Effective supervision of paraeducators

With larger and increasingly diverse classrooms, an overload of paperwork demands and personnel shortages galore, the relationship between the paraeducator and the teacher could not be more critical.

In this Quick Q&A with Ritu Chopra and Caron Westland, leaders of CEC 2015 Convention Workshop, Effective Supervision of Paraeducators:  Why, What, and How, they discuss how their Workshop will help teacher educators, administrators, and teachers who work with paraeducators improve the supervisory skills of teachers and create collaborative working relationships between paraeducators and teachers that benefit their students.

CEC 2015:  What is the most common issue you hear from paraeducators about their supervisors?

Chopra & Westland:  Paraeducators say that they have little or no formal preparation for their duties and look toward their supervisors to provide support. Then, when some teachers are reluctant to supervise them and or are unprepared to work effectively with them, there is a problem.  We know that paraeducators perform best when their teachers provide guidance and resources and treat them as valuable member of the team, including advocating for them to attend IEP meetings.  We’ll be talking a lot about research-based supervisory functions, interactive tools, and methods you can use to deliver supervision content to preservice and inservice special and general education teachers.

CEC 2015:  What is the most common issue you hear from teachers about supervising paraeducators?

Chopra & Westland:  Teachers say that they are not prepared for their role as supervisors of paraeducator and that their lack of preparation in supervision is due to the fact that the topic is neither adequately addressed in pre-service programs nor in professional development occurring after employment.  This is an issue not only for our teachers, but for our higher education colleagues and our administrator colleagues as well.  Teachers need administrative support and time to plan with, observe, and train paraeducators, and also need to understand how to clarify roles when paraeducators do not accept or acknowledge them as supervisors.

CEC 2015:  How can teacher educators prepare teachers to be effective supervisors?

Chopra & Westland:  We need to see pre-service and in-service training that focuses on research-based paraeducator supervision content, including knowledge of roles and responsibilities of the paraeducators related to instruction, intervention and direct services, as well as role clarification in terms of the ethical and legal role of paraeducators and teachers.  In the Workshop, we’ll be teaching skills in structuring and directing the work of the paraeducator, providing quality feedback, coaching, and evaluation, as well as problem solving and conflict management skills, which will come in handy in a variety of situations.

CEC 2015:  How will the Workshop help a teacher understand how to turn around a challenging teacher/paraeducator relationship?

Chopra & Westland:  Using the CEC paraeducator and special educator preparation and practice standards in supervising paraeducators, we’ll help you build skills in communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution, and show you how to utilize quality tools that support clarity in responsibilities, roles and communication.  It’s important for any teacher who’s trying to start a new working relationship or to mend a strained existing relationship with a paraeducator to understand the dynamics of supervising and evaluating an individual who might not have formal training.  We’ll show you the tools available for teachers to support paraeducators on a day-to-day basis and get to a win-win-win solution — for the teachers and the paraeducators and, most importantly, the students.

Register now for CEC 2015, the only special education event for ALL educators serving ALL students with NO limits. Already registered? You can add a Convention Workshop to your registration by calling Customer Service at 1-888-232-7733.

Dive deep into content with a CEC 2015 Strand

swimmer diveSoak up as much knowledge as you need

A strand is a group of sessions that has a common thread and offers a number of different ways to look at an issue or topic. Follow your passion for specific content by diving into all four of a Strand’s sessions, or dip your toe in with just a few. Create your own learning experience!

We’ve invited the top experts in the field to present content in depth and from a variety of perspectives in the following Strands:

  • RTI in Mathematics: Research-Based Innovations in Screening, Tier 2, and Tier 3
  • Preparing Individuals With Autism for the World of Adulthood
  • How Can We Make Intensive Intervention Happen? Considerations for Knowledge Development, Implementation, and Policy
  • Common Core: Connecting the Dots to Educational Planning
  • Using Research-Based Practices to Teach Academic Skills to Secondary Students With Disabilities
  • When PCS Means “Planning Consistent Services”: Children With Disabilities in Military Families
  • Educational Strategies and Interventions for High School Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Practices and Support Systems for English Learners

Don’t forget to get the credit you deserve! You’ll be eligible to earn Professional Development Hours for each Strand session you attend and you can track your activities session by session with an easy online system — for no additional fee!

Help your students become socially competent

FriendsOneInWheelchairFor some of your students, making friends may be difficult. Learn how to help them develop relationships in Friendship 101: Helping Students Build Social Competence, a Convention Workshop. Based on the book of the same name, workshop leaders & book authors Kelly Whalon & Juliet Hart Barnett will teach you how to:

  • Learn to enhance the social competence of students with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities with a range of instructional strategies.
  • Describe important social skill targets for children and youth with ASD and DD.
  • Implement user-friendly assessment methods to determine instructional targets for important social skills.

Register today and help your students develop life-long friendships.

Already registered for the convention? You can add this or any of our workshops to your registration by calling Customer Service at 888-232-7733.

Grammy-Ready: Famous San Diego Musicians

A concert in Embarcadero Marina Park

Awards season continues this Sunday night with the airing of the 57th Grammy Awards (February 8 on CBS, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). To get you in the mood to sing and dance, here are some San Diego-born musical artists and some of their biggest hits.

Tom Waits

Genres: Rock, avant-garde, experimental, folk, blues, jazz

While his music is best known after it’s been performed by someone else (like “Jersey Girl,” covered by Bruce Springsteen, or “Downtown Train,” covered by Rod Stewart), Tom Waits’ distinctive voice and experimental musical styles have earned him a cult following. He’s a Grammy award winner and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.


Genres: Pop-punk, alternative rock

Play the first few seconds of “All the Small Things,” and you’ll get the attention of every millenial or pop-punk enthusiast in the room. The band has sold over 35 million albums and inspired a diverse range of acts such as Fall Out Boy, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Mumford & Sons.

Nick Cannon

Genre: Hip hop

While he’s now best known for his acting work and his marriage to Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon began his career as part of a rap group that opened for artists like Will Smith and LFO in the late ’90s. While he’s only released two studio albums, Cannon also runs Ncredible Entertainment, which manages several hip-hop groups.

Adam Lambert

Genres: Pop, pop-rock, dance, electronic

The runner-up from American Idol season 8, Lambert’s fame has far surpassed that of the season winner (Kris Allen). His debut album. For Your Entertainment, has become iconic for its cover art – the album even made an appearance in a scene from Pitch Perfect. In 2014, Lambert and Queen went on a world tour, selling out their show at Madison Square Garden in just one day.

Frank Zappa

Genres: Rock, jazz, classical, electronic, experimental

Number 71 on Rolling Stone‘s 2004 list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,” Frank Zappa had a career spanning more than 30 years. He posthumously received both an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.


Bonus San Diego music fun fact: While the Beach Boys are often associated with San Diego, they hail from Hawthorne, California, 120 miles north. Who knew?

Preliminary program now available!

early-bird-coverHave you had a chance to check out the preliminary program for CEC 2015? Inside, you’ll find workshop descriptions, special events, and an invitation from CEC President Jim Heiden.

You can view the preliminary program online now! If you need help persuading your school/district/county/offspring/etc. that CEC 2015 is a valuable experience for you, send them the link and show them just how much knowledge you’ll gain over the course of the conference.

And remember, early bird registration has been extended – but not for long! Register by February 2 to get the best rates for CEC 2015!