If you are thinking about becoming a paraprofessional, you should learn about what the paraprofessional job description entails. Paraprofessionals are sometimes called teacher's assistants, aides, behavioral support aides, or special education aides. These titles vary depending on the institution and the capacity in which the paraprofessional functions in their job description. Paraprofessionals generally have the same job description, but they can work with different grades, in different subjects, and with different types of students. Paraprofessionals have a job description of supporting teachers and individual students in the classroom.
There are educational requirements for the paraprofessional job description. These requirements can vary from state to state, but the Federal "No Child Left Behind Act" added requirements for the paraprofessional job description. For example, paraprofessional teaching assistants have to demonstrate that they are competent enough to fulfill the duties outlined in the paraprofessional job description. This is demonstrated by completing the equivalent of 60 semester hours at a University or College, with relevant coursework, or obtaining an Associate's Degree in a relevant field. Paraprofessionals also have to successfully complete an assessment of the math, reading, and writing skills which are used in the paraprofessional job description.
Paraprofessionals generally help students who need individualized attention in order to complete their work. Some examples of students who are helped by paraprofessionals include students with a traumatic brain injury, students with a learning disability, and/or students with behavioral challenges. Paraprofessionals do not hold a teaching license and they are not able to lead class or help students when the licensed teacher is available, but they are able to teach students in a one-on-one classroom environment under the teacher's instruction.