Remote Learning: Using Paraprofessionals Effectively
Life for educators is definitely a different experience right now! As teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing (TODHH), we are not only working on our own lessons, we are working with general education teachers to ensure that their instructional materials are accessible.
Many of us have access to paraprofessionals in our classrooms or interveners assigned to particular students, and districts are struggling to determine how those staff members can best help meet the needs of students in our current reality. Below are some activities that the paraprofessionals could do that often will make a HUGE difference to the teachers and the families.
All activities should be initiated and guided by the TODHH, especially contact with students and families.
- Caption pre-recorded instructional videos from general education teachers
- Coordinate interpreter assignments for live and pre-recorded sessions
- Use Boardmaker or other picture communication symbol systems to provide additional instructions for students and/or parents who need additional help with reading
- Help TODHHs breakdown assignments to meet the needs of specific students
- Provide real-time support during Zoom sessions to help make sure the interpreter is able to be seen by all students, that captioning is working correctly, and to facilitate questions in the chat box
- Maintain regular communication with teachers and related service providers
- Check-in with students as determined by classroom teacher
- Follow up with parents on assignments, ARDs, etc
- Document progress monitoring
- Support classroom teachers with preparing assignments, content, and paper-pencil activities
- Research websites, videos, and links for accessible activities that teachers can incorporate into lessons
- Support families and students in accessing and participating in distance learning
- Paras can be added to online classes as co-teacher
- Provide review and practice for students
- Provide additional instructions or expansion when necessary
- Provide 1:1 supports as students work on assignments
- Teach sign classes to parents, siblings, and students (if paraprofessional is fluent in sign)
Participating in Training:
- Participate in scheduled school-based professional development regarding online learning
- Participate in professional development modules and community discussions through the Texas Sensory Support Network Community of Practice
- Participate in the Open Hands Open Access learning modules on working with students who are deafblind
Information compiled by the Division for Communication, Language, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing in collaboration with the Texas Sensory Support Network, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services. For additional information about providing virtual services to students who are deaf or hard of hearing, visit our Virtual Learning Livebinder.