Paraprofessional Roles & Responsibilities

Understand the various roles of Paraprofessionals (Paras) in the classroom and explore ways to engage them in your lesson.

Paraprofessional Roles & Responsibilities
  • Getting Started
  • Planning
  • Classroom Partners

Paraprofessional Roles & Responsibilities


Share goals, expectations, and specific roles with Paraprofessionals at the beginning of class.


Invite Paraprofessionals to participate in activities.


There are two different types of Paraprofessionals: Classroom Paraprofessionals (for the entire class) and 1:1 Paraprofessionals (for individual students).

Remote Teaching and Learning Tip

Paraprofessionals’ roles are wide-ranging both in-person and remotely. Our resource Remote Learning: Who Is in the Virtual Room? can help you work with Paraprofessionals, other Classroom Professionals, and caregivers when you teach remotely.

  • Leading a small group.
  • Reviewing content one-on-one with a student.
  • Working alongside the teacher.
  • Prompting communication.
  • Modeling an activity.

  • Providing instruction to a student one-on-one.
  • Prompting a student to respond to social cues.
  • Reminding a student of expected behavior.
  • Utilizing speech devices or modules.

  • Implementing Behavior Intervention Plans.
  • Providing praise and positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior.
  • Giving a student a break after they have completed a set number of tasks.
  • Re-focusing the student on the task at hand.
  • Giving the student a reward for remaining on task.
  • Prompting the student to sit down, stand up, or participate.

  • Providing verbal prompts.
  • Providing physical prompts.
  • Using a visual schedule.
  • Using a timer.
  • Giving the student a token/reward.
  • Redirecting the student back to a task.
  • Pairing the student with an appropriate classmate.
  • Taking a student on a break.

The GIVE Resource: Who Is in the Classroom? Collaborating With Classroom Professionals can assist with ideas for how to engage Paraprofessionals in your work.

External Resources