Updated: Feb 9
Every time I talk to teachers about training paras, they all have the same thing to say:
"It would be great, but we don't have enough time!"
I get it...
That was one thing I was constantly up against when I was trying to train my paras in my behavior support classroom.
And in the behavior management world, training is key!
Professional development days tend to be for certified teaching staff only.
That means that non-certified staff...
You know, the ones that are actually with the kids 24/7 get the short end of the stick.
They aren't included in the fun and certainly don't get the tools they need to be highly effective with behavior management!
It falls on special education teachers to manage their paras by scheduling them, making sure they are executing plans, AND training them.
Cue the no time complaint!
I've got a solution!
Keep reading for my top 3 tips on training your teams with little time.
Seriously, each of these tips can easily fit into 10 minutes.
And you should absolutely do them because having a highly trained team means less work for you!
And, of course, it means greater success with your toughest students.
Whether you focus your efforts entirely on behavior management, or not, these tips will no doubt guide you in creating a sustainable training schedule that leads to greater capacity in your team!
1. Article of the week
Choose an article about a topic your team needs support with, print it out, email it to them, and give them a prompt.
This can be asking them to reflect on something specific in the article, how it makes them feel, or ask them to add their thoughts on how they can implement that strategy with your students.
I print one copy out for each of my people and put a post it note in it with the prompt.
I try to get everyone together for a debrief about it for like 5-10 mins, but if that doesn’t work,
I’ll follow up briefly individually.
Super quick and impactful.
Me, and my team, really love this form of PD.
2. Training Reflections
I just started to use these this year and I love them!
(If you came to the Behavior Plan Workshop a couple months ago, you got this template! If not, grab it here with the epic replay! 🥳)
It's super simple to execute...
All you do is take the schedule of the para/aid, throw it in a google doc and add reflection questions and bullet points of things to look out for.
Here's an example:
What does the student's body language tell you? (eye contact, walk cadence, verbally greet you or not, etc)
Does the student seem to struggle organizing materials?
Are they hungry/thirsty/tired?
This is where the para jots down their thoughts!
As they make their way through the day, they'll add notes and observations about what they're witnessing in real time.
I love this because it teaches your staff to look through different lenses and allows them to zoom out a bit.
You choose the direction they take with the prompts you give them. So, you can make it as focused or as broad as you'd like.
For example, you could focus solely on finding antecedents. Or, you could give prompts around academic engagement.
You can do this over a week (don't rush it and overwhelm people!). Then, set up time to review their insights.
This reflection time is so important because it allows you to coach into areas you might not have known needed coaching.
3. Behavior Blueprints
These are my fav because they’re easy to digest, super effective, and have already done all the work for you!
These monthly PDF’s were part of my Behavior by Design Membership (currently on hiatus) and I’ve been obsessed with them from day 1.
Ranging in topics from power struggles to specific tiered behavior strategies...
these booklets support you and your team in targeted ways while being super digestible.
Wanna try out one of our Blueprints?
Download our Power Struggles Behavior Blueprint for free with the button below.
Gina (my general ed counterpart in BBD) and I go deep on how to recognize, prevent, and get out of them!
Okay, comment and tell me which training tip is your fav!
All the love,
P.S. Every Behavior Blueprint comes with an audio training that's kinda my fav part 🎤! Gina and I discuss the Blueprint theme, tell you how we've used the topic/tip in our classrooms, and get real with you on how to make it work for you. Sounds pretty cool, right? You can grab the entire bundle of Behavior Blueprint Emails here!