Paraprofessionals: Individualized Education

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For the past few decades paraprofessionals have provided support for students with disabilities. According to the No Child Left Behind act, “A paraprofessional works under the direct supervision of a teacher if (1) the teacher prepares the lessons and plans the instructional support activities the paraprofessional carries out, and evaluates the achievement of the students with whom the paraprofessional is working, and (2) the paraprofessional works in close and frequent proximity with the teacher. Paraprofessionals were formally identified in federal legislation with the 1997 Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Customarily, support was mainly in the form of clerical duties, however; today’s paraprofessionals play …show more content…
However, paraprofessionals need to understand the distinction in teacher and paraprofessional roles. A paraprofessional should never develop IEP (Individualized Education Program) goals, make decisions about interventions, or deliver the main instruction without the supervision of a professional teacher. Alongside the professional teacher, paraprofessionals can take on teaching duties. These duties can include: lesson planning, large-group and small group teaching, administering and grading tests, and grading other classroom activities. The intent of using paraprofessionals is to supplement the work of the teacher and not displace the work. Paraprofessionals are also responsible for performing a wide array of clerical tasks. These educators spend time copying, filing, and making modifications to materials. In addition, paraeducators are heavily involved in behavioral management interventions. Managing and controlling disruptive behavior is a main responsibility of a paraprofessional, which sometimes takes precedence over academic responsibilities. However; many paraprofessionals feel very unprepared and unsure of how to handle disruptive behavior in the …show more content…
The purpose of using paraprofessionals is to increase the frequency and intensity of services, so that more students can achieve academic success. Paraprofessionals who are properly trained can be a great mechanism to help achieve quality service within a cost-effective system. Programs that utilize paraprofessionals must adhere to these recommendations to ensure the use of high-quality services by the professional teacher and paraprofessional

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