Paraprofessional skills and qualifications
A Paraprofessional needs a unique set of skills and qualifications to succeed, including:
- Excellent written and verbal communication
- Ability to assist in classroom instruction and learning
- Great attention to detail
- Ability to work closely with children
- Excellent teamwork skills
- Ability to remain calm and patient at all times
- Knowledge of classroom subjects
What does a Paraprofessional do?
Paraprofessionals work at public or private schools to enrich each student’s experience in class and help effectively teach age-appropriate curriculum. Their role is to collaborate with Teachers and oversee students so that they get more hands-on attention and personalized help with assignments. Paraprofessionals help take attendance, collect homework and assign tasks to students. While the Teacher guides the group, Paraprofessionals walk around the classroom to check for understanding and explain concepts to students who are having trouble. They prepare reports about each student’s progress and collaborate with the Teacher to create a plan for achieving academic and social benchmarks.
Paraprofessionals strive to form interpersonal relationships with each student to help them feel more motivated about classroom achievement. They communicate with Teachers and parents about each student’s learning need and make recommendations about how to better accommodate or support them in the classroom and at home.
Paraprofessional salary expectations
A Paraprofessional makes an average of $13.58 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.
Paraprofessional education and training requirements
Paraprofessionals usually need at least two years’ worth of undergraduate coursework or an associate degree in education or paraprofessional education. This education helps Paraprofessionals prepare for a career in the classroom, including instruction techniques and ways to support teachers. Some associate programs involve practical training in which students assist in real classrooms for a period of time. Paraprofessionals working with special needs students may need to pass an additional exam for certification. Most Paraprofessionals are required to have a first aid/CPR certification.
Paraprofessional experience requirements
Entry-level Paraprofessionals should have some classroom or teaching experience, whether it’s from volunteering or tutoring. Those who earned an associate degree in paraprofessional education should have enough experience for an entry-level role. Paraprofessionals working with special needs students should have at least 3 years of experience. Senior-level Paraprofessionals should have at least 5 years of experience.
Job description samples for similar positions
If you are not quite looking to hire for a Paraprofessional, make sure to look at the following job description sample for a similar position: