9 Paraprofessional Skills (Plus 3 Tips for Improving Them)

I wrote last week about the advantages and disadvantages of parapros in special education. The majority of parapros I’ve personally encountered are friendly, caring, and selfless. Paraprofessionals attend school every day because they enjoy being there and feel that they are having a positive impact on the lives of the students, making it clear that they did not choose their careers in order to become famous or wealthy.

Paraprofessional skills and qualifications
  • 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?

The daily tasks that teachers and educators face both inside and outside the classroom are assisted by paraprofessionals. They might keep track of students’ attendance, uphold rules in the classroom, plan lessons, grade homework, and administer tests. Additionally, after a teaching lesson, paraprofessionals frequently assist each student to reinforce new information. As a result of the assistance they give to students, paraprofessionals are crucial to school systems. The four types of support a paraprofessional may give include:

1. Classroom behavior management

Paraprofessionals frequently help students who are struggling in the classroom stay focused and control their emotions. Paraprofessionals can help schools create behavior intervention plans to lessen disruptive behavior and encourage positive behavior. They can also teach students coping mechanisms and document any behavioral challenges. Oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and emotional outbursts are a few examples of these behavioral difficulties.

2. Disability assistance

Some paraprofessionals assist students with physical or medical disabilities. Paraprofessionals can assist physically challenged students in learning practical life skills that will help them deal with situations in the classroom. Additionally, they might assist kids who require medical attention during the school day. A paraprofessional might, for instance, wheel a student to class in a wheelchair or keep an eye on students who have epilepsy.

3. Language services

Some paraprofessionals are multilingual and can provide translation services for students who don’t speak English as their first language. For instance, paraprofessionals can use their language abilities to translate assignments or directions in the classroom so that English as a Second Language (ESL) students can understand them. For parent-teacher conferences or phone calls, they could also translate crucial information.

4. Teaching assistance

Often, paraprofessionals provide support while educators explain lessons to students. Students who struggle to comprehend the curriculum can benefit from the positive reinforcement provided by paraprofessionals. To aid students in understanding the lessons, they might hold meetings or engage them in small group activities. For instance, a paraprofessional might lead a study group to assist students who are having trouble with science with their homework.

What is a paraprofessional?

A type of teacher assistant or aide who supports educators is a paraprofessional, also known as a paraeducator. Although paraprofessionals lack the necessary credentials to teach, a large portion of their duties involve helping students with their academic work. They also assist teachers in managing the classroom and keeping an eye on the students. Tutoring facilities, private schools, and public schools all employ paraprofessionals.

9 skills for a paraprofessional

The following nine paraprofessional abilities can help you be successful in this position:

1. Communication

A paraprofessional’s job requires them to communicate with parents, other teachers, and students of all ages. It’s crucial to be able to adapt your communication techniques to effectively communicate ideas to students, teachers, and parents. This can also eliminate potential confusion when explaining challenging topics.

2. Lesson plan creation

Paraprofessionals often help teachers design lessons for classes. You might be more successful in this position if you know how to create activities that align with the curriculum for the classroom. Making lesson plans requires understanding of various academic subjects, including math, science, reading, and writing. Through academic preparation and volunteer teaching opportunities, you could learn how to develop lesson plans that are effective.

3. Classroom management

In a classroom, a paraprofessional is in charge of all operations while a teacher instructs. It’s critical that they comprehend how to control student behavior in the classroom and preserve the orderly environment. For instance, if you see a student focusing on their electronic device rather than the instructor, you can address the situation and get the student to pay more attention to the lesson.

4. Leadership

While pursuing a career as a paraprofessional, it is important to have strong leadership abilities so you can effectively mentor students during classroom lessons. Paraprofessionals frequently assist students as they learn new subjects and inspire them to keep learning. You can use your leadership abilities to direct a small group activity or uphold discipline and order in the classroom.

5. Patience

Patience is another important skill for paraprofessionals. Remaining composed can help a paraprofessional approach a child with a behavioral disability or who struggles to follow classroom rules and get a positive response from them. This can present the student with a chance to behave better and continue learning in the classroom.

6. Organization

Organizational skills are frequently used by paraprofessionals to collect and maintain student assignments, arrange classroom supplies, and track student attendance. Using your organizational abilities, you can help teachers grade papers and create fresh lesson plans. These abilities can be helpful for maintaining order in the classroom.

7. Positivity

In order to exhibit admirable conduct in the classroom, a paraprofessional should be upbeat. Being upbeat and composed when interacting with kids can demonstrate professionalism. A paraprofessional can also use their collected demeanor to create a consoling learning environment for students who are experiencing emotional difficulties. A positive outlook can assist you in encouraging polite behavior in students who may struggle academically.

8. Creativity

Because of their creativity, paraprofessionals can interact with students. Additionally, creativity skills help paraprofessionals work with teachers to create engaging lesson plans for classroom instruction. You can create activities to inspire students to study and pay attention during teaching lessons by using your creativity skills.

9. Teamwork

When working with educators and students in the classroom, paraprofessionals can use their teamwork skills. It’s crucial to collaborate effectively with others because one of your responsibilities as a paraprofessional is to help a teacher achieve their educational goals with their students. You can encourage students to develop their own abilities and form relationships with their classmates by demonstrating how you work well with others.

Tips to improve paraprofessional skills

Here are three tips to improve paraprofessional skills:

1. Implement active listening

2. Ask for feedback

Consistently seeking feedback can help you develop productive working relationships and enhance your teaching abilities. As a paraprofessional, ask the instructor to assist you in identifying your areas of improvement. You might receive constructive criticism from a teacher to assist you in creating teaching methods for working with students on difficult assignments. You can also get parents’ and students’ opinions to better understand how to improve the learning environment.

3. Build trust with students

Students may be more willing to want to learn from you and respect your authority if you build trust with them. By demonstrating your sincere desire for them to learn and succeed in both life and the classroom, you can establish your credibility. This may help create a positive classroom environment.

Highlighting paraprofessional skills

Knowing how to highlight your skills in a resume, cover letter, and interview can help you land a job if you’re looking to pursue a career as a paraprofessional. Here are examples of how to display your paraprofessional skills:

Paraprofessional skills for a resume

You can include the paraprofessional abilities an employer is seeking in a candidate by reviewing job listings and identifying those abilities in your resume. You can highlight these pertinent abilities in your resume’s experience section. A list of your paraprofessional skills in bullet points can be included in the skills section to emphasize your expertise.

Paraprofessional skills for a cover letter

You can briefly describe your background and accomplishments that make you qualified for a paraprofessional position in three to four paragraphs in a cover letter. By providing specific examples of your previous job responsibilities, you can demonstrate your abilities or skills. For instance, if you had internship experience as a teacher, you could mention in your cover letter that you used your creativity to create sample lesson plans.

Paraprofessional skills for an interview

An interview is a chance for you to demonstrate your enthusiasm and skill for a paraprofessional position. You can provide examples of situations in which you successfully used paraprofessional skills and explain how your role as a paraprofessional benefited students. Hiring managers may ask situational questions about your teaching experience to learn about your experiences interacting with students and assisting teachers with lesson preparation.

I am a Paraeducator in Life Skills || What’s That? || Holly Lynn


What should a paraprofessional put on a resume?

Top Skills for your Paraprofessional resume
  1. Classroom Management.
  2. Conflict Resolution.
  3. First Aid.
  4. Microsoft Suite.
  5. Learning Techniques.
  6. Childhood Development.
  7. Educational Software.
  8. Curriculum Planning & Execution.

What is the responsibilities of a paraprofessional?

Regular duties include assisting with lesson plans and materials, working with students in groups and individually during lessons, grading homework, and creating progress reports. The successful paraprofessional is sympathetic, committed to each student’s success, and caring.

What is a paraprofessional example?

The phrase “paraprofessional” refers to a wide variety of positions that support licensed professionals in their daily work. Examples include teaching assistants who support state-certified teachers, paralegals who support licensed attorneys, and paraprofessionals who support certified public accountants.

What do you see as the role of a paraprofessional in the classroom?

In the modern classroom, paraprofessionals play a variety of roles, including providing direct services to students, interacting with teachers, staff, and parents, evaluating and disciplining students, and developing and modifying curricula.

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