No matter what you call them, paraprofessionals are often the school's unsung heroes.
Paraprofessional educators truly serve more than students. They serve the teachers on the campus as well. They have one of the most challenging jobs. If you are a paraprofessional educator reading this article, let me commend you. You do so much for so many people. If are a teacher reading this, thank your paraprofessionals. Give them some extra love. And pass this article along to them so they can grow in their craft.
I wrote this because as a professional development specialist and one who works alongside schools, I recognized that there is little out there written specifically for paraprofessional educators. The need is clear. So this is for you, our amazing educational support professionals.
Over the years, I have worked with many paraprofessionals and learned from each of them. Each one had their strengths. Several had either been certified teachers themselves who didn't want the extra responsibilities of a teacher and therefore took on the paraprofessional role, or were in the midst of becoming teacher certified. No matter their own educational experiences, they were each dedicated to students and teachers. And that's what makes the difference.
The roles of paraprofessionals who work with English Learners are many. But here are six. What might you add?