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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the roles and responsibilities of the paraprofessional in the classroom? 

The role of a paraprofessional will vary depending upon the student needs within the classroom. Some common roles are as follows: planning with teachers; monitoring student progress and checking for understanding during initial teacher instruction; assisting students with guided practice and independent practice following initial instruction by the teacher; constructing accommodations necessary for instruction; assisting students with adaptive devices and health needs; clerical activities; student monitoring duties; etc.

2. Can the paraprofessional provide support to other students in the classroom? 

Absolutely. Paraprofessionals, under teacher direction, can provide support to any struggling learner within the classroom.

3. What lesson plans does the paraprofessional follow? 

The paraprofessional follows the lesson plan of the teacher he/she is working with at the time. 

4. Does the paraprofessional get planning time? 

This is a campus-by-campus decision. However, it is imperative that the paraprofessional has some time to plan with the teacher he/she will be working with in order for support facilitation to be effective. The amount of time needed for planning will vary depending upon the needs of the students, the training of the paraprofessional, and the working relationship of the teacher and the paraprofessional.


Resources and Strategies

The Roles of Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms: A Three-Part Series

The Roles of Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms: Second in a Three-Part Series

The Roles of Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms: Third in a Three-Part Series

course_icon.png Paraeducator Online Course Preview (FREE SAMPLE)

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Council for Exceptional Children (CEC): Improving Paraeducator Practices

National Resource Center for Paraeducators

SPeNSE: Study of Personnel Needs in Special Education

Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education 

Paraeducator Resource and Learning Center (PRLC) 

Guide to Schoolwide Planning for Paraeducator Supports (free download) 

The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion: Project EVOLVE (Expanding & Validating Options for Learning through Variations in Education) 

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support (USDOE)

Practical Information & Examples for Supporting Students with Autism (physical structure, visual schedules, teaching methods) 

The Access Center – Working Together: Teacher-Paraeducator Collaboration (free download)