Paraprofessionals tutor students, assess learning mastery and provide basic instruction under a licensed teacher. According to the "Connecticut Guidelines for Training Paraprofessionals," published by the Connecticut State Department of Education, the need for qualified paraprofessionals in the state is growing. As of the 2005-2006 school year, more than 12,000 paraprofessionals worked in Connecticut schools. Those with a passion for education and a desire to shape the next generation, may find this a rewarding career.
Have a high school diploma and two years of college or pass the ParaPro Assessment exam designed by the CSDE. The Federal No Child Left Behind Act, requires Title I paraprofessionals (a program which funds remedial programs for schools with a certain percentage of low-income students) obtain these requirements to receive funding.
Find a paraprofessional position. Open positions are posted on the Connecticut Education Association website. The summer and winter break holiday are the most popular times to hire paraprofessionals.
Pass a background check and fingerprint test. According to Connecticut Public Act 93-328, applicants who have committed a felony or have allegations of child molestation or abuse can't become paraprofessionals.
Attend the school district's orientation session. The CSDE recommends each school provide paraprofessionals with maps of the school, safety information and their role in instruction. For special education paraprofessionals, continuing education on learning styles, behavioral intervention and reading instruction are recommended.
If there are no paraprofessional openings, try being a substitute teacher. It is easier to get a permanent position, once the staff knows you are competent.
Both the background check and fingerprints cost money and are generally not covered by the school system. Background checks cost approximately $10 and fingerprint tests cost $50.