Becoming a Paraprofessional
Paraprofessionals are an essential part of the education system—think of them as classroom all-stars. They may work closely with teachers on general classroom lessons or tasks, or work one-on-one with students who have special needs or disabilities. Paraprofessionals can be found in preschools, elementary schools, secondary schools, or alternate schools. Their tasks may include:
- Assisting teachers with lessons or classroom activities.
- Assisting teachers with paperwork.
- Helping teachers with lesson planning.
- Preparing classroom equipment or technology.
- Working with students who need individualized attention in the classroom.
- Supplementing classroom lessons with additional guidance or activities.
- Tutoring students who need extra help.
- Monitoring student behavior both in the classroom and at school activities.
- Assisting students who have special physical needs (lifting, feeding, moving).
- Processing homework.
- Taking classroom attendance.
Paraprofessionals may also choose to specialize. For example, some paraprofessionals work in school library media centers. Some are assigned to specific classrooms. Some work exclusively with special education students.
Interested in becoming a para?
- Minimum requirement of two years of college (48 semester credits), a two-year degree, or completion of the Para Pro Assessment.
- High School diploma or GED preferred.
- Experience working with technology.
- Ability to work as a team member.
- Ability to work with diverse student populations.
- Ability to assist in resolving conflicts between students.
- CPR/First Aid certified or willingness to obtain.
- Effective teaming and communication skills.
- Strong initiative and ability to work independently.
- Knowledge and experience with applied behavior techniques.
- Regular, on-time attendance is required.