The Role of Paraprofessionals - Harbor School

The Role of Paraprofessionals

paraprofessional special needs

What a Paraprofessional does to help special needs students.

As I’m sure you know, special education is quite a bit different from the standard classroom environment. Teachers use a wide variety of materials, including multi-sensory and hands-on learning activities to help each child to reach his or her full academic potential. And, importantly, students require more intensive instruction with individualized and modified techniques. This is where the paraprofessional comes in. At Harbor School certified teachers assisted by trained paraprofessionals provide individualized and small group instruction in a small class setting.

What do Paraprofessionals Do?

These professionals help students with their day-to-day lives inside the school, from transitioning between classes, to participating and completing classwork, to getting safely on the bus at the end of the day. The special education paraprofessional assists the teacher in daily classroom activities, helps special needs students with academic questions, and cares for their physical and emotional health, and safety. The paraprofessional is a student’s first resource when they need extra learning and/or physical support.

As an important member of the child’s team at school, paraprofessionals receive all relevant training, and consult and collaborate with teachers, therapists, and other related service staff on a regular basis.

Responsibilities of the Paraprofessional

  • Assisting students one-on-one in achieving academic success, answering questions and offering tips. Sometimes a paraprofessional will repeat instructions and explain steps for the student.
  • Helping to prepare and organize learning materials for the student
  • Working to calm students with disruptive behavior in class
  • Providing behavior support including physical management if necessary
  • Assisting students with personal care
  • Encouraging students’ social integration, personally engaging them in conversation, and encouraging class interactions
  • Monitoring the student to make sure he/she isn’t overwhelmed or anxious

A great paraprofessional does all this while also developing a pleasant rapport with the student, affirming their student’s abilities, and striving to promote their dignity. Paraprofessionals have the potential to become an active part of the class, a vital component of the school

erik glazer principal harbor school

Harbor School a private special education school in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Our mission at Harbor School is to help all of our special needs students with learning, social, language, behavioral, and other disabilities. Our highly skilled staff are committed daily to helping each student reach their full potential.

We would be more than happy to discuss your child's specific needs and challenges, so please call us at 732.544.9394, or request a tour at Harbor School in Eatontown, NJ. We are located just minutes off of the Garden State Parkway at exit 105 and conveniently located off of Route 35 and Route 36 in Monmouth County, NJ.

Erik Glazner, 
Principal-Harbor School, Eatontown, NJ