On August 9th, ESU10 hosted our annual Para Educator training with 61 paras in attendance.. This year, we had the pleasure of bringing in keynote speaker, Heather Robbins. Heather is a behavioral consultant who contracts her services with NeMTSS and Nebraska PBiS. The theme for this year’s keynote was Para Eyes, Para Ears, and Para Helping Hands. The first question she asked the participants was, “What do you want to be for students, staff, and parents?” Below are their compiled responses to this question:
The majority of her keynote was centered around the day in the life of a para. She took them through an activity where they recorded their duties by the hour throughout a school day on wall chart paper. Once they were finished, she went from each one-hour time frame and discussed many of the duties that were recorded. The overall takeaway from the activity was to showcase to the paras just how much they are responsible for each day in the districts they serve. She also emphasized that schools couldn’t do what they do without the help and support of the paraprofessionals in their buildings. Presentations the remainder of the morning session consisted of sharing content that we review with them each year: roles/responsibilities, professionalism/confidentiality, communication, and Special Education considerations.
Participants were able to choose breakouts during the afternoon session based on their area of interest. The Teaching & Learning department partnered with the Special Education department to provide topics that would be applicable and meaningful to each participant’s responsibilities within their districts. Breakout sessions are listed below.
In addition to our August training, paras will have two additional opportunities to receive professional learning through one-hour Zoom sessions. The topics for the sessions will be determined based on participant feedback.
Paraprofessionals Aren’t An "EXTRA". They’re Essential to Student Success