Sped Hop- Classroom Staffing

Welcome back to the sped summer blog hop! Today we are all talking about paraprofessionals or teaching assistants as they are called in my classroom. 

In my opinion, teaching assistants can make or severely hinder a classroom. I am SOOO blessed to have amazing teaching assistants.

Here are the lovely ladies that work in my classroom with the SLP and me!

Even though my staff are terrific, there are things I still do every year to make sure that everyone is on the same page. I find it is beneficial to start off the year with high expectations that are clearly laid out.

The first time I meet with my staff for the year I supply them with a packet of student information that is crucial for them to know and remember. Each page of the packet focuses on one student. At the top of the page is a picture of the student and his or her name. The rest of the page is bulleted info that they need to know about the student. Here is an example:

The first thing we do is go through the packet. I expand on the bullet points in their packet. I let my staff know that it is imperative that they remember these key points and encourage them to take notes if needed. My teaching assistants keep their packet to refer back to as needed. These packets are very helpful for therapists, too. Make sure if you do something similar that you remind them that this is confidential information and needs to be protected. 

My program caters to students on the spectrum, so the staff and I are trained in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Applied Verbal Behavior (AVB), and the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). After reviewing the student packet we review the protocols and practices of the different systems that we will be using during the school year. This year most of my students are coming from AVB classrooms, so we will be focusing on the protocols specific to AVB. 

As with any classroom, there are tasks that need to be done daily to make the day go smoothly. I split these up between the teaching assistants and write them on cards for them to refer to. It is also helpful if there is a substitute in for one of your assistants. I post them next to their space in the classroom. 

I also make sure that there is a space in the classroom that is all theirs. I use a filing cabinet and give each teaching assistant their own drawer. As you can see in the picture, I have the task cards next to the filing cabinets.

I also post their breaks and lunch times underneath the task cards. My rule... I schedule the breaks and lunches, but it is their responsibility to remember to go at the appropriate times. 

Looking to find more great tips on having paraprofessionals in your classroom? Continue in the hop with Traci over at The Bender Bunch

The Bender Bunch


  1. Great Post! How lucky you are to have EAs with all that training! Is that a requirements in your board or did they get it through PD days? I also use student profiles, they are so helpful!

    1. My classroom was lucky enough to be part of the pilots for all of these trainings, so my TAs were trained with me. My program is especially blessed because we also have therapists that are trained!

  2. I love your packet of student information you share with your paras! What a great way to share instead of bombarding them with verbal information. I have added that to my to-do list. I also love the filing cabinet for their belongings! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Breann! Hope it helps the start of your year go a little smoother!

  3. Love the student info page and I also give my aides a file cabinet drawer to call their own!

  4. I am totally "borrowing" your student info page idea! This year I only have one para (with one student), but I'm going to share with our HSC teacher, because she will have 4 (maybe 5) aides!
    Mrs. H's Resource Room

  5. Pam,
    I love that student info page! I'm adding that to my paraprofessional "handbook" I'm making. I better start making this thing, I keep adding more things I want in it!
    You AUT-a Know

  6. That student info page is awesome!! Thank you!