"Hints from Heloise"... "Curious Green"..."Letters from Teddy" Can these be part of the classes for the paraeducator certification?
Yes, along with observations of paraeducators using open and accepting behaviors, working with supervising teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses using work style inventories, building team collaboration skills, and role playing communication and listening skills.
About 50 paraeducators from across AEA 5 have enrolled in the first of a series of classes to earn certification. Over 30 enrolled for the summer class and currently 14 are attending class two nights a month. They will continue with two more classes during the course of the year before earning their state certification.
These paraeducators have formed a learning community. Initially, many were apprehensive about enrolling in the class but they have developed relationships with others and have learned ways to deal with daily situations from their classmates and instructors.
The first class deals with communication, ethics and confidentiality. Each paraeducator must meet a set of competencies in order to complete the class. They learn to help children use verbal and nonverbal means of communicating thoughts and feelings, share clearly defined, high expectations, and use strategies that promote the learner's independence.
So where does Heloise come in? Cheri Ferguson (from the Jefferson-Scranton Community School District) creatively completed the "Hints from Heloise" assignment - a recipe for success with children:
Hints from Heloise
1. To avoid lumps in a relationship with a student, use kind words in place of "vinegar" words.
2. Stay at room temperature to remain calm. Rising temperatures may damage valuable products.
3. Use just enough laughter to keep things pliable.
4. Don't over beat. Keep things light.
5. Remove student from difficult situations as soon as possible to prevent steam from boiling over.
6. Sprinkle praise generously for the professional look.
7. Add a serving of high expectations for amazing results.
8. Knead carefully. A dash of criticism is all that is needed to keep the recipe from becoming bitter.
9. Two good ears are better when used with an open mind.
10. A smile is a great defuser.