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A paraprofessional, although not a licensed teacher, either assists or performs many of the same duties as a certified teacher. Paraprofessionals are valuable assets to the classroom culture and so have rapidly become essentially incorporated into most classroom models. From preschools to middle schools to adult education programs, paraprofessionals work in a variety of settings. The process for becoming a paraprofessional is unique in general and also can be unique from one educational agency to another.
Gather any documents pertaining to your professional background, accomplishments and educational training i.e., resume, curriculum vital, transcripts and references.
Prepare electronic and print hard copies of all professional and academic documentation.
Create an email account or designate an email account in anticipation of communicating and/or sending electronic copies of professional and academic documentation.
Do Your Research
Search online for paraprofessional job descriptions so that you have a clear understanding of standards in regards to basic skills needed and tasks performed.
Identify your local department of education and board of education, office locations and websites. Most have online sites. In addition, they display current positions within specific departments, classrooms and will identify individual school openings within the district.
Make note of contacts within the department of education and board of education, recruitment and/or human resource departments.
Visit, call or request information about becoming a paraprofessional from your city, county or district board of education and/or your state department of education.
Obtain a schedule of any information sessions, training and application deadlines. In addition, attend any courses that enhance skills and prepare you for working in the classroom environment.
Attend any meetings, forums and information sessions.
Follow the Process
Mail resume and cover letter to agencies that have requested that employment inquiries be mailed.
Email resume and cover letter to agencies that have provided an email address.
Complete employment applications and return.
Sign up for and attend any workshops or training sessions that prepare you for professional exams for which you must pass in order to become certified as a paraprofessional.
Check bookstores for training manuals that prepare you for any testing requirements or provide further occupational outlook and insight into the overall role and tasks of a paraprofessional.
Network with other professionals in the education field such as teachers, administrative professionals and other paraprofessionals.
Become aware of all hours of operations of relevant departments such as human resources and administrative offices at schools.
Valerie Lenon entered the writing profession in 2000 as a freelance proofreader. Her work has appeared in religious publications such as "The Max" newsletter and "Change" magazine. Lenon honed her writing and editing skills through professional-development courses at Troy University. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in writing and linguistics from Georgia Southern University.