[library-media] Paraprofessionals

Paula Zsiray paula.zsiray@cache.k12.ut.us
Wed, 25 Sep 2002 08:45:22 -0600

Here is some information for the Utah Paraeducator Consortium newsletter
"The Paragraph".
You can contact Jill Morgan at <jmorgan@cc.usu.edu> (She will be doing a
presentation at the conference in March)
Please pass this information along to those you think could benefit from it.
The web page for Utah Paraeducator Consortium is http://www.utahpara.org/
and you can click on 'Utah Paragraph Newsletter' to get the entire

Welcome to Utahís first newsletter for para-professionals! This newsletter
is the first of its kind in Utah and we hope that with state and district
support we can continue to offer a first class publication created
specifically for you. Regardless of whether your job title is
paraprofessional, teacherís aide, speech therapy assistant, instructional
assistant, intervener, classroom reduction assistant, direct care provider,
or paraeducator, this newsletter is for you. These numerous job titles (and
there are many more) reflect the variety of roles and responsibilities you
assume as key members of an instructional team. If you have been in your
profession for more than 4 or 5 years, you are well aware of how much your
duties have changed. You are no longer merely responsible for creating
bulletin boards, taking roll, or making duplications. Todayís
paraprofessionals are found in elementary or secondary classrooms providing
accommodations for students with special needs, supervising on the
playground or bus, serving as a job coach in the community for students with
moderate to severe disabilities, conducting small group sessions in reading
and math, working in early childhood programs or assisting non-English
speaking students. The list of different responsibilities that
para-educators assume is very long!

And did you know that there are over 8,000 paraprofessionals assisting
teachers and other service providers in Utah? With ever-increasing student
needs and rising enrollment, the classroom teacher, resource teacher or
related service provider can no longer do it all; districts and agencies
have turned to you to help meet the numerous and diverse needs of Utah
children. In fact, when it comes to working with children, you are often the
person on the "front line". As such, it is vital that you have the knowledge
and skills to do your job. Be proactive. Take advantage of opportunities to
improve your skills ....seek them out.... ask your district for training
...be informed... and above all read. One purpose of this newsletter and our
other new addition, the Utah Paraprofessional Website (www. utahpara. org)
is to keep you informed of training classes and workshops across the state.
The State Paraeducator Conference is one such opportunity that I hope youíve
been able to take advantage of!

My hat is off to Jill Morgan who has been a driving force behind the
development of this newsletter. Her insistence that Utah paraprofessionals
deserved to have a publication that addressed their specific needs has never