Paraprofessionals in the Classroom: A Survival Guide, 2nd edition

Published by Pearson (January 26, 2012) © 2013

  • Betty Y. Ashbaker Brigham Young University
  • Jill Morgan



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  • Discusses paraprofessionals in a wide variety of roles including both special education and regular education K-12 settings. 
  • Addresses issues that paraprofessionals face every day including the need for clear role definitions, confidentiality and professionalism,components of effective instruction, communication with students and supervisors, management of the learning environment, and understanding learner diversity.
  • Features a straight-forward presentation that avoids research jargon and emphasizes practical applications.
  • Includes additional activities at the end of each chapter called Extending Your Learning.
  • Case Studies along with descriptions and follow-up questions expose readers to real-life classroom scenarios. 
  • Encourages readers to personalize chapter material by offering Reflective Activities in each chapter.
  • Chapter 2 includes an expanded discussion of instructional supervision which outlines current legal requirements and explains how to work collaboratively with educator supervisors and Professional Learning Communities.
  • Part III has expanded behavior chapters that offer tactics for managing student behavior such as influencing behaviors, praise, recognition, sanctions and time management.
  • Tear-out forms for topics such as behavior, teaching, assessment and collaboration provide lists of  suggestions, applications, and strategies in a convenient, portable format that is designed for future reference and is ideal for a variety of work environments..
  • Update statistics, diagrams, charts and graphics highlight the current education environment and trends most important to paraprofessionals.
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Section I: Background and Context
Chapter 1: Paraprofessional? What's That?
Chapter 2: Instructional Supervision

Section II: Instruction and the Learning Environment
Chapter 3: Critical Components of Effective Instruction

Chapter 4: Monitoring Instructional Effectiveness

Chapter 5: Organization and Management of the Learning Environment

Chapter 6: Learner Characteristics


Section III: Student Behavior and Classroom Management

Chapter 7: Influencing Behavior

Chapter 8: Recognition, Praise, and Sanctions

Chapter 9: Time as a Behavior Management Tool


Section IV: Professionalism

Chapter 10: Laws and Regulations Affecting Paraprofessionals’ Roles

Chapter 11: Professional and Ethical Behavior

Chapter 12: Reflection and Self-Evaluation


Section V: Appendix

Dr. Betty Y. Ashbaker is an associate professor in counseling psychology and special education. Trained in elementary, special education, and administration, she has experience as a special education teacher, school district administrator, and professor. She has co-authored several books and articles about  her research on training and supervision of paraprofessionals, literacy for minority students, and school safety. At Brigham Young University, she teaches special education law, secondary transition, and introduction to special education courses.

Dr. Jill Morgan, distinguished author and teaching professional, has been training paraprofessional teacher teams for over 15 years throughout the US and UK. She is the co-author of numerous titles including A Teacher’s Guide to Working with Paraeducators (ASCD), Supporting and Supervising your Teaching Assistant, The TA’s Guide to ASD, How to be a Successful TA, and Behaviour Management all published by Continuum. Her research interests include the role of teaching assistants in the classroom and effective supervision of teaching assistants.

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