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Paraeducator Supervision Academy (PSA) . Ritu V. Chopra, PhD Fran Herbert, M.Ed., CCC-SLP . Logistics and Norms. 2. Audience Introduction. Your name Title School Have you worked with paraprofessionals? Number of paraprofessionals you work(ed) with, when & where?

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paraeducator supervision academy psa
Paraeducator Supervision Academy (PSA)

Ritu V. Chopra, PhD

Fran Herbert, M.Ed., CCC-SLP


audience introduction
Audience Introduction
  • Your name
  • Title
  • School
  • Have you worked with paraprofessionals?
    • Number of paraprofessionals you work(ed) with, when & where?
  • Have you received any previous pre-service or

in-service training on paraprofessional supervision?


paraprofessionals most commonly used titles
Paraprofessionals: Most commonly used titles

Para… means “along side of”

  • Paraeducator
  • Para
  • Instructional Assistant
  • Educational Assistant
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Instructional Aide
  • Aide
  • Educational Support Professionals
  • Early Intervention Assistants
  • Developmental Intervention Assistants (in Colorado)

Para… means “along side of”

A paraprofessional provides instructional services to students


works under the supervision or direction of a certified or licensed professional who is ultimately responsible for the students and the program.

National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals

overview of the today s training
Overview of the Today’s Training

The Paraeducator Supervision Academy will help you with:

establishing collaboration and working relationships

assessing personal supervisory skills

building work schedules and instructional plans;

identifying career development areas for paraeducators through needs assessment; and

using feedback to improve the job performance of paraeducators.

paraeducators who are they
Paraeducators: Who are they?


1. With a partner

  • Think about the paraeducators you work with.
    • How old are they?
    • How much money do they make?
    • What are their educational backgrounds?
    • What other characteristics are true of them?
    • Where did they come from? How were they hired?

2. Share the above information with table/group

3. In table groups discuss -what implications do these characteristics have for how you direct their work?

4. Share 3 with the entire group

who are the paraprofessionals
Who are the Paraprofessionals?
  • 841,612 instructional and non instructional paraprofessional sin US
  • 95% female
  • 48 = Median Age
  • 80% live in the communities where they work
  • 80% are married.
  • Work experience
  • Average 9.1 years experience -
  • 62% work directly with students-in their early formative years –preschool, KG, Elementary levels
  • 71% work with special education students
  • 83% have job responsibilities promoting school safety.
  • 81% work full time.
  • Retention
    • 70% stay in the field, and 56% plan to stay in our current jobs until we retire

National Education Association (NEA), 2007 - -


Who are Paraprofessionals?

  • Education/Preparation
  • Generally, have no formal training for their jobs,
  • 22% have two-year college degrees
  • 18 % have a bachelor's degrees
  • 4% have a master's or higher degree
  • 39% have some college credits
  • Salaries / hours
  • Hourly wages - Average annual salary $18,052 ($8-9 per hr.)
  • Benefits some places, none in others
  • Generally lowest paid in district
  • Work 6.7 hours/day on average
  • Working Conditions
  • 19% work without a job description
  • 37% who have a job description but it doesn’t describe what they do
  • 61 % have no say in their job description
  • 30% are often asked to perform duties that are beyond their job descriptions

National Education Association (NEA), 2007 - -

reasons for hiring paraeducators
Reasons for Hiring Paraeducators

What contributions paraeducators make in your programs (school)?


reasons to employ paraprofessionals
Reasons To Employ Paraprofessionals
  • Increasing complex student / young children (and families) population
  • Need for instructional support
  • Instructional effectiveness
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Community connections
  • Individualized supports (personal care included) for students (and children/families) with disabilities
  • Related services support for students/children
  • Improved teacher-student (or child/family) ratio
  • Shortages of fully-qualified professionals
  • Legislation allows/requires/acknowledges use of paraprofessionals

2004 Re-authorization of IDEA:

Requirements for Paraprofessionals

  • The State educational agency establishes and maintains standards to ensure that paraprofessionals and assistants are appropriately and adequately trained and supervised.
  • SEC 635 The State has a comprehensive system of personnel development, including the training of paraprofessionals … 612(a)(14
  • SEC. 653. The State improvement plan shall address the identified needs for in-service and pre-service preparation for all personnel (professional and paraprofessional …… (ii) prepare professionals and paraprofessionals in the area of early intervention with the content knowledge and collaborative skills; (iii) to participate in pre-service and in-service training
  • Develop career opportunities for paraprofessionals to receive training as special education teachers, related services personnel, and early intervention personnel

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, Amendments of 2004, Pub. L. No. 108-446, U.S.C. 20 & 1400 et seq.


legislation no child left behind
Legislation – No Child Left Behind
  • NCLB, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2002
  • New Paraprofessionals (hired after 2002), continued
    • Completed at least 2 years of study at an institution of higher education; or
    • Obtained an associate’s (or higher) degree; or
    • Met a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate, through a formal State or local academic assessment -
      • Knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics; or
      • Knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate. [Title I, Section 1119/b]
  • The act required existing paraprofessionals must meet requirements within 4 years after enactment (by January 8, 2006)
nclb regarding supervision
NCLB: Regarding Supervision
  • Paraprofessional must work under ‘direct’ supervision of fully qualified teacher
  • Job duties are limited to:
    • One to one tutoring only if it doesn’t prevent the child from receiving instruction by a teacher
    • Assist in classroom management
    • Assist in computer instruction
    • Provide instructional support in a library or media center
    • Act as a translator
    • Provide instructional support services
guidance on paraprofessional from professional organizations cec nea
Guidance on Paraprofessional from Professional Organizations (CEC & NEA)

An attempt to clarify the meaning of “supervision”

a) skills in structuring, directing and supporting the activities of paraprofessionals,

b) knowledge of roles and responsibilities of the paraprofessionals related to instruction, intervention and direct services, and

c) skills in observing, evaluating, providing feedback to paraprofessionals


Paraprofessional Supervision:

Gaps between Law and Reality

  • Laws provide vague and limited descriptions of what paraprofessional supervision entails
  • By and large - no clear policies or guidelines at state level around supervision
  • Despite guidance from professional organization, teacher preparation programs do not address paraprofessional supervision to the extent it needs attention.
  • As a result, teachers remain reluctant to supervise paraprofessionals, and are unprepared to work effectively with them.


Reality and Issues


research lessons learned from use of paraprofessionals in schools
Research- Lessons Learned from Use of Paraprofessionals in Schools:

Special Education Services are not possible without Paraprofessional support

(French & Chopra 2006, Passaro, Pickett, Latham, & HongBo, 1991; Rubin, 1994)

    • Complex student population
    • Need for Individualized instructional support
    • Instructional effectiveness
    • Cost effectiveness
    • Community connections
    • Need to provide related services
    • Improved teacher-student ratio
    • Shortages of fully-qualified professionals
  • Paraprofessionals play important roles:

(French & Chopra 1999; Wadsworth & Knight, 2000)

      • Connector
      • Instructional Support
      • Team member
      • Caregiver


research evidence also tells us
Research Evidence Also Tells Us

Paraprofessional support may become more of a disadvantage than an advantage

for the student.


research potential challenges with the use of paraprofessionals
Research : Potential Challenges With the Use of Paraprofessionals

Paraprofessionals may:

  • Lack clarity about their role
  • perform best when they are supervised and their role is clearly defined
  • Lack supervision
  • Teachers lack preparation to supervise paraprofessionals
  • Teacher lack of preparation to collaborate with other professionals
  • Become primary service provider and perform functions that are beyond their legal and ethical scope of work
  • Lack specific training
  • Develop “ownership” of the child, lose perspective

( Chopra & French; Giangreco; Katsiyanas, Hodge & Lanford; Pickett; Wallace)


research potential challenges with the use of paraprofessionals1
Research: Potential Challenges With the use of Paraprofessionals

Paraprofessional may:

  • Communicate directly with families, leaving teacher out
  • Foster overdependence
  • Fail to provide specific behavioral and academic data to professional
  • ‘Relieve’ teachers of responsibility for student
  • Give student the “answers”
  • Plan lessons , adapting materials or assignments without direction
  • Create social barriers between students


shift in the professional roles
Shift in the Professional Roles
  • Employment of paraprofessionals changes your role
  • Teachers (i.e. certified professionals)
    • Must run the workplace must perform a number of executive functions
    • Like Fran said – manager of people, workplace and collaborator


continuum of responsibilities for supervisors
Continuum of Responsibilities for Supervisors

Plan alone

Assess infants/toddlers

Supervise paraprofessionals

Support families


“I Do”








Solve challenges together

Plan together

Collaborate/partner in the provision of services


“We Do”

Facilitate team/transdisciplinary meetings

Provide families with resources

Participate in professional development

Coach and provide direction for paraprofessionals


“I Help, You Do”





building a collaborative culture
Building a Collaborative Culture
  • Common vision and goals
  • Clear expectations and understanding of roles
  • Willingness to share decision making, responsibilities, successes & failures
  • Bring problem-solving skills & collaborative values to a group
  • Honest, open and constructive communication
  • Appreciation and recognition
  • Caring, celebration and humor
  • Accept and appreciate differences in others
  • Active participation by all and productive
  • Willingness to learn from each other
  • Flexible, not dominant leadership
  • Time to collaborate
  • Trust and Confidence


ethical considerations
Ethical Considerations
  • Scope of Responsibility
    • Consider whether the task is legitimately within paraprofessional scope of responsibility (related to the law)
  • Preparation (how well paraprofessionals have been prepared)
    • Consider paraprofessional competencies and skills
    • Consider paraprofessional preferences and confidence
    • How many and which CO-TOP Academy or other training they have taken
  • Direction (from the certified licensed Teachers or professionals
    • Written plans, meetings, task monitoring, coaching of skills
    • The certified professional maintains responsibility for student outcomes


avoiding risk a summary
Avoiding Risk: A Summary
  • Build a strong professional/paraprofessional team
  • Clarify roles to be clear about roles and responsibilities
  • Plan for all aspects of the program
  • Find the materials and tools you need
  • Learn and then teach how to use the materials and tools to paraprofessional
  • Create systems that help you keep your plan working
  • Emphasize the importance of confidentiality


differentiating roles
Differentiating Roles

Discussion Activity:

With the group of people from your organization, taking the paraprofessional role and ethical considerations into account, reflect on

  • What are the responsibilities the paraprofessional should be expected to do?
  • What are the responsibilities paraprofessional SHOULD NOT be expected to do?


role clarity
Role Clarity

Paraprofessional Role:

Supervisor’s Role:



Teacher/Professional Roles

Paraeducator Roles

  • Implement instruction in various environments, based on lesson plans provided by the teacher
  • Reinforce learning with individuals or small groups
  • Assist individual students- personal care, mobility
  • Assist with observations/data recording/charting
  • Assist with ongoing behavior management
  • Participate in building level duties as assigned by building administrator
  • Score tests /papers & assist in data collection
  • Perform clerical tasks
  • Prepare, produce & maintain instructional materials
  • Maintain and operate instructional equipment
  • Help develop schedules
  • Team participation
  • Overall program Planning (overseeing, IEP goals and objectives, addressing standards, lesson planning, prescribing, managing the instructional environment)
  • Instruction (based on unit plans, lesson plans, IEPs, remedial literacy plans, 504 plans, other individualized plans)
  • Assessment (Collecting, coordinating, and interpreting information about the student including current levels of functioning, determination of disability, reporting student progress)
  • Collaborating (consulting with other professional personnel, meeting coordinating, communication)
  • Paraeducator Supervision (seven components – which are the focus of this course)
executive functions of paraeducator supervision
Executive Functions of Paraeducator Supervision

Providing Orientation

Planning for Paraeducator



Promoting Paraeducator Growth and Development

Monitoring Performance

Managing the Workplace



...What you’re putting off


four major reasons
Four Major Reasons
  • Confusion
    • Lack of mental organization
    • Lack of clear goals
  • Resentment of Authority
    • Lack of control / Demands seem unjust
  • Lack of Self-Confidence
    • Unsure you can do it / Lack of skills
  • Self-Sabotage
    • Mixed emotions... about supervising, about inclusion, collaboration
    • Fear of failing / fear of looking bad or foolish


what gets in the way
What Gets in the Way??
  • Tell what gets in the way of getting things done
  • Name the things that you are responsible for that are the hardest to get done.
  • Tell why


30 second reflection question
30 Second Reflection Question:

1. What could I give to someone else to do that keeps me from getting the important stuff done?


30 second reflection question1
30 Second Reflection Question :

2. Do I sometimes apply a ‘quick fix’ because I don’t have time to do it right...and then have it come back and ‘bite’ me in the (you know what)?


30 second reflection question2
30 Second Reflection Question :

3. Am I working harder, but feeling less productive?


30 second reflection question3
30 Second Reflection Question :

4. Is someone else (or a lot of ‘someone else's) taking charge of my schedule, instead of me?

If yes, who?


30 second reflection question4
30 Second Reflection Question:

5. What did I come to this field to accomplish?; What are my professional goals now?; and Have I lost sight of them?


30 second reflection question5
30 Second Reflection Question :

6. What tasks do I most often procrastinate?; Which reasons explain why I procrastinate?; and What will I do about it?


30 second reflection question6
30 Second Reflection Question

7. Do I balance my work life with appropriate rest, nutrition, play, fun, recreation, spiritual refreshment, reflection, and social relationships?



Instructions given by flight attendants to airline passengers:

“For those of you traveling with small children, in the event of an oxygen failure, first place the oxygen mask on your own face and then – and only then – place the mask on your child’s face”.

The fact is, the adult must be alive in order to help the child. In the natural environment we spend a lot of time placing oxygen masks on other people’s faces while we ourselves are suffocating.


30 second reflection question7
30 Second Reflection Question :

8. If I always plan ahead, organize appropriately, do the right things, and do them right, can I keep from running behind?


managing your time
Managing Your Time

Some questions to consider…

  • How will you take charge of your day and your time?
  • Can you schedule tasks at times that suit you, rather than handling them as interruptions?
  • How will you help yourself think about the questions of urgency and importance at the moment of an interruption or request?
  • How will you make time for things that are truly important?
  • What will you say to others when they tell you, or ask you to do something that you consider less important than what is already scheduled?


executive functions of paraeducator supervision1
Executive Functions of Paraeducator Supervision

Providing Orientation

Planning for Paraeducator



Promoting Paraeducator Growth and Development

Monitoring Performance

Managing the Workplace

1 providing orientation three stages
1. Providing Orientation: Three stages

Stage 1: Get Acquainted

  • Introductions

(in the training booklet)

  • Policy and Procedure Orientation
  • Confidentiality Information

(worksheet/form in the training booklet)


1 providing orientation continued
1. Providing Orientation continued…

Stage 2: Establish The Supervisory Relationship

Do this in 3 ways:

  • Structured Initial Conversation
  • Work Style / Preferences Analysis
  • Defining the Job


a structured initial conversation

Providing Orientation

  • Stage 2: Establish The Supervisory Relationship continued…
A. Structured Initial Conversation
  • Why have you decided to work as a paraeducator?
  • What are your recreational activities / hobbies?
  • Which of your supervisors made the biggest positive impact on you?
  • What other skills do you have that we might incorporate into the natural setting?
  • What is your understanding of this position?
  • What do you think are the goals of special education/inlcusion?
  • What other teams have you participated on? Sports? Work?
  • What talents and skills do you bring to the team?
  • How do you think teams function best?
  • How can we assure that we will work well together?



1. Providing Orientation Stage 2: Establish The Supervisory Relationship continued … B. Work Style / Preferences Analysis

Useful tool to compare your work style with the paraeducator's


  • Pair up with another participant.
  • One of you is the “professional” and other is the “paraeducator ”
  • Each pair will use two handouts –
    • Professional Work-Style worksheet
    • Paraeducator Work-Style worksheet
  • After you’ve completed the sheets, wait for further directions



Providing Orientation

  • Stage 2: Establish The Supervisory Relationship continued...
  • C. Defining the Job
    • Job definition step 1– Master List of Tasks & Duties (in the training booklet )
    • Job definition step 2 – Paraprofessional Task Preparation/Confidence Inventory (in the training booklet)
    • Job definition step 3 – “needs vs. preferences" analysis
    • Job definition step 4 - Personalized Job Description
    • Job definition step 5 – Paraprofessional Training Needs Assessment
    • (in the training booklet)


do you need more copies of worksheets
Do you need more copies of worksheets?
  • Download worksheets from The PAR2A Center website:
    • Make all the copies you need
adapting curriculum instruction
Adapting Curriculum & Instruction
  • Required by law (IDEA & 504) for persons with disabilities
  • Illegal and unethical for paraeducators to determine adaptations
  • Adaptation plan should contain
    • long-range goals for the student
    • specific types of adaptations for all types of instruction
  • Adaptation plan has multiple purposes
    • Serves as communication tool
      • Special ed – General ed teachers
      • Teachers and paraeducators
      • Teachers and volunteers or peer assistants
      • Related services providers, families
    • To provide written data about student progress
the paraeducator s role in adapting curriculum instruction
The Paraeducator’s Role in Adapting Curriculum & Instruction

To follow written plans and oral directions!

Note: It is NOT the paraeducator’s ethical responsibility to plan or design modifications or adaptations – only to carry them out!

  • Provided by any school professional
    • On behalf of
      • Students with disabilities
      • Students with other special learning needs (e.g. ESL)
      • Students with health issues
      • The general welfare and safety of all the students in the school
the importance of planning
The Importance of Planning
  • The most effective teachers plan

(sped and gen .ed)

    • Know what outcomes they expect from students
    • Know what methods they’ll use to achieve those outcomes
  • Some teachers try to “wing it”
    • Experience matters
    • Carry ideas in their heads, make it through a day without written plans
  • Paraeducators are not teachers
    • Should not be forced into taking on teaching responsibilities
    • Legally/ethically don’t make decisions about curriculum or pedagogy
    • Cannot ‘read’ teachers’ minds who should be making the decisions
think about
Think About ….
  • Who plans or provides other supervisory functions for the paraeducator(s).
    • If no written plans are currently provided, think about where you need to begin to make changes.
  • Think about the needs of students, where they are during the day and who holds responsibility for their education or individualized plans (e.g. IEPs).
important to remember
Important to Remember
  • The Instructional plan for the Paraprofessional:
    • Should be reflective of the IEP or mirror the IEP.
    • Should build off of the IEP.
    • Should include strategies that are easily understood by the paraprofessional


components of plans
Purpose of task, lesson or adaptation

Long term student goals, short term objectives

Specific student needs / strengths

Components of Plans
  • Materials / Resources
  • Sequence of actions, use of cues or prompts, permissible adaptations
  • Data structure for documenting student performance
plan forms or formats
Plan Forms or Formats


  • As we look at the following examples, discuss with a partner:
    • If the plan examples have all six essential components?
    • Consider the needs of your students – are there similarities?
    • Consider which features you could use in your plan forms?


    • Aram
    • Sean
    • Ashley
    • 7th grade vocabulary procedures
    • Calvin
planning vs scheduling
Planning vs. Scheduling
  • Differs from planning in that it tells
    • Where each person should be
    • The time frame
    • Who they are with (students and teachers)
    • Generally what they are doing




Time Paraeducator Activity / Location Teacher Activity / Location

what is delegation
What is Delegation?

Delegation is...

  • the process of getting things done through others who have the skills to handle the tasks
  • the act of entrusting enough authority to another to get tasks done without giving up responsibility.
  • fundamentally important to the professional behavior and time and to the utilization and supervision of paraprofessionals


what delegation is not
What Delegation Is Not
  • Dumping
    • minimizes the paraeducator role
    • shows disrespect
    • ignores paraeducator abilities
    • shows disorganization, lack of skill to run the program or classroom
  • Puppeteering
    • fails to give authority to carry out the task
    • micro- manages
    • provides too much detail
  • Passing the buck
    • blames the paraeducator for failures
  • Punishment
    • mean-spirited assignments
    • diminishes initiative and ownership
why school professionals fail to delegate
Why School Professionals Fail to Delegate

Top 10 reasons school professionals fail to delegate

  • I can do it faster myself
  • I am a perfectionist – I want to be sure it gets done ‘right’
  • I have no time to train the paraeducator
  • Teaching is for teachers, Speech Language therapy is for therapists, etc.
  • The paraeducator isn’t qualified to do the job
  • Paraeducators are paid too little / work too hard for their pay
  • It’s not part of the paraeducator’s job description
  • Some parts of teaching are my “occupational hobby”
  • I’m not confident of the paraeducator’s work
  • I don’t want to be “bossy” – I want paraeducators to like me
why delegate
Why Delegate?

Top 10 reasons to delegate…

  • It makes the most of your time
  • Creates teams
  • Empowers paraeducators
  • It means you don’t have to do everything yourself
  • Maximizes use of your personal resources
  • Gives paraeducators what they need
  • Challenges paraeducators
  • Avoids the creation of indispensable people
  • Gives schools a better return on personnel dollars
  • Minimizes physical limitationsof time, space and location
the seven step delegation method overview
The Seven-Step Delegation Method Overview
  • Set clear objectives
  • Select the right person
  • Train the paraeducator to carry out the tasks.
  • Get input from the paraeducator.
  • Set deadlines, time frames, and follow up dates.
  • Specify the level of authority
  • Guide and monitor tasks
k 12 paraeducator curriculum
K-12 Paraeducator Curriculum
  • PARA Center has 22 courses academies - field-tested but not state mandated Colorado and beyond
  • State doesn’t provide any guidance or endorsement to any particular training
  • Teachers (and paraprofessionals) end up pretty much on their own ways of training (learning)
paraeducator growth development
Paraeducator Growth & Development

Planning for Growth & Development

  • Two Key Reasons:

1. A gap exists between programmatic needs and the skills or confidence level of the paraeducator

2. Life long learning - continual renewal and refinement of skills and keeping current with new ideas / technologies.

paraeducator training needs assessment
Paraeducator Training Needs Assessment
  • Completed by paraeducators:
    • Identifies preferences and desires
    • Acknowledges importance of paraeducator role
    • Markets upcoming training
    • Shows district’s concern
    • Doesn’t necessarily identify all the training needs that exist
  • Completed by supervisors:
    • Encourages reflection
    • Creates awareness of training needs
    • Acknowledges that some training can be provided in groups – not just on the job
    • Demonstrates administrative support for teachers’ work with paraeducators
    • Doesn’t necessarily identify all the training needs that exist
  • Needs Assessment Example
the range of training formats
The Range of Training Formats

Training formats:

  • Telling, mentioning, suggesting
  • Thorough explanation during team meetings
  • Demonstrating during student contact time
  • Using videos or other demonstrations during meetings
  • Attending workshops, seminars
  • Taking courses
  • Attending conferences
  • Reading flyers, brochures, other print materials

Training is the focus of our session tomorrow!


The Supervisor’s Role As A “Coach”

  • The coach’s job is to promote intentional learning at each level of expected performance, which includes capacity building through methods such as instructing, coaching, providing experiences, modeling and advising.
  • Coaching is a relationship between two people in which one person is dedicated to the personal and professional growth of the other.
  • Coaching focuses on creating effective ways to build skills, influence attitudes, and cultivate aspirations. Coaches advise, tutor, sponsor, and instill a professional identity in the individuals they coach. Coaching is an intense interaction between two people, where the coach has authority and power based on experience.
  • Effective coaching taps into continuous learning that is not an event, or even a string of discrete events. Rather, it is the synthesis of ongoing event, experiences, observation, studies, and thoughtful analyses.
  • CDE SLPA Mentor Training, 2008-2009


changing role for professionals
Changing Role For Professionals
  • ‘Monitoring’ implies deliberate, purposeful observations
  • Equates early intervention providers to team leaders in business
  • Little precedent for this role
    • Therefore requires administrative support
      • On the job training of professionals in this role
      • Coaching
      • Feedback to professionals
      • Accountability


monitoring performance
Monitoring Performance
  • Observations
  • Feedback
  • Evaluation


unfocused observation methods
Unfocused Observation Methods

Include Consideration of Multiple Variables

such as:

    • personal style components
      • voice, gestures, delivery
    • content of lesson,
    • interactions with children / families
    • organization of lesson or materials
    • time use
    • use of behavior management techniques

Examples Include:

  • audio, video recording
  • scripting
  • notes on significant events


focused observation methods
Focused Observation Methods

Paraeducator Behavioral Observation Checklist

(in the training booklet)

  • Identifies the Presence or Absence of Specific Behaviors
    • Useful to Assess the Overall Use of Specified Techniques in a variety of instructional or consultative / collaborative instances


formative feedback
Formative Feedback
  • Five guiding principles:
    • Performance
      • rather than personal characteristics
    • Specificity
      • rather than generalities
    • Frequency
      • the more the better
    • Consistency
      • versus playing professionals against one another
    • Honesty
      • rather than pretense, but cushioned with tact


managing the workplace

Managing the Workplace

Systematic Communication

Problem Solving

Conflict Management


systematic communication
Systematic Communication
  • How do you or would you convey information to the paraprofessional?
  • How do you get information back from them? What kinds of
  • information typically needs to be shared between team members in a typical week?
  • Brainstorm a list of ways to communicate systematically with your paraprofessionals.




  • Divide in three groups

(like meetings or dislike meetings or neutral)

  • Talk about why you feel as you do.
  • Describe your experiences with meetings of various types.
  • Share


holding meetings
Holding Meetings


  • Finding a time
  • Establishing group norms
  • Establishing a functional location
    • Facilitation
    • Reviewing meeting effectiveness
  • Using an agenda
    • Developing the agenda
    • Agenda content
    • Following the agenda
  • Documenting group decisions/ plans


how you act in conflict
How You Act in Conflict
  • Fill out questionnaire
  • Figure out which animal you represent
  • Get into “animal” groups
  • Discuss strengths and weaknesses


  • The Circle of Conflict








managing vs resolving conflict
Managing vs. Resolving Conflict
  • Resolving conflict is only possible if the nature of the conflict is in the bottom half of the circle
      • Structural Issues
      • Interests
  • Conflict Resolution - when the conflict is settled to the extent that it no longer consumes energy of the group or individuals


managing vs resolving conflict1
Managing vs. Resolving Conflict
  • Often, the very best we can do in relationship, values, and data conflicts is manage it
  • Conflict Management - the conflict is identified, acknowledged, assessed, steps are taken to address some of the most serious aspects or side effects, options are generated.


resolving conflicts
Resolving Conflicts

If resolution seems possible and conflict is in bottom half of circle, and you are willing to devote the time it takes, then do this:

  • Gain agreement to resolve the conflict
  • Identify interests
    • find out what each needs to get out of it in the end
  • Generate options
    • select options only if they allow the interests of each party to be met
  • Select a solution
    • gain agreement from both parties to adhere to the selected solution
    • create a solution plan
      • E.g. who does what, where , when, how?
  • Gain agreement to adhere to the plan.


action plan
Action Plan


Now that you’ve completed the informational portion of this training, take a few minutes to create an action plan for yourself. Create both short and longer term objectives for yourself. Decide what information you will be able to put to use first and which components you will implement later. Think about the ways you will collaborate with other professionals to supervise paraprofessionals


questions to consider as you plan the next steps
Questions to consider as you plan the next steps…
  • Who holds ultimate responsibility for the outcome of the instruction?
  • Who will be in the best position, logistically speaking, to direct the performance of the duties?
  • Who is best able to provide training for the assigned duties?
  • Who is in the best position to observe and document task performance?
  • How will you find planning time?
  • What supports you need from your administrators?