Behavior Management Basics for Paraeducators

Behavior Management Basics for Paraeducators

In the course of a single school day, paraeducators might find themselves working with students in multiple settings and at some point during the day, they will probably be expected to support a student who needs more than academic help. Regardless of their specific role, paraeducators need to be familiar with effective behavior management strategies.

Paraeducators are not responsible for managing student behavior on their own. The team of teachers and administrators create the behavior plan for the students and the paraeducator’s job is to support and assist the teacher or administrator by following that behavior plan. The supervising teacher should explain the material in a student’s BIP and/or IEP to the paraeducator, including the role the paraeducator should play. It’s also important they understand and follow the district’s policies on discipline, restraint and seclusion, and requirements for documenting student behavior.

All behavior is a means of communication. The four most common things students communicate through their behavior are needs and desires for attention, to earn some type of rewarding activity or item, to avoid or escape something unpleasant, or for some type of sensory experience. If we can understand what the behavior is communicating, we can often help students learn more appropriate ways to express themselves.

The supervising teacher will provide direction on the specific strategies the paraeducator should use but there are things paraeducators can do that are universally helpful in behavior management.

  • Develop good relationships with students. Students tend to behave in more positive ways for adults with whom they share a respectful and nurturing relationship.
  • Model respectful behavior. Speak to students the way you want them to speak to one another, listen when the teacher is speaking, and support the teacher’s decisions.
  • Stay calm and positive. When you stay calm it can also have a positive, calming effect on a student who is upset, anxious, or angry.
  • Assist the teacher in providing structure, routine, and organization. Students are less likely to misbehave in environments where expectations are clear and consistent.
  • Interrupt and redirect. By changing the subject, switching activities temporarily, offering assistance, or providing encouragement, you can often slow the momentum and calm the student down.
  • Catch them being good. Your response to good behavior can have a big impact on the likelihood of that behavior occurring again.

How Vector Solutions Can Help

Vector Training, Special Education includes a variety of courses designed to help paraeducators better support all students and can help prepare them to meet the needs of your diverse learners. We offer flexible purchase options to best meet your training needs.

Contact us for more information