As a teacher we wear many hats, we wear the direct service with students hat, the working with parents hat, the collaborating with clinicians hat, the IEP writing hat, and then there is one more hat we often forget about. It’s the training and managing your staff hat. It is part of your job to train and mange your staff. Repeat that with me, “It is part of your job to train and mange your staff.” This will take time. Sometimes a lot of time. This will be part of your daily job duties. You cannot forget about this. Your classroom will never be successful with staff management. Scared you yet?
The first step in my para staff management is my Paraprofessional Training Guide. I’ve gotten some great feedback on it and have seen first hand some of the great conversations and training this resources provides. The next step is to set up your paraprofessionals for success. There are some must-haves for your staff just like there are for your students.
You need a schedule for every staff member in your classroom. No excuses. This is a must-have. Make is simple and easy to follow. I post each of my staff members’ schedule near their station or in their data binder so they always have access to it.
Just like we need calendars as much as coffee – our paras need calendars, too. I made a calendar for one of my paras for when we are doing each set of activities. This station will be rotating between 3 activities each done for a week at a time (a week of comprehension, a week of spelling, and a week of writing). This calendar lays it our clearly and simply!
Visuals & Labels
Make sure everyone is one the same page and provide some prompts and cheat sheets. Managing several students’ goals, data sheets, and behavioral needs can be overwhelming! Make it easy and add some visuals! Keeping track of so many supplies can be chaotic as well. Labeling every bin and binder will make everyone’s life easier.
Easy to Use Data Sheets
Of course, the bedrock of paraprofessional success is creating easy to use data sheets. If your data sheet is too complicated – guess what will happen? That data sheet will collect loads of dust and your lovely little station will be data free.
So ask yourself a serious question – are you setting up your paraprofessionals for success?