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    Saturday, July 29, 2023

    Top Tips for Paraprofessional Management during Large Group Activities

    Do you find yourself getting frustrated with your paraprofessionals during large group activities? Sometimes you feel like you are swimming in a rocky ocean all alone... and other times you can't hear yourself give directions over the level of verbal prompts happening. 🫣😬 Typically this boils down to a couple things... lack of training and communication.

    Remedy this common struggle with these tips:

    • Set Clear Expectations: Define roles and responsibilities for paraprofessionals during large group activities. Clarify their support tasks, behavioral strategies, and communication protocols.
    Bright Rainbow Editable Paraprofessional Role Sheets

    • Team Communication: Foster open communication between teachers and paraprofessionals. Regular meetings ensure everyone is on the same page and can discuss any concerns or improvements. I liked to meet with my team weekly to discuss current questions or concerns and discuss lessons for the week ahead. This helps paraprofessionals feel heard, confident, and prepared.

    • Provide Training: Offer ongoing training sessions to enhance paraprofessionals' skills and knowledge. Some areas to prioritize may include:
      • behavior management techniques
      • understanding disabilities
      • differentiation
      • reinforcement strategies
      • data collection
      • fostering an inclusive environment.
    Boho Watercolor Editable Paraprofessional Role Sheets

    • Flexibility: Be adaptable to changing situations during large group activities, and encourage paraprofessionals to be flexible with their support methods accordingly. If you feel the need to pivot in the moment, communicate that! Sometimes paraprofessionals can get frustrated if you discussed facilitating a lesson in one way and switch it up in the moment. 

    • Breaks and Self-Care: Remind paraprofessionals to take short breaks if needed and prioritize self-care to maintain their effectiveness in the classroom.
    Bright Rainbow Editable Paraprofessional Role Sheets

    • Celebrate Success: Acknowledge and celebrate achievements, both big and small, for students and paraprofessionals. A positive atmosphere boosts motivation.

    • Debriefing Sessions: After activities, hold debriefing sessions to reflect on successes and challenges. Encourage feedback from paraprofessionals to continually improve teamwork.

    By implementing these practical tips, you'll create a harmonious and supportive environment for both students and paraprofessionals, ensuring a successful learning experience in your special education classroom. 🌈"

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