Role of the Paraeducator

Paraeducator Definition:
The prefix para- is defined as "at the side of, beside, alongside of." Therefore a paraeducator works alongside teachers, related service providers and administrators to meet the needs of students with exceptionalies. They are asked to support students with special needs in general education classes as well as special education classroom settings. The students may need assistance with academics, daily living skills, behavior management, and/or social skills.

Role of the Paraeducator:
Various factors influencing the specific responsibilities assigned to paraeducators include: characteristics and personalities of teachers, paraeducators and students; interpersonal skills of both teachers and paraeducators; the skill level of the paraeducators; and the physical environment of the classroom. Individual teachers may vary the responsibilities of the paraeducators to enhance the program of instruction. The following list illustrates instructional and administrative duties which could be assigned to the paraeducators:

  • Assist individual and small groups of learners in instructional activities developed by teachers.
  • Carry out behavior management and disciplinary plans developed by teachers.
  • Reinforce learning in small groups or with individuals, while the teacher works with other students.
  • Provide assistance with individualized programmed materials.
  • Score objective tests and papers and maintain appropriate records for teachers.
  • Assist the teacher in observing, recording, and charting behavior.
  • Assist the teacher with crisis problems and behavior management.
  • Assist in preparation/production of instructional materials.
  • Carry out instructional programs designed by the teacher.
  • Work with the teacher to develop classroom schedules.
  • Carry out tutoring activities designed by the teacher.
  • Assist with personal care of students.
  • Supervise children in hallway, lunchroom, and playground situations.
  • Assist in carrying out programs of support staff (SLP, OT, PT).
  • Attend the IEP meeting, only if requested.