Paraeducators: Roles and Responsibilities
Perhaps now more than ever paraeducators are playing critical roles in helping certified and licensed school staff serve an increasingly diverse student population. Under the supervision of teachers and other school staff members, paraeducators are asked to perform a wide variety of tasks, including preparing learning materials, assisting individuals or small groups of students and providing individual support to children with special needs. In this course we’ll define the important role of the paraeducator, discuss the need for teacher and paraeducator teamwork and highlight best practices related to commonly assigned paraeducator tasks.
Kent Gerlach, Ed.D.
Kent Gerlach is nationally recognized for his contributions, research and publications on paraeducator issues (employment, training and supervision), collaboration, team-building, special education law and issues of child abuse. Kent has authored Let’s Team Up: A Checklist for Teachers, Paraeducators and Principals and co-authored Supervising Paraeducators in Educational Settings and Paraeducators in the Schools. He has also served as consultant to the Council for Exceptional Children, National Education Association, American Speech and Hearing Association, IDEA Partnerships, Recruiting Teachers, Inc. and National Directors of Special Education. Kent is Professor Emeritus in the School of Education and Kinesiology at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, conducts professional development workshops for teachers, paraeducators and administrators throughout the United States and Canada and is a frequent presenter at educational conferences.