures. In some higher educational institutions, a paraprofessional may possess knowledge and expertise on some specific subjects.
As an assistance to teachers, paraprofessionals ensure that all study materials are available in the class before the teacher arrives and the teacher’s table is well set with all necessary requirements for teaching. At the end of the working day, paraprofessionals can work on checking homework, maintaining files and checking mailboxes, when the teacher is busy and has no time to look after these issues.
Interact with Parents
Paraprofessionals act as an interface between teachers, students and parents. Paraprofessionals assist class teachers in discussing students weaknesses and problems with parents. They provide effective measures to eliminate problems faced by students. Active participation in parent conferences forms main part of a paraprofessional’s job description.
Paraprofessionals provide individual attention to every student and this makes the task of a teacher simpler. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), paraprofessionals can work in helping students who are disabled, non speaking learners or have any of the other learning disabilities. Various aspects related to paraprofessional work are educational.
What do Paraprofessionals Study?
Paraprofessional job is indeed dominated by activities that are aimed to inculcate the habit of getting involved with children in studies and holistic personality development. Some courses like classroom management and classroom technology are integral part of school paraprofessional study course.
If you view the instructional paraprofessional job description, you’ll find that they’re mainly concerned for assisting students with special learning defects. Paraprofessionals are also taught courses in child development, because it teaches them to understand students in a much better way.
Courses in reading method help paraprofessionals in assisting teachers with high literary interests. Besides these, courses in legal services and safety issues help paraprofessionals to become aware about educational rights and legalities of educational standards. These courses also help them to know safety and health issues of children at school and while school transportation.
Based on requirements of a paraprofessional in educational institutes, paraprofessionals may be taught specific subjects, as per the training programs. Being a job that keeps an individual busy, the activities of a paraprofessional must display a sense of positive behavior, good conduct and a sense of awareness about basic disciplines and rules, by the paraprofessional.
The educational requirements for paraprofessionals vary for various colleges. Some schools require an associate degree, 2 years of training at a college or university or passing an approved exam. You can go through specific information mentioned on the website of every district’s educational department or state department and that will give you full information about specific requirements for becoming a paraprofessional.
The pay scale depends on a large number of factors and may vary depending on the school’s requirements. Generally, people who are young and experienced in this field move on to pursue higher studies in teaching for better opportunities. From learning point of view, this profession is certainly one of the best for aspiring teachers.
According to the reports by The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), career opportunities in this field will increase in the coming days. This has been rated to be the highest growth rate area for people in the field of special education. A paraprofessional’s job is a mix of several multitasking activities, as well as some that completely focus on individual tasks. It is certainly a bright prospect for those who wish to enter teaching field without acquiring many educational degrees.