SPED Summer Blog Hop Week 4: 3 Tips for Working with Paraeducators

Let's keep this blog hop party going!  Kyle from Kinder SPED Adventures organized this awesome blog hop.  This week we're talking about working with paraeducators.

Lets face it, working with people can be difficult.  Everyone comes with their own personality and point of view.  The best thing you can remember is that your paraeducators are people too.  They are usually in the field for the same reason as you.  They want to help our students and they really care about them.  I always keep these things in mind when working with my paras.  While there is no exact science to working with paraeducators, I use these 3 pointers in my classroom.

1.  Encourage a climate of collaboration
I encourage collaboration in my classroom at all times.  I try to put aside some time to speak with my IAs about questions and concerns.  I also hold biweekly trainings where I often open up to my IAs to share about their thoughts about student behavior, learning, etc.  I also keep note pages in student binders for IAs to share information that happens during work sessions.

2. Model evidence based practices
We do it with our students, we should do it with our paraprofessionals as well!  I try my very best to model evidence based practices in my teaching.  I want to come across as an expert to my IAs.  It's inevitable, they are going to look at me and my teaching practices to know what to do and what is expected in the classroom.  I'm the expert, right?  I better act like it!

3.  Keep em happy!
I appreciate my IAs and all the work they do in my classroom.  I wouldn't be able to do what I do in my classroom without them.  I try to make sure that they know this.  I make coffee for my IAs every morning.  This is just my little way of saying thank you for all you do.  My IAs love it and it only costs me about $10/month.  Well worth it in my opinion!

I'm currently working on handbooks for my IAs when we return to school.  When I finish the process I'll make sure I share with you all!

How do you successfully work with your paraeducators?

Don't forget to come back next week when we talk about the first week of school.

Now hop on over to Christine's blog to read her amazing tips.


  1. Great tips! Can't wait to see your handbook!

    1. Nicole,
      Lets hope I get it done before school starts!

    2. Did you get a handbook put together? This is something I'm planning on developing for next year.

  2. Great tips Erin! I wholeheartedly agree with number 3. In my state, my TAs aren't paid well. They work hard, so I try to reward them often!!
    Mrs. P’s Specialties

  3. Great tips! Definitely gotta keep 'em happy! Mine don't drink coffee, but I'm always bringing treats in for them!

  4. Great tips!! I love #2! We use modeling with our kids, but sometimes our adult staff needs this as well!
    Mrs. H's Resource Room

  5. Such great tips!! As a former para, I think all of these are essential!! :)


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