A Guide to Co-Teaching With Paraeducators: Practical Tips for K-12 Educators

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Learn how paraeducators can positively impact the achievement of students with special needs in the inclusive classroom!

This comprehensive guide outlines how teachers and paraeducators can work together to improve outcomes for students with special needs while meeting standards in a climate of accountability. The authors highlight four approaches to co-teaching and school-system supports that allow for appropriate supervision and ongoing training. The book also provides:

  • Reproducible forms that teachers and paraeducators can use to establish effective co-teaching roles
  • Real-life accounts of three paraeducators
  • Concept maps, chapter summaries, and a glossary of terms for easy navigation

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Editorial Reviews

Melissa Miller
"This book provides a valuable resource for the best utilization of paraeducators in the classroom, with tips and tools for making this a successful process.”
Charlotte Kenney
“I have never seen another book that treats this topic with such depth in such an accessible manner.”
Mari Gates
“Easy to read and understand,this bookcontains many examples, resources, and up-to-date information pertinent to the role of paraeducators.”
Melissa Miller
"This book provides a valuable resource for the best utilization of paraeducators in the classroom, with tips and tools for making this a successful process.”
Charlotte Kenney
“I have never seen another book that treats this topic with such depth in such an accessible manner.”
Mari Gates
“Easy to read and understand,this bookcontains many examples, resources, and up-to-date information pertinent to the role of paraeducators.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412957649
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 8/15/2008
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 482,371
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann I. Nevin is professor emerita at Arizona State University and visiting professor at Florida International University. The author of books, research articles, and numerous chapters, Nevin is recognized for her scholarship and dedication to providing meaningful, practice-oriented, research-based strategies for teachers to integrate students with special learning needs. Since the 1970s, she has co-developed various innovative teacher education programs that affect an array of personnel, including the Vermont Consulting Teacher Program, Collaborative Consultation Project Re-Tool sponsored by the Council for Exceptional Children, the Arizona State University program for special educators to infuse self-determination skills throughout the curriculum, and the Urban SEALS (Special Education Academic Leaders) doctoral program at Florida International University. Her advocacy, research, and teaching spans more than 38 years of working with a diverse array of people to help students with disabilities succeed in normalized school environments. Nevin is known for action-oriented presentations, workshops, and classes that are designed to meet the individual needs of participants by encouraging introspection and personal discovery for optimal learning.

Learn more about Richard Villa's PD offerings

Richard A. Villa is president of Bayridge Consortium, Inc. His primary field of expertise is the development of administrative and instructional support systems for educating all students within general education settings. Villa is recognized as an educational leader who inspires and works collaboratively with others to implement current and emerging exemplary educational practices. His work has resulted in the inclusion of children with intensive cognitive, physical, and emotional challenges as full members of the general education community in the school districts where he has worked and consulted. Villa has been a classroom teacher, special education administrator, pupil personnel services director, and director of instructional services and has authored 4 books and over 70 articles and chapters. Known for his enthusiastic, humorous style, Villa has presented at international, national, and state educational conferences and has provided technical assistance to departments of education in the United States, Canada, Vietnam, and Honduras and to university personnel, public school systems, and parent and advocacy organizations.

Jacqueline S. Thousand is a professor in the College of Education at California State University, San Marcos, and coordinates the special education professional preparation and master's programs. She previously taught at the University of Vermont, where she directed Inclusion Facilitator and Early Childhood/Special Education graduate and postgraduate professional preparation programs and coordinated federal grants concerned with inclusion of students with disabilities in local schools. Thousand is a nationally known teacher, author, systems change consultant, and disability rights and inclusive education advocate. She has authored numerous books, research articles, and chapters on issues related to inclusive schooling, organizational change strategies, differentiated instruction and universal design, cooperative group learning, collaborative teaming and teaching, creative problem solving, and positive behavioral supports. Thousand is actively involved in international teacher education and inclusive education endeavors and serves on the editorial boards of several national and international journals.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
About the Authors
1. Why Paraeducators? What Experience, History, Law, and Research Say!
What Are Paraeducators?
When Did Paraeducators First Become a Part of the American Classroom?
Meet Paraeducators: Ms. O. and Ms. Begay
What Does the Research Say About Paraeducators?
What Are the Current Legislative Mandates Regarding Paraeducators?
What Are the Potential Legal Challenges?
2. Meet the Teams
Meet Ms. Hernandez: The Elementary School Paraeducator and Her Team
Meet Ms. Bartolo: The Middle School Paraeducator and Her Team
Meet Mr. Anderson: The Secondary School Paraeducator and His Team
3. Refining Roles and Responsibilities of Paraeducators
What Are the Variety of Roles and Responsibilities That Paraeducators Take On When They Work in Inclusive Classrooms?
What Are the Different Roles and Responsibilities for Others, Such as Classroom Teachers, When They Work With Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms?
What Is the Paraeducator's Role in the Instructional Cycle?
Gathering Information About Student Characteristics
Addressing Mismatches Between Student Characteristics and Classroom Demands
Ms. Hernandez: Elementary Paraeducator Roles and Responsibilities
Ms. Bartolo: Middle School Paraeducator Roles and Responsibilities
Mr. Anderson: Secondary School Paraeducator Roles and Responsibilities
4. Collaborative Processes: Tips and Strategies
Why Is the Collaborative Planning Process So Important?
What Are the Strategies to Make Planning Processes More Efficient?
What Are the Tips for Developing Interpersonal Relationships Among Team Members?
How Are Effective Planning Teams Assessed?
Ms. Hernandez: Elementary Collaborative Planning Scenario
Ms. Bartolo: Middle Level Collaborative Planning Scenario
Mr. Anderson: Secondary School Collaborative Planning Scenario
5. Co-Teaching and Collaborative Approaches
Who Can Be Co-Teachers?
What Are the Four Approaches to Co-Teaching That Paraeducators Are Most Likely to Experience When They Help Students in the General Education Classroom?
Supportive Co-Teachers
Parallel Co-Teachers
Complementary Co-Teachers
Team Teachers
How Can Paraeducators Be Co-Teachers?
In What Ways Does a Co-Teaching Lesson Plan Format Help to Guide Instruction?
Ms. Hernandez: Elementary Team Co-Teaching and Collaborative Approaches
Supportive, Parallel, and Complementary Co-Teaching in Second-Grade Homeroom Language Arts Time
Supportive, Parallel, and Complementary Co-Teaching in Third-Grade Homeroom Math Time
Ms. Bartolo: Middle School Co-Teaching and Collaborative Planning
Supportive, Parallel, and Complementary Co-Teaching in English Classes
Supportive and Complementary Co-Teaching in Science Class
Parallel Co-Teaching in the Learning Center
Mr. Anderson: Secondary Team Co-Teaching and Collaborative Planning
Adjusting Co-Teaching to Support Student Needs
Supportive and Parallel Co-Teaching in Social Studies
6. Systems Supports for Paraeducators' Success: Professional Development, Supervision, and Logistical Supports
What Professional Development Do Paraeducators Need and What Are the Skills Required for Paraeducators?
What Are the Approaches to Professional Development for Paraeducators?
What the Law Requires
What a Job Analysis Suggests
What Standards of Professional Organizations Suggest
What Should Paraeducators Expect From Teachers in Terms of Supervision and Coaching?
On-the-Job Training
Formal Professional Development
What Are Dimensions of Effective Supervision for Paraeducators?
What Supervision Is and Is Not
Melding Supervision and Professional Development: A Cyclical Model
What Are Logistical Supports? What Logistical Supports Help Paraeducators to Be Welcomed and Supported in Their Jobs?
Ms. Hernandez: Elementary Example of Professionl Development, Supervision, and Logistical Support
Ms. Bartolo: Middle School Paraeducator Example of Professional Development, Supervision, and Logistical Support
Mr. Anderson: Secondary School Paraeducator Example of Professional Development, Supervision, and Logistical Support
Summary and Your Next Steps
7. Paraeducator: Collaborative Members of Inclusive Teams
Advice From Paraeducators in Co-Taught Classrooms
What Opinions and Advice Do Paraeducators Offer?
Ms. Sheila's Experience
Ms. Andrea's Experience
A National Study of Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms
Common Issues of Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms
Roles of Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms
Advice Paraeducators Offer
Advice From Paraeducator Scenarios
Ms. Hernandez: Elementary Scenario
Ms. Bartolo: Middle School Scenario
Mr. Anderson: Secondary School Scenario
A: Co-Teaching Roles and Responsibilities Matrix
B: Gathering Information About Learners and Classroom Demands Template
C: Checklist of Supplementary Supports, Aids, and Services
D: Likes & Dislikes Team Summary
E: Planning Meeting Agenda
F: Are We Really a Collaborative Team?
H: Lesson Plan Template
I: Professional Development Opportunities and Informative Web Sites
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