When you go to college for Special Education, they really don’t teach you HOW to manage your staff. When I first started teaching special education, I was surprised by all of the management skills I needed (but certainly did not have yet!). One huge strategy that SAVED me in my first few years teaching, was planning ahead and staying organized… especially when it came to monthly staff training!
Tip #1: Talk to your Admin
Having open communication with your school administration is ALWAYS a good idea, but this is especially good when it comes to professional development or staff training. When working in a public school, I learned that I was often forgot about when it came to professional development and it rarely applied to me (this is a huge reason why I created my course, Simple Self-Contained Setup 101). After talking to my admin about trainings that would be good for me as a self-contained teacher AND for my specific paras, we got access to a lot more opportunities. I also was able to talk to admin about working in some time for me to do some staff trainings monthly with my own paraprofessional team- this was huge!
Tip #2: Include your Team
This sounds simple- but is actually hard to remember! When you are thinking about what trainings to have or what your staff needs…. include them! Ask them what type of monthly staff trainings they would be interested in. Maybe they need a data overview, or maybe they want to focus on a specific teaching or behavioral strategy. Talking with them will get them what they want and need AND give you a great starting point in your monthly staff training organization.
Tip #3: Plan Ahead
PLAN AHEAD. I use a simple list where I plan out which topic I will be teaching each month. I have a free download of my suggested staff trainings by month, and it also includes a blank editable version for you to make your own and fill out with your team. You can download my Monthly Staff Training List for free here.
Hope this was helpful and that the list will give you some monthly staff training topic ideas! Click here for your FREE Paraprofessional Training Topics Sheet.
Learn more about training your Paraprofessionals with Whitney here.