University of Vermont

The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)

Paraeducator Support:



Riggs, Cathryn G. (2002). Providing administrative support for classroom paraeducators: What’s a building administrator to do? Rural Special Education Quarterly 21(3), 10-14.


This article addresses the changing role administrators have over the hiring and supervision of paraeducators. Historically paraeducators worked primarily under the supervision of special educators. With the dramatic increase in the use of paraeducators in general education classrooms over the past decade, administrators have been called upon to interact more directly with paraeducators.

Riggs discusses the three "R’s" that can help define administrative support for paraeducators. They are:

Responsibilities – clear definition of their roles and responsibilities within the school and classroom, and between the teacher and the paraeducator.
Relationships – good communication between paraeducators, teachers and administrators is essential to helping a paraeducator feel valued and part of a team.
Respect – administrators should help emphasize to the school staff the importance of paraeducators by making sure that staff members treat them as part of the educational team.
Riggs also provides a list titled "Ten Tips for Providing Administrative Support".

Summarized by: Stephen Doll - April 2003

Last modified February 14 2008 11:23 AM

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