14 May 2022


Collaborating with Paraprofessionals

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Academic level: University

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Paraprofessionals refer to teaching assistances (TA) that provide teaching services to students under the guidance of a professionally trained and certified teacher. Most schools have implemented the teaching strategy where teachers are allowed to delegate tasks to the paraprofessional teachers ( Giangreco et al., 2012) . This paper presents the manner in which teachers can work with paraprofessionals in terms of organizing the day, planning student curriculum, working with related services, conflict resolution, strategies for ensuring paraprofessionals use strategies according to the intentions, and the role of the course in achieving the objectives of future professional activities involving working with paraprofessionals. 

Organizing activities of the day involve determining the tasks that will be performed on a particular day, the method of performing them, and the person who will be assigned to perform them. During the organization of the activities of the day, there will be the need to determine the activities that need to be undertaken and allocate some of them to the paraprofessional. If the teacher will not be around at a particular time during the learning session, the activities in that time can be allocated to the paraprofessional. The teacher should meet with the paraprofessional and agree on the time of which each of them will be involved in the provision of services to students ( Burdick & Causton-Theoharis, 2012)

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Planning individual curriculum is the process of determining the teaching subjects or topics that will be taught by the paraprofessionals and those that will be performed by the teacher himself or those that will be taught by the paraprofessional under the instruction of the teacher. To achieve this, the teacher should determine the subjects in which the paraprofessional has the ability to teach without difficulties and assigning him to teach them in most of the learning sessions in a particular class ( Giangreco et al., 2012) . The teacher should also determine the subjects that are problematic to the paraprofessional and increase the level of support to him and recommend that he seeks any clarification regarding challenges in teaching before embarking on a teaching task. 

Working with paraprofessionals will not only involve cooperation between the teacher and the paraprofessional, but the incorporation of other related services which ensure the needs of students are addressed. It will incorporate cooperation with the transport service providers to ensure students travel to and from school safely, occupational service providers in guiding students regarding relevant occupations they can pursue after school, and physical therapy services in providing physical fitness training to students to improve their health and fitness ( Giangreco et al., 2012)

Conflict is likely to be encountered in a case where a person is unable to perform a particular task effectively due to a diverted attention to other activities. There will be the need for the teacher involved in the collaboration with a paraprofessional to implement methods of conflicts resolution within the self, other teachers, and students. Incidences of conflicts are more likely to occur during the collaboration process. The resolution of conflicts with self can be achieved by instructing the paraprofessional to create a timetable of the activities he needs to perform with a greater priority on the provision of teaching assistance roles so that he does not focus on other activities that are not relevant to teaching ( Stockall, 2014) . Conflicts with students can be resolved by informing them about the involvement of the paraprofessional in teaching them in certain areas of learning when the teacher is not available so that they can become familiar with him. Conflicts with other teachers can be resolved by informing them about the role of the paraprofessional in teaching activities in the institutions and request them to allow the teacher to teach students at a particular time that may have an impact on other teacher’s schedules. The teacher can also arrange for teaching times for the paraprofessional during break hours and weekend in order to prevent conflicts with other teacher’s schedules ( Hamilton-Jones & Vail, 2013).

The use of strategies by paraprofessionals according to expectation refers to their ability to address the students’ needs in a manner that they would have been addressed by the teacher himself. To determine whether paraprofessionals use the strategies according to the expectations, I will monitor some of their teaching activities and provide support to them at the end of the teaching task. I will also ask students to provide feedback regarding their satisfaction, or complaints regarding the teaching strategy that involves the paraprofessional after which I will address their areas of difficulties in the subsequent teaching sessions ( Hamilton-Jones & Vail, 2013).

Future professional work in cooperating with paraprofessionals will be possible when the concepts learned in this course are applied in managing teaching tasks. Some of the lessons I have learned that will promote my cooperation with paraprofessionals include; the methods of developing a schedule of activities which ensures the role of the paraprofessional is incorporated, the need to work with related services which facilitate student learning such as transport services, occupational services, and physical therapy services. I will ensure I incorporate these services while working with paraprofessionals in my future teaching career in order to create enabling an environment for students to learn ( Stockall, 2014) .

In conclusion, working with paraprofessionals is a teaching strategy that will promote the involvement of another teacher who is under the guidance of a trained teacher. This paper shows that in order to achieve effectiveness of working with paraprofessionals, there is the need to organize the teaching activities to be performed on a particular day, determine the manner in which the curriculum needs will be addressed by the teacher and the paraprofessional, incorporating other services which promote students’ comfort during learning such as physical training, transport services, and occupational services. The teacher and the paraprofessional are not involved in other activities that can result in conflicts of interest are affect the effectiveness of their collaboration. Finally, the teacher will conduct monitoring of the paraprofessional and seek the views of students to determine whether the outcomes of the collaboration have addressed the students’ needs. The process of collaborating with paraprofessionals will be beneficial to the teachers because they will provide training to the paraprofessionals and increase the number of teachers who can provide teaching services to students and address the problem of teacher shortages in many learning institutions while promoting student success in learning activities. 


Burdick, C., & Causton-Theoharis, J. (2012). Creating effective paraprofessional support in the inclusive art classroom.  Art education 65 (6), 33-37. 

Giangreco, M. F., Doyle, M. B., & Suter, J. C. (2012). Constructively responding to requests for paraprofessionals: We keep asking the wrong questions.  Remedial and Special Education 33 (6), 362-373. 

Hamilton-Jones, B., & Vail, C. O. (2013). Preparing Special Educators for Collaboration in the Classroom: Pre-Service Teachers' Beliefs and Perspectives.  International Journal of Special Education 28 (1), 56-68. 

Stockall, N. S. (2014). When an aide really becomes an aid: Providing professional development for special education paraprofessionals.  Teaching exceptional children 46 (6), 197-205. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Collaborating with Paraprofessionals.


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