2023 Pennsylvania Department of Education (In-Person) Conference

47. Working with Paraeducators Effectively: 8 Tips for Supporting Paraeducators in Your Classroom

Hershey Lodge and Convention Center Google Maps

Session Dates

Thursday March 02, 2023 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM - Hershey Lodge and Convention Center


A rising number of paraeducators are employed nation-wide as part of the special education service delivery for students with disabilities. With continued emphasis on inclusive practices, schools are presented with one of the most important challenges facing the field of education: how to provide services to students with disabilities that are effective and least restrictive. In response to this challenge, schools often rely on paraeducators as an integral part of the instructional process for students with disabilities. Paraeducators are now providing small group instruction, 1-to-1 academic instruction, and targeted interventions. Although the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and mandates of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) require that paraeducators are adequately trained and supervised for their specific roles, research consistently highlights that paraeducators often lack the formal preparation and professional development needed to carry out their responsibilities. Additionally, with a lack of paraeducator supervision-specific content embedded within pre-service teacher preparation programs, teachers report feeling unprepared with their supervisory roles. Although preparing teachers to effectively manage the paraeducators in their classroom can be challenging, utilizing paraeducators appropriately in the classroom can be valuable to both teachers and students. Researchers have consistently pointed out that the effective use of paraeducators depends on the teacher’s ability to integrate paraeducators into the classroom settings. Further, the dynamic established between the teacher and paraeducator can impact the quality of services provided to students with disabilities. In this session, eight tips for managing and supporting paraeducators will be shared.

Target Audience

General education and special education administrators and teachers, paraprofessionals, school psychologists, professional development staff, and families of students with disabilities are encouraged to attend.

Topics Covered: Special Education Law

Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate individuals who have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and who need assistance at this event. Contact: Debra Jordan at (610) 878-7224 or djordan@pattan.net.

Event Info

Event Type:



Emily Sobeck Ph.D.

Event Contact:

Content Contact:

Barbara Gilligan
(800) 441-3215 ext. 7247

Additional Info

By registering for the PDE Conference, you authorize PDE/BSE/PaTTAN to record and edit into the program and related materials your name, likeness, image, voice and participation in and performance on film, tape or otherwise for use in the above program or parts thereof. You agree that the Program may be edited and otherwise altered at the sole discretion of the producer and used in whole or in part for any and all broadcasting, non-broadcasting, audio/visual, and/or exhibition purposes in any manner or media, in perpetuity.

Inclement Weather: The conference will take place rain or shine, regardless of weather conditions.