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.

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.

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!

Reading to succeed

LSLStudents with disabilities often struggle with literacy. How can you help them? In Growing the Brain for Listening & Spoken Language as the Foundation for Literacy, our workshop leaders will help you think about how to expand literacy beyond reading. You’ll:

  • Learn auditory-verbal teaching strategies and techniques to teach spoken language through listening.
  • Understand how auditory-verbal teaching strategies and techniques can be used with children’s literature to develop exceptional conversational skills.
  • Apply strategies and techniques in the classroom so that ALL children–especially those with hearing loss–can become engaging conversationalists and develop grade-appropriate literacy and academic skills.

Register today to help all your students read to succeed.

P.S. – Early bird conference savings end January 26. Register now and save!

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.

Get your swag on at CEC 2015

SWAG: Stuff We All Get. The best place to score free stuff? At the CEC 2015 Expo Hall.

Expo Panorama short

There, you’ll find 200+ exhibiting companies who feature the products and services your students need. Plus, network with other attendees and exhibitors at the President’s Welcome Reception on Wednesday, and at the all-new Happy Hour on Friday. Visit the CEC area for updates on policy at the Legislative Action Center, and pick up a new book in the CEC Bookstore. The Expo Hall is the place to be at CEC 2015. Admission is free with your registration.

View a current list of exhibitors here.