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A paraprofessional is one of the most important contributors to classroom management. A paraprofessional helps the education professional manage their classrooms more efficiently and plays a role in the development of students. A paraprofessional monitors student behavior, prepares classroom material, monitors examinations and performs administrative duties so that a teacher can concentrate on instruction.
A paraprofessional is an educational professional who assists the classroom teacher implement student lessons, manage the classroom environment and administer assignments. A paraprofessional has the ability to assist in various settings such as adult education programs, community colleges, preschools and middle and high school education centers.
Paraprofessionals work in a variety of settings but can also be seen in many other roles besides just the traditional classroom aide. A paraprofessional is able to venture into various areas such as assisting special education children with learning and/or physical disabilities, an instructional aide for individual student tutoring, a preschool assistant for early childhood centers, a library assistant and a bilingual assistant for ESL (English as a second language) students.
State and Regional Requirements
Depending on the region and state, each employer has their own particular requirements for paraprofessionals; therefore research each individual employer for specific job and education requirements. In certain states, there are special federal educational requirements for paraprofessionals who work with students who are a part of Title I programs.
To become a paraprofessional in most states, a high school diploma or equivalent with no experience is the only requirement. However, there are several states that require college-level courses in English, math, science and social studies to quality for a paraprofessional position or the completion of a two-year paraprofessional certification program mandated by the individual state. Most states have a two-year paraprofessional training program that includes individual training with a designated school district while collaborating with a local community college.
Special Federal Education Requirement
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has implemented special education requirements for paraprofessionals who work with students in designated states who receive Title I funding. A paraprofessional must pass a state/local assessment demonstrating proficiency in reading, writing, and math and reading readiness or hold a two-year college degree. Verify with your individual state education board for information and additional requirements.
Cynthia Batiste is a freelance writer who has over 10 years of recruiting, staffing and career instructor experience. She currently writes for Demand Studios, holds a Bachelors degree from Midwestern State University and is currently working on her Masters degree in training and development.