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What is a paraeducator?

What is a paraeducator?

A paraeducator (sometimes referred to as a para-educator) is a school employee who works under the supervision of a teacher or other certified educator to provide instructional, behavioral, and/or social support to students. Paraeducators are also known as teacher assistants, instructional assistants, educational assistants, or classroom aides.

Paraeducators play a vital role in the education of all students, but they are especially important for students with special needs. Paraeducators can provide one-on-one support to students with disabilities, help them to stay on task, and provide them with the extra attention they need to succeed.

In addition to providing support to students, paraeducators also play a role in supporting teachers. Paraeducators can help teachers with classroom management, grading papers, and preparing lessons. They can also provide teachers with feedback on their teaching and help them to improve their practice.

Paraeducators are an essential part of the educational team. They provide valuable support to students and teachers, and they play a key role in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to succeed.

Paraeducator Job Description

The duties and responsibilities of a paraeducator vary depending on the specific needs of the students and the school district. However, some common duties and responsibilities of paraeducators include:

  • Providing one-on-one or small group instruction to students
  • Helping students with special needs to participate in the classroom
  • Assisting teachers with classroom management
  • Grading papers and other administrative tasks
  • Preparing materials and resources for lessons
  • Providing emotional support to students
  • Communicating with parents and guardians
  • Participating in professional development activities

Qualifications and Training

The qualifications and training requirements for paraeducators vary from state to state. However, most states require paraeducators to have a high school diploma or equivalent and to complete some type of training program. Some states also require paraeducators to pass a criminal background check.

There are a variety of training programs available for paraeducators. These programs typically cover topics such as child development, classroom management, and special education. Paraeducators can also receive training on specific topics, such as English language learners or students with autism spectrum disorder.

Salary and Benefits

The salary and benefits for paraeducators vary depending on the school district and the paraeducator's experience and qualifications. However, paraeducators typically earn a starting salary of around $20,000 per year. Paraeducators also typically receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for paraeducators is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of paraeducators will grow by 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected due to increasing enrollment in schools and the need for paraeducators to provide support to students with special needs.

If you are interested in a career as a paraeducator, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success.

First, make sure you have the necessary qualifications and training.

Second, network with people who work in education and get involved in your local school district.

Finally, be prepared to work hard and be patient. It may take some time to find a job as a paraeducator, but it is a rewarding career that can make a real difference in the lives of students.

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