A Paraprofessional is a person who works alongside the professional of a said field. In the school setting it is a person who works alongside a Special Education teacher. That's me!
I have been a "para" for over 14 years. My last 9 years have been here at Mound Westonka. I am privileged everyday, to be a part of student's learning. We as adults have forgotten the struggles of learning and the things a student carries in their hearts and minds besides learning. Many times I have a student who says,"I read slow, I am dumb," or the classic, "I don't know it, I will never get it." Typical high school angst but with some of the students I work with you have to add the students specific hurdle. If your a track person you know hurdles can be mastered with lots of practice, as adults we have experienced the successes of a lot of practice; students not so much.
I get to see the rewards that come with a students efforts. I spend time in classrooms and watch the interactions of teacher and student. All I can say is, WOW! I've seen a lot! I've seen students who would take a "0" instead of giving the required speech, have para's that help and cheer them to speaking. Some students go from turning in late work or no work to getting things in on time. We have teachers take the time to give extra guidance or a pep talk. Fellow students, yes fellow students take time to give guidance or a pep talk. Peer examples are abundant. Peer acceptance is abundant. I am proud to be a part of something that pushes and supports students to be the best they can be.
If you have a story that you would like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information! We would love to hear from you!