dcsimg

Career Story: Paraprofessional Escort For Emotionally Disturbed Students

Paraprofessional Escort For Emotionally Disturbed Students

Job Title: Educational Paraprofessional

Type of Company: I work for a small school district near Lowell, Massachusetts.

Education: AS, English •• Consultation with experts in field of Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis •• Many courses, seminars and workshops related to Autism.

Previous Experience: I owned and operated a small school bus company for 11 years, which gave me some behavior management skills/practice. I've worked as a special education paraprofessional for 24 years and provided respite and home service hours for 10 years.

Job Tasks: I work with students who have difficulty accessing the curriculum, and who have behavioral issues. My job is to keep them safe, and on task, and to help them learn in ways that best suit them.

I use basic sign language for students that need it; I create materials for students who need visual supports (picture schedules, picture packs for vocabulary, photos of relevant staff members and peers, etc) and I step in to substitute for the classroom teacher when she is absent or at meetings. For home services, I work with children and parents to help parents understand and apply the methods used in their child's daily education. We go on trips in the community, or play with siblings, or cook, or try novel foods. (Some of my students have very limited food preferences, and building a program to help them expand their food experience and tolerance can be a challenge for Mom and Dad. An educational support can help.)

I also build and maintain relationships with my students' peers and help them do the same. Everybody benefits! Ordinary students learn the value of helping others and tolerance and acceptance, while my students learn incidental lessons from having friends that are interested in them and willing to help them. I also run discreet trials of learning programs and keep data on the students efforts.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is seeing your students succeed and triumph over tasks that were difficult. To see pride on the face of a child who knows that he or she has finally mastered something that has been a struggle, is incredibly rewarding for an educator.

The toughest part of the job for many paraprofessionals comes with dealing with tantrums or physical and verbal outbursts. A student may attack physically out of frustration, or mimic unkind verbal phrases that have been learned, and paraprofessionals need to recognize that the attack is not personal, and put into place the behavior plans that have been written and practiced for these instances.

Job Tips:
1. Get as much education and understanding in the area of special education as you can.

2. Educate yourself for any specialty that you might like to pursue.

3. The army is wrong...THIS is the toughest job you'll ever love. Don't go into it if you are not tough, caring and have a lot of love and compassion to spare!

Additional Thoughts: I started out in this job as a sub for 2 weeks...and have been here for 24 years. I make a positive difference in the lives of students each and every day, sometimes by researching a method of presenting information in a new way, and sometimes by giving a compliment or a high five on the playground. It is rewarding to feel as though I'm giving back to a world that has been very good to me.

Popular Schools offering Teacher Assisting Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.

  • Programs: MS - Teaching and Learning
  • Degrees: Master

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: MA Teaching: Middle Grades, M.Ed. - Teaching and Learning, M.Ed: Teaching & Learning Student Services, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Associate

Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.

  • Programs: Preliminary Education Specialist Credential, M.A. Education with Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, M.A. Education with Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential, more...
  • Degrees: Master

NU has been educating leaders since 1934 at our campus near Seattle. If you have a dream, we can help make it possible.

  • Programs: Master's in Education, Certificate in Ministry Leadership, Associate in Ministry Leadership, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Certificate, Associate

St. Thomas University offers fully online business and education graduate degrees built on a 50-year tradition of scholastic excellence, community leadership, and faith-focused values.

  • Programs: M.S. in TESOL
  • Degrees: Master

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Global Training and Development - EdS, E-Learning - EdS, MEd - Reading Education, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Concordia University, Nebraska offers accredited Master of Education and Master of Science degree programs online to help advance your career and become a transformative leader.

  • Programs: M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction with Instructional Technology Leadership Emphasis, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with Curriculum Supervisor Certification, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program.

  • Programs: M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies, M.Ed. in Career and Technical Education, M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Common Core State Standards Instructional Leader, more...
  • 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:

SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104