dcsimg

Career Story: Paraprofessional Assistant To A Special Needs Student

Paraprofessional Assistant To A Special Needs Student

Job Title: ParaEducator

Type of Company: I work for a school district in a rural community.

Education: AS, General Studies

Previous Experience: I raised three children and worked in a day care center.

Job Tasks: I assist special needs students with their everyday tasks at school.

On a typical day I get my student off the bus, follow him to the cafeteria where he picks up his breakfast and escort him to class. I make sure that he unpacks his backpack and hands in his homework. Depending on the severity of the disability, I assist him with his classwork. If we are writing, for example, I may give him two choices of what to write about and continue with the choices until we have a paragraph written. I assist him with manipulatives in math to make it easier for him to solve problems. Spelling requires repetition and we use a white board or word cards.

Reading is enjoyable for him and I let him do this whenever he has free time. Whatever the student needs to accomplish I make it bite-size and break it down into morsels he can handle. I walk with him around school for breaks and assist him in music, art and physical education. I let him be independent where he can be to build confidence and self-esteem. My student may change from year to year, therefore, I have to figure out and differentiate the way I provide assistance to the student. What works for one student may not work for another.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing what growth the student has made during the time we worked together. I love watching students progress, academically and socially. I need to see results to feel fulfilled. What I don't like about my job is that sometimes I get a student who is not able to perform in school and I am basically a caregiver. This is not a challenge for me and I never get to see any progress.

Job Tips: What I would tell someone who wants to start a career in education, as a paraprofessional or a teacher, is to keep an open mind, be optimistic and don't forget to be respectful. Treat your students like you would want to be treated. You're a role model to them and can make a difference in their life; you can turn it around. Too many times adults are negative and they get a negative result. Remain positive in your approach and your result will be positive.

Popular Schools offering Teacher Assisting Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Ashford University

  • Programs: Education, Technology & Online Learning - Bachelors, Education, Technology & Online Learning - Masters, Higher Education - Bachelors, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).

  • Programs: Online Accelerated Teaching Certification
  • Degrees: Certificate

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

  • Programs: Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology
  • Degrees: Master

Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Degrees: Master

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

  • Programs: Instructional Design & Technology
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Teacher Assistants

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Teacher Assistants, including:

Back to Top