The Para who became an Incredible ProTech

The Para who became an Incredible ProTech

There is a lot of debate about para educators and how to utilize them, so I thought I would tell a story of one of my greatest and best experiences.

I worked in a particular school district for 7 years. It was typical in this district for the para educators to do too much for the students. But that is all they knew what to do. It became clear that the paras needed to gain blind skills in order to stop doing the work for the blind children as if they were sighted. So, the paras started attending training classes that met a couple times a month to learn how to be a para and how to braille. Within a year and a half over a dozen paras passed the braille exam and had increased tremendously in their technology skills. Another year went by and another half dozen or so passed their braille certification and all continued in their advancement of skills. As they passed the braille certification test, they became known as ProTechs–highly skilled individuals working with students.

Most of their time is utilized adapting work. They have fine tuned their knowledge to know when to step in to help and when to step back. They easily can adapt the work for their student or students and assist them when needed. When one Protech is out, the others take over their student or students. Everyone works together with each others best skills.

Skill advancement has to come to all: Protechs (or past paras), students and Teachers all have to constantly advance in their skills in order to help the students learn what is best for them. They will meet their goals and dreams.

One of my favorite things to hear is when the Protech asks the student if they will need any help in a certain class that is difficult and the student replies, "No Thank you, I got it."

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