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Paraeducators (aides) in Physical Education. Prevalence of Aides in PE According to the School Health Policies and Program Study (CDC) According to the.

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Presentation on theme: "Paraeducators (aides) in Physical Education. Prevalence of Aides in PE According to the School Health Policies and Program Study (CDC) According to the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paraeducators (aides) in Physical Education

2 Prevalence of Aides in PE According to the School Health Policies and Program Study (CDC) According to the School Health Policies and Program Study (CDC) “The percentage of required physical education classes or courses containing students with long-term physical, medical, or cognitive disabilities in which a teacher or aide came in to assist these students increased from 37.7% in 2000 to 52.9% in 2006.” “The percentage of required physical education classes or courses containing students with long-term physical, medical, or cognitive disabilities in which a teacher or aide came in to assist these students increased from 37.7% in 2000 to 52.9% in 2006.”

3 Marian was a part-time paraeducator for Sara. Marian hated it when it was time to take Sara to physical education during third period. The smell of the locker room reminded her of memories of physical education as a child. She never felt comfortable in the gym and this contributed to this sense of dread. There was nowhere to sit and she never wanted to sit on the cold gym floor in her dress and heels. When the class was outside, she hated tromping through the wet grass in her good shoes. She enjoyed her job in the classroom working on reading and academics with Sara: this was her comfort zone. Physical education always eluded her with its dynamic environment and seeming chaos. She never knew what to expect and the special education teacher wasn’t familiar with physical education. She often said, just make sure that Sara participates. But, what did that mean? The general physical education teacher seemed to be doing a good job, she was enthusiastic and kept the students engaged but very rarely spoke with Marian or Sara. The class was large and they seemed to slip in and out with little notice (JOPERD 07).   Questions In Their Shoes

4 Benefits of Paraeducators  Collaborate (planning, teaching, assessing)  Extra set of eyes & ears  Communicate information regarding the IEP, the disability, and behavior management  Differentiate the lesson  Assist with teaching duties (depends on the aide, some don’t mind helping students without disabilities as well)

5 Potential Drawbacks of Paraeducators  May be difficult to motivate (some view PE as a break)  May interfere with inclusion by hovering over students with disabilities, thus preventing peer interactions (delicate balance)  May prefer assisting in one on one settings instead of whole-group activities (JOPERD, 07)

6 Involvement My suggestion is to get aides involved as much as possible. Make PE fun for them too. My suggestion is to get aides involved as much as possible. Make PE fun for them too. INSIST that if a student has an aide in his or her other classes, one also be included in physical education. INSIST that if a student has an aide in his or her other classes, one also be included in physical education. There is as much a need for an aide in physical education as other disciplines. There is as much a need for an aide in physical education as other disciplines. Use safety, the standards, equity…whatever to get your point across to school administration. Use safety, the standards, equity…whatever to get your point across to school administration.

7 Utilizing Paraeducators Effectively Keep in mind: Paras are often the least trained and least paid but work with some of the most challenging students. Yet they often know “their” student better than anyone.

8 Before Class  If you are unfamiliar with a student, discuss their abilities and disabilities when you get the  Share IEP goals and objectives  Sometimes they will know more than you  Share your expectations for the role aides will play in your classroom.  I suggest creating an orientation to PE for aides

9 Orientation to PE for Aides  Create an “orientation sheet” which you can distribute to new paras (they do change somewhat frequently) orientation sheetorientation sheet  This way it’s in writing and you don’t have to restate it constantly  By signing, they are aware of the expectations for class  Have the document approved by administration to iprove accountability  Couch the document as a learning tool for aides

10 Orientation to PE for Aides Great Resources: Title: Paraeducators in Physical Education: A Training Guide to Roles and Responsibilities Author: Lauren Lieberman Year: 2007 ISBN: Cost: $24/$28 Available from AAHPERD online store:

11 During class  Suitably adjust instruction for student(s)  Assist with equipment  Monitor safety  Instruct in a 1:1 or small group setting when appropriate  Help supervise the class

12 Outside of PE duties  Can collaborate or field suggestions from aides regarding lesson planning, IEP modifications, and potential extra practice during non-PE times (recess, free time).

13 Motivating Paraeducators  Name on door along with yours or nearby  Introduction at the beginning of the term and/or school year  Acknowledgement and appreciation shown through bulletin boards, newsletters and/or staff meetings  Furnishing their own locker in your office  Get to know them  Thank them

14 Motivating Paraeducators cont’d  Allow to keep sneakers in PE office (eliminates excuse of not having any)  Let them use the weight room at their convenience  Provide a school physical education shirt  Small gifts at holidays and/or birthdays  If interested, attend professional development or conferences with you

15 Conflict Resolution Key Concepts Some paras will be stupendous, others stupendously bad. In the latter cases, find a way to change the dynamic for the sake of students.  Understand the chain of command  Don’t jump up the chain. You made need to approach the special ed office and then administration  Have an “open door” approach  Take a “let’s solve the problem together” approach  Same principle as in psycho-social  Address the conflict early on  Focus on defeating the problem, not each other … look for ‘win, win’ solutions..

16 Additional resources:  Para do’s and don’ts Para do’s and don’ts Para do’s and don’ts

17 Practicum check-up Practicum check-up How’s it going? How’s it going?


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