We all know in a Special Education classroom, we work with numerous adults – paraprofessionals, Speech Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Assistive Tech Specialists, Teachers of the Visually Impaired, Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and so many more.
So how do we handle a classroom full of different schedules, service providers coming in and out and turn this into organized chaos?
Strategies for Managing Too Many Adults
Schedules, Schedules, Schedules
First things first – you have to have a schedule, and you have to be consistent in sticking to it in order to keep the structure in your classroom. At the beginning of that year, go over the schedule with your paraprofessionals and the expectations for each part of your day, then give that schedule to all related service providers so they know where you will be and when. Ask them to provide you with times that they will be in your room and working with your students to ensure they are consistent in keeping that schedule and consistency too. You can create visual schedules for your individual students, but you can also have a digital schedule posted for everyone to see so anyone who walks into the room knows what is happening and when.
Creating groups and rotating those groups throughout the day for different centers or work activities is a great way to utilize the adults in your room for support with the students. It is also a good way to help with supervision of students during whole group instruction so that you don’t have to stop your instruction to help out a student. This also helps adults with burnout so no one feels like they are working with the same students over and over.
Set Clear Expectations
Having clear expectations of the adults in the classroom is going to be super important. For your paraprofessionals, at the beginning of the year, present them with a Paraprofessional Binder providing them with information for things such as
- IEP information
- medical information
- daily routines
- daily duties
- emergency procedures
- and so many more
When using something like this – all of the necessary information is covered and no one can say they don’t know what their roles and responsibilities are.
What is a strategy that you implement in your classroom that helps keep all of the chaos organized with all of the adults that work in your room or come in and out constantly? Let us know in the comments below!
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