Help! We NEED MORE PARAPROFESSIONALS!
How many requests like this…for “just one more paraprofessional”
have you gotten this year?
Educators see the value in having paraprofessional support….and they hope that having an extra set of hands will help them reach and teach their diverse students. That’s why they keep requesting more paras.
We get it! Educators need support…you want to provide them with support…and hiring more paras can seem like a good idea. After all…it costs less than hiring another teacher!
But…the request for another paraprofessional often means there are bigger issues at play. And hiring more paras often has negative consequences. In fact, 20 years of research suggests that saying “No” to more paraprofessionals is a better long-term strategy.
1. Hiring more paras is a Band-Aid approach to larger issues around the need for good instruction
2. Having more paras leads to reduction in teacher engagement with students with disabilities
3. Human support (like that provided by paras) is recommended as the support of last resort because of the unintended consequences
Despite these known problems, hiring just one more paraprofessional continues to be the “go to” solution.
But guess what? For the price of hiring just one more paraprofessional, you can get engaging and effective training for the ones you have.
Not only does training the paras you have address systemic issues around good instruction and inclusion, it helps circumvent the negative consequences.
But where do you get training for paras?
How many times have you searched for inspiring presenters, influential books, or something credible that would change the mindset, heartset, and skillset of your paras? How many weekends have you spent trying to figure out what you should teach these paras with such a wide range of experiences and interests?
You feel the pressure! Because no matter how many paraprofessionals you have, when it comes to PD, you also inherited the responsibility of training them! And you aren’t sure where to turn….and of course…tomorrow is a PD day with your paras.
Should you provide training on how to fade support or how to maintain confidentiality or presume competence? Or how to help a student struggling with behavior or reading? Or maybe you should focus on how to provide effective academic support…no wait…maybe how to provide invisible supports!
Basically you are looking for something that will give all paraprofessionals exactly what they need and right when they need it! Something that addresses their wildly varying knowledge and skillsets, and something that respects their diverse needs and interests.
What you don’t want is an auditorium full of paras staring at you and waiting for practical ideas that will help them tomorrow…when you don’t feel confident in the PPT you put together last night. You also don’t want to return to your office to find your inbox full of requests for more paras!
Why not be ready with EVERYTHING paraprofessionals need to know to support students inclusively?
We know from the research and our own experience with 1000s of paras and schools – a better way is totally possible.
Sound too good to be true? Well it isn’t!
We have the training you are searching for. Training that will allow you to provide paraprofessionals the respectful and helpful support that you want them to provide to students. Training that will be a real solution to the problems your paras face.
Before diving into our PD solution, we invite you to imagine yourself as a leader of supported, well trained, and effective paraprofessionals.
Start by picturing in your mind what would feel like.
We would say close your eyes, but that would make it hard to read…so keep your eyes open, and your heart open, and imagine with us;-)
Imagine if every paraprofessional in your school system…
- understood the value of inclusive education.
- knew how to provide invisible supports.
- expected and embraced the wide range of learners.
- understood HOW to effectively support a lesson (that did not involve just sitting next to students).
- supported students with behaviors that are challenging in loving and caring ways.
AND imagine if you had your professional development for paras planned for an entire year!
Here’s what to do instead of hiring just one more paraprofessional…
Invest in excellent PD for the ones you have!
PARA-BYTES: EVERYONE GETS WHAT THEY NEED, JUST WHEN THEY NEED IT.
Introducing Para-Bytes – the solution to your professional development needs for paraprofessionals!
We have taken the most powerful evidence-based practices from what we learned as researchers, professors, and professional development providers, and culled it, organized it, and boiled it down to the essential ingredients, and created an invaluable PD offering.
A comprehensive on-demand professional development series for all paraprofessionals (PreK-12). We named them Para-Bytes as a play on words. Para first because they are for paraprofessionals and second it rhymes with tera and represents a terabyte (1 trillion bytes) – signifying the depth of the content. We also called them bytes because it is digital in format and “bite-sized” in length.
As world renowned inclusion experts, we co-teach each of the Para-Bytes, which consists of 24 powerful videos. We also include evidence-based and practical tipsheets.
We created the 24 Para-Bytes around the most common questions paras have asked us over the years and organized them into four categories: Essential Bytes, Differentiation Bytes, Co-Teaching Bytes, and Behavior Bytes. (click here for a list of all the Bytes)
Each Byte contains a video with closed captioning, Key PPT slides for note taking, practical downloadable handouts, and built-in opportunities for discussion, reflection, and application.
Para-Bytes were designed following a live course we co-taught with over 700 paraprofessionals from around the world. The Bytes were also developed based upon the 40+ research articles we’ve authored, and they incorporate the collective wisdom from the dozens of books we’ve written on inclusion, most notably, “The Paraprofessional’s Handbook for Effective Support in Inclusive Classrooms – 2nd edition“.
Access Full Table of Contents HERE
What you get
We know that effective PD must be practical, designed by experts, differentiated, provide just in time solutions, and allow learners the opportunity to tap into their lived experiences and seek solutions.
We also know in a content heavy and fast-paced world, paras need respectful PD targeting the issues they face, allowing them to put things into practice immediately, and giving them feasible solutions.
You Get Lifetime Access To:
- 24 comprehensive and flexible Para-Bytes co-taught by Dr. Julie Causton and Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak
- The Bytes include videos with embedded chapters and closed captioning that total over 5.5 hours of transformative and evidence-based PD
- Each video comes with Key PPTs and tons of printable and shareable handouts
- A facilitator’s guide with many fun (and effective) options for how to roll out Para-Bytes
- Suggestions for using the Para-Bytes during a variety of PD situations from staff meetings to inservice days to additional paid PD opportunities
- Emails from us with check-ins, new ideas, troubleshooting, success stories to learn from others, and ideas to maintain momentum
And You Also Get:
- Effective PD for the year for on-boarding of new paras
- Unlimited lifetime access to the PD (investment is a one time process)
- Built in accountability through embedded application and reflection segments
- Learning reflection and application guides to support adult learners to make choices in their learning
- Customized content hub that is password protected
- Certificate of completion for each paraprofessional
What SChool LEADERS ARE SAYING…
What is it WORTH TO YOU to have paraprofessionals…
- Feeling deeply respected because of the quality and professional training they are receiving?
- Having access to world-recognized inclusion experts who have a proven record of creating true change in school systems ?
- Filling YOUR inbox with love and appreciation after you’ve shared Para-Bytes?
🎉 🎉 🎉
If you act now, you can add not 1…BUT 4
transformative PD resources for Paras to your library
for FREE (valued at $18K)
Bonus #1: Para-Byte
Para-Bytes Pocket Packet with 5 downloadable and sharable tip sheets for paraprofessionals to put into practice immediately.
Bonus #2 Video: Utilizing Paraprofessionals Effectively
Training Video (53:51) - Smart Support: Utilizing and Supporting Paraprofessionals Effectively co-taught by Kristie and Julie
Bonus #3 Video: Four Things Every Para Needs to Know about the Law
Training Video (1:05:33) - 4 Things Every Paraprofessional Should Know About Special Education Law with SPED lawyer Pat Radel
Bonus #4 Video: Dealing with Big Emotions and Challenging Behavior
Training Video (1:15:24) - Dealing with Big Emotions and Supporting Students With Behaviors That Are Challenging co-taught by Julie and Kristie
FOR YOUR DISTRICT • $22K
FOR YOUR DISTRICT • $22K
Here is exactly what happens after you purchase…
- You will receive an immediate email offering congratulations on your wise and life-changing PD. You will also receive a facilitator’s guide with many fun (and effective) options for how to roll out Para-Bytes. We also send a few emails over time with check-ins, success stories from others, and new ideas to maintain momentum.
- Upon investing in a district-wide license, you get immediate access to a customized and password protected dashboard. This dashboard serves as the online content hub for all videos, supplemental resources, instructional materials, and handouts. The dashboard provides you and your staff with a one-stop place to access at their own pace and on their own schedule, or in alignment with the district’s PD schedule.
And don’t worry, we will be an email away if you have any questions at all.
Will you continue to simply hire more paraprofessionals, or will you expertly train the ones you have?
Will you continue to hire adults who stand in the back of the room during a lecture, or will you get everyone the training they need?
FOR YOUR DISTRICT • $24K
What grade levels is Para-Bytes appropriate for?
Para-Bytes is for all Pre-K- 12 paraprofessionals and includes resources and examples that are unique to preschool, elementary, middle, and high school settings.
Can everyone in my district have access to the Para-Bytes?
Yes, in addition to unlimited access for paraprofessionals, you can share the training resources with EVERYONE in your district.
Is it designed for people to go on their own, or can we all learn together?
Para-Bytes is designed in a convenient and flexible way so that paras can access the video sessions and resources at their own pace OR educators can learn together and leaders can build in time for group discussion and activities.
How long will we have access to the PD?
You will have lifetime access to the Para-Bytes. This way you are able to use and reuse the content every year with all of your new or returning staff. No renewal fees either!
What are the questions covered in the 24 Para-Bytes?
Download a handout of this Table of Contents Handout (click here)
- What is inclusive education?
- What are the benefits of inclusive education?
- What does having a special education label mean and how should I talk about the labels?
- What does it mean to presume competence?
- How can I best support students who do not use verbal speech?
- How can I “rethink” and “re-story” students?
- What am I legally allowed to do?
- What is my role in supporting students in an inclusive school?
- What are great on-the-fly supports to have at the ready?
- How do I read and understand a student’s IEP?
- What are magical strategies for providing academic supports?
- What is my role alongside the teacher during a lesson?
- How can I help students when the direction from the teacher is “find a partner”?
- How can I create choices for students?
- What are easy ways to adapt just about anything for students?
- How can I better understand “bad” or challenging behavior?
- How can I respond to big emotions?
- What are magical behavior strategies that work nearly all of the time?
- How can I recognize and reduce stressors for students?
- How can I help students feel safe, seen, soothed, and secure?
- What are the behavioral strategies I should have at the ready?
- How can I provide invisible supports?
- How can I fade supports?
- How do I facilitate relationships between students?
How much time, credit and/or pay should paras get for taking this PD?
Districts vary from giving paraprofessionals 5.5 hours – 100 hours depending whether or not paras are asked to complete reflections, come together to complete activities, reflect and discuss, and implement learning and debrief at a later date. Administrators can add additional time if paraprofessionals are also expected to read the Paraprofessional Handbook 2nd edition as supplemental material. You can use the breakdown below to guide your decisions.
- 5.5 hours to watch all 24 bytes
- 10 – 20 hours for watching each byte and completing a basic reflection (option to use the provided accountability measures) about what was learned and what action(s) will be implemented.
- 21 – 50 hours for watching, completing a basic reflection, discussing each byte’s learning with others in small groups, determining action steps, and implementing them on the job.
- 65 -100 hours for watching, completing a basic reflection, discussing each byte’s learning with others in small groups, determining action steps and implementing them on the job, debriefing implementation of learning, and reading The Paraprofessional’s Handbook as a supplementary resource.
Is there accountability built in for paraprofessionals?
Accountability Measures to Keep Everyone on Track
- First, we follow key principles of effective adult learning principles to make sure your paras have:
- the “right” amount of time to engage with the learning (15 to 20 minutes!)
- time and support to reflect on new ideas
- opportunities to apply new learning right away
- Second, at the end of each Byte, we include an “Application and Reflection” segment that can be used in a variety of ways. For example, aAfter the Byte-sized learning, paras can:
- write their application and reflection up and submit it to you or another supervisor
- discuss their application and reflection with another paraprofessional or with the director of special education in a group setting or
- create a video of themselves applying the skill or strategy in the classroom
- Lastly, we have included two different choices to support reflection and application of learning. They are designed for two different learning styles — because choice is the friend of inclusion!
Is this only for paras who work in inclusive settings?
No, this is for paraprofessionals who work in a variety of settings. However, we do discuss the paraprofessional’s role in helping to create more inclusive educational opportunities throughout.
We don’t have paraprofessionals-- we have educational assistants, aides, one-on-ones etc.
Yes, people call paraprofessionals different things. This PD is for educational assistants, one-on-one aides, resource room paras, general education paras, teaching assistants, teaching aides, educational technicians, etc.