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An elementary school boy sits in front of a computer in his special education school while holding up a page of autographs.



How Paraprofessionals and Teachers Work Together for Student Success

How Paraprofessionals and Teachers Work Together for Student Success

Dr. Jill Blanchard is Senior Vice President of Operations in Ohio where she leads New Story Schools, Applied Behavioral Services and The Learning Spectrum.

Paraprofessionals are often the force in our buildings that keep our students going every day, especially in a special education setting. It is important that teachers and paraprofessionals both understand their roles and work together for the best interests of the students in their care. While we know that many of our paraprofessionals go above and beyond the call of duty every day, their actual role is one of support, first and foremost, to students.   

Paraprofessionals are there to help the students with work, with discipline plans, with student organization, and with missed work or skills that a student may be behind on.  

Tips for Effective Team Teaching 

Some things to consider when working as a team: 

  • Consider each other’s strengths. 

    Don’t get caught up in certifications and degrees, rather, build off of each person’s strength with the students.  

  • Define roles. 

    Just like the students, the adults in the room need to know what is expected of them. 

  • Provide feedback to each other

    Both the teacher and the paraprofessional should be able to provide constructive feedback about their roles and efforts. 

  • Build rapport with each other. 

    It is important that the adults in the room build a rapport with each other to work well together.  

“Great things are done by a series of small things put together” -Vincent Van Gogh


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