Do any of you folks have experience using paraprofessionals to assist in your math classes that include Chapter One students? Teachers are used to closing the classroom door and working with their students "in isolation". Now we have been given paraprofessionals who are supposed to work alongside of us and we are struggling with these roles? We suspect that we are not fully utilizing these folks to work in the best interests of the students who we are supposed to be serving. Some of our uneasiness comes from the newness of the arrangement.
How can we design our lessons so that these paraprofessionals will make a REAL difference in our classrooms? At the moment, the paraprofessionals help with grading, xeroxing, and such clerical work. Their contact with students comes during regularly scheduled classes when a task is presented to the entire class and the Para and the teacher "float" around the classroom providing assistance as it is needed. The whole thing seems sort of "hit or miss" and doesn't seem a whole lot better than just having one teacher in the room.
I am a consultant for a middle school (grades 7,8) and we are wrestling with this problem. This is the end of the first year with paras and it just seems as if there is more promise to this arrangement than is being realized. We want to do better by our students than we are now. Any suggestions? Thanks. Linda -- Linda Dodge Math Consultant Frontier Regional High School South Deerfield, MA