At LONG last (I realize that I have been away for a while…), I have randomly chosen a winner of my job-embedded paraprofessional curriculum. I placed the names of the commenters in a hat, and had my nine-year old draw one lucky winner (he loves to get into the action!).
The winner is Megan Gross! Megan is an instructional support teacher at an elementary school in Northern California. She currently supports students with mild to moderate disabilities in their general education classes, grades K-2, and has previously worked as an inclusion specialist for students with mild to severe disabilities at an inclusive junior high. She has been asked to support her campus in providing paraprofessional training.
Additionally, Megan is the co-author of ParaEducate, a wonderful book written for paraeducators, by paraeducators. It is a highly valuable resource that I have used to inform my practice, and I think you should check it out to further your understanding of how to support paraprofessionals in the work they do everyday. Megan and her co-author, Renay Marquez, also have a blog dedicated to their ongoing work for ParaEducate. I highly recommend you add it to your reading list!
I am THRILLED that Megan is the winner, as I am anxious for a person that is immersed and knowledgeable in the training and support of paraeducators, as well as the inclusion of students with disabilities, to take a closer look and potentially use my work paired with hers.
Congratulations, Megan! I look forward to our future conversations together!
Do yourself a favor and check out my previous posts that gave an overview and furtherdetails about this fabulous curriculum that you must have!! I have spent a lot of my blog time focused on this curriculum for a reason. It is the perfect time of the year to be thinking about paraprofessional training, and even more appropriate to think about how to do it in your own schools, with your own teams, engaging in conversation about your own students in a staff development format that is grounded in research and what we know about adult and student learning!
In this final post about the curriculum, I will describe the remaining two instructional parts and the units that comprise them. Please don’t forget to comment or ask questions, as you will be entered into the drawing to receive a free copy of the curriculum! All comments and questions from this post, as well as any from the first two posts will be entered for the drawing, and will be awarded next week!
The curriculum is divided into the following four instructional parts, with a total of seven instructional units:
Overview of the four instructional parts of the curriculum and the seven individual units
The first two parts were described here. The parts that I would like to describe today are units three through seven. These five units are especially useful in schools for paraprofessional training. They comprise the instructional and academic areas, as well as promote understanding of behavior and relationships of the students they support. While the first two units concentrate on laying groundwork for paraprofessionals to understand their roles in inclusive settings, the five units I will describe today offer skill development and tools for paraprofessionals to use every day in their work with students. Continue reading →
My last post introduced you to this valuable curriculum resource. As I said in that post, the timing of taking a closer look at paraprofessional staff development is purposeful at this point of the year. When reviewing IEPs and writing new ones for next year, we look forward to how students will be supported within general education successfully. Paraprofessionals are a piece of that puzzle that cannot and should not be overlooked or under-acknowledged. I do not believe everyone needs a paraprofessional to be successful in general education classrooms and settings, but when individual needs warrant it, then those paraprofessionals must be trained to do their jobs well. Continue reading →
Lately I have been working with a number of parents and schools during this busy time of year, when IEPs are needing to be revisited and plans for next year put in place for kids with disabilities (take a minute to read my posts about IEPs for some ideas of where to begin and important things to think about during this very necessary, and hopefully meaningful, process).
During the conversations I have been having lately, it dawned on me that when people are planning for next year and thinking about what did or didn’t work well this year, the use of paraprofessionals to support kids with disabilities is a central issue that can make or break a student’s success. IEPs that include paraprofessionals must consider quality professional development and the time to do that development effectively for paraprofessionals. Now is the time to start thinking about how that can look, and planning when it will happen. I have a great resource to offer. Continue reading →
I have the distinct pleasure of reviewing and sharing my thoughts about my esteemed colleague and friend Dr. Paula Kluth’s latest work with Landlocked Films and Brookes Publishing. Paula has just released a DVD and Professional Development Package, based on her best-selling book, You’re Going to Love This Kid! .
For years, I have been giving this book to parents and school professionals as the go-to book for understanding how to create inclusive classrooms, especially for students that are on the autism spectrum. I have given it as teacher gifts, as food for thought, and as a reference that is like no other in book form….it has been the closest thing to being with Paula in a personal conversation about how it can look for kids….until now. Continue reading →
Another recent reflection of mine...Mirror Lake at Yosemite National Park. Inspirational!
It has been a busy couple of months for me. I have been in circles of people that are my academic superheroes, and if you will allow me to – I would love to drop a few names before reflecting about my learning in this post.
Linda Darling-Hammond spoke at a PTA event that I attended, where she talked about her book, The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future. An incredible evening where she spoke about what she knows about the US and how our education is being impacted by the high stakes assessment and funding streams that exist, which create not only an achievement gap as we typically would define it, but an experiences gap that affects kids around the country. In places like Palo Alto, California, where I heard her speak and she is a local, the difference in per pupil spending dwarfs that of neighboring schools in nearby San Jose. Her data was hard to hear about how this affects the kids in schools, and how many places throughout the US experience much the same gap. Continue reading →
One of my favorite things to think and learn about throughout my graduate studies was the topic of organizational change. It is a topic that is rich with theories, research, action plans, buzz words and reams and reams of paper written about what it is, how it manifests itself, and how to be a leader within it. I love thinking about it, and even more, I love talking to people in schools about how to attain it, and what it could look like. Continue reading →