Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Adding IAs to the Equation

As a former paraprofessional, I have always prided myself on knowing what it takes to be a successful and effective classroom aide in a special education environment and what supports I needed in order to do my job efficiently.

Knowing this has made my transition from classroom aide into supervising teacher a much smoother one. I have attempted to establish a classroom environment where my staff feels welcome, invested, and respected for the jobs they do.

For the last two years, I have had two exceptional aides who often went above and beyond what was required of them. It took me a while to understand which areas I needed to give and take with them – and at what times it was important to stand firm in what I wanted for the classroom. Thankfully, my aides were open to learning new programs and materials that they hadn’t previously used, and they offered invaluable suggestions with the day-to-day running of the classroom.

As I look forward to another school year in a new school with a new group of paraprofessionals, I thought I would share the letter I gave my aides at my previous school when I started with them two years ago and the letter which I will be giving to my aides at my new job site. I wanted to give them my expectations for the school year to come and have something physical to refer back to in case any disagreements should arise.

I don’t remember where I had gotten the original template from but I’ve tweaked it a few times at this point to reflect my current classroom. Feel free to download here it and do the same! 

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  1. Such a smart idea! I may have to steal it and use it with my staff! :) Love your blog!

    The Adventures of Room 83