One on One Paraprofessional Schedule

Phew! The one on one aide for one of my students got approved! So after all that whoopla – now what to do with her? I completely revamped my student’s schedule since he know has a dedicated paraprofessional he can (hopefully) fit in a ton more work time! I updated his schedule, made a schedule for the aide, and also made a detailed schedule. I used the detailed schedule as a “quick reference guide” while I was training her earlier this week. I wanted to be absolutely explicit about my expectations for her. She is new to my classroom so I wanted to start things off on the right foot. I spent her first few days going through the entire schedule with her – modeling as we went and then watched her follow the routine with the student and provided corrective feedback.

Here is my student’s new schedule. It’s a very structured work/break routine. He responds very well to this. He is better having shorter work sessions with more breaks in between as opposed to a longer work session with a longer break. It is also better for him to have short breaks because if he plays on the iPad too long he tends to get kinda wound up. The scheduled breaks are 15 minutes but I think they will actually end up being more like 7/8 minutes each. The work tasks will likely go longer than the scheduled 15 minutes and I like to account for transitioning time as well.

The Autism Helper - Student Schedules

 

Here is the aide’s schedule:

The Autism Helper - Student Schedules

 

And here is the aide’s detailed schedule. It’s mostly major bullet points, kind of a translation of the main schedule. I think it’s important to include the most important comments and notes written down somewhere – not just told verbally. This detailed scheduled includes the major “must-dos.” This was VERY helpful when training the new aide. As you note – I also schedule what she should be doing while the student has break time. This is KEY. If you do not clearly state what they should be doing you will likely have a lot of off tasks behavior occurring (texting, chatting with other paraprofessionals, etc…).

The Autism Helper - Student Schedules

The Autism Helper - Student Schedules

 

20 Comments

  1. This makes so much sense! Why did I never think to make a list of specific para duties during each time block? So simple, but something I totally overlooked! I have been frustrated a lot lately with paras not doing what I need them to do at certain times. I’ve tried making more detailed student schedules, but its not getting better. Then, I thought maybe I should just say, “Ok, here is the list of what the student needs to accomplish. You decide when it gets done.” (To give the para more of a sense of control) That didn’t work either! (This is for my two lowest functioning students.)You’ve given me a great idea of what to do next… thanks!

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  2. I agree. This is also really helpful for me. I keep thinking that my paras should know what they are supposed to do, and get frusterated wtih them when they aren’t doing it. I have one para who has almost as much off task behavior as my students. I don’t know if this will help for the remainder of this year, but it is great for me for next year, if nothing else.

    The problem I also have is that my school goes operates on a daily 1-5 schedule, and the schedule is different (I also have different staff at different times) depending on what “day” it is. This has made it extra hard to keep everyone on task. I have been debating if everyone needs a “Day 1 Schedule” and a “Day 2 Schedule,” etc.

    I would love to see what kind of tasks you do during “factory” time, by the way.

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  3. My school is on a 7 day rotating schedule and each period changes as well! It was a pain in the butt to do, but I made day 1-7 (7 separated schedules for each para for each day). Once it was done it made life a lot easier!

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  4. I love actually being able to see your schedule. I too have experienced para problems. This year I have only had one para with 10 kiddos. We have worked together for three years now. I feel like Michelle above…should she not already know what to do? We have had the same kiddos for two and three years. Also, I have done the same thing as Reagan…here is what needs to get done. That failed too. Going to start fresh again next year. Thanks for sharing your ideas and class with us.

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  5. Glad to hear I’m not the only one dealing with the “rotating” schedule. It really makes making things “routine” and “predictible” hard! I have one para who is with me at different times depending on what “day” it is. Makes it hard for me and the other staff to keep track of, never mind the kids!

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  6. I would have to agree. One of the most difficult parts of my job is the para professions. I have done a task analysis on everything, just as you have shown. I still have seen the paras do what they want anyway regardless of training I give them. I also rarely let them take data, even Yes/No. ( the district does pay them horribly)

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  7. It helps me so much to see the examples of exact schedules, too.

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  8. You are welcome! Yes – I find that over scheduling and over detailing usually works better in the end!

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  9. Yes – I would definitely make a schedule for each day. More time at the start but it will make your life much easier. At factory time – it is similar to table time tasks but it is for bigger tasks (such as sorting, assembly etc.) that need to be somewhat setup before. So they couldn’t be just in a bin. (if that makes sense…)

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  10. Yes – ditto to Michelle! I would totally do that!!

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  11. I feel this way all the time (that paras should know what to do) but I have to keep reminding myself that part of my job is staff management. And yes maybe they “should” know what to do – but that doesn’t matter when they aren’t doing it!

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  12. So you never work with the student and he just has a velcro aid with him at all times? That just doesn’t seem right.

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  13. Nope not at all. In the detailed schedule – it explains that morning group is used for direct instruction with the teacher (I’m Ms. H in that schedule) and training the aide on new IEP goals. This way – once I am able to get the aide trained on new goals – she can run this program and we can get more done each day and move on to new goals more quickly. All of the programming the aide does in each station is set up and monitored by me. This is the same system we use with my entire class. Much of my job is training staff, setting up programs, and monitoring progress to ensure that each students’ day is academically full and all goals are being met.

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  14. I just don’t think that having a 1:1 aide is ever a good idea unless from the get-go you have a detailed plan, in writing, of how to fade them out and when. When you have a 1:1 aide it teaches students to be prompt dependent. We want our students to be attending to the teacher, not turning towards the aide for guidance all the time. Students who are 1:1 all day don’t have the opportunity to learn critical classroom skills (ie., waiting, compliance, group skills, transition skills, social skills, observational learning skills, etc.) I have 3 aides and my rule in my classroom is that they are “silent shadows”. The goal is for my students to attend to me and learn from whole group instruction. During all group transitions and instruction time I lead (ie., give all instructions and do all the talking) and they shadow (ie., prompt students if needed, reinforce students if needed). This works like a well oiled machine. If I didn’t do this when it was time to rotate centers I would have everyone in my room giving directions and everyone talking and way too much prompting going on. I think our kids need to learn to follow group instructions. This is critical for functioning in society and in life!

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  15. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Christine! I agree with the potential prompt dependence of a one on one aide however in a case where safety becomes a major concern a 1:1 aide can be essential. For this particular student – he has high rates of aggression, self injurious behavior, and running away. This extreme behaviors often took me and one of my aides (I only had two) away from our scheduled activities. This had a huge negative effect on the rest of the classroom who often missed out on significant instruction time. The one on one aide now assists me when dealing with high magnitude behaviors while the other aides can continue working with other students. Previous to receiving a dedicated aide – this student received all instruction one on one (from me and other two aides). Now that he has a dedicated aide – this has greatly increased the # of minutes he receives direct instructional services. Rather than the aide prompting the student throughout the day – she is running IEP goal programs and utilizing the behavior management plan to ensure that it is consistently implemented (which was not possible before due to prior staff constraints). Our kids do need to learn to follow group instructions however some students need to master the component skills of this task before they are able to do this. The particular classroom make up and needs of the student effect the appropriate use of a one on one paraprofessional. When safety is a serious concern – this becomes the number one priority in the classroom.

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  16. Do your aides have a desk in the room? If not where do you have them put there stuff? I am having an issue with my aide always sitting at her desk! I really like the detailed schedule I will have to try that for the start of next school year.

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  17. Scheduling seems great. However, how would you set it up if you have a 1:1 student: para ratio but the para changes every day? right now we are writing detailed schedules for daily so that the para assigned knows what to do with the student. Any suggestions so that it does not have to be written and explained so frequently?

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  18. I am a new para. I have been a teacher but moved to new state and need to take tests/reup certs etc so I took this position. Its extremely discouraging to read the teachers perspective on “aides.” What might one do in order for the teacher to basically recognize I am not an overpaid babysitter? After reading these comments I am second guessing accepting a position in this capacity.

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  19. The paras in my room are definitely NOT babysitters. They take data, teach new programs, and help make curricular decisions. Unfortunately it seems to be a common issue with some paras who are not very dedicated. That’s not to say that all paras are like that at all but unfortunately sometimes there is negative stereotype. Because there are so many paras who are AMAZING! I could not run my classroom for even a minute without mine! As long as you have a teacher who is willing to work together – you should be great!

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  20. I became a paraprofessional last year and this would have been extremely helpful to me! I saved your schedule to model it for possible future assignments.

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