What is a paraeducator?
A paraprofessional is an umbrella term that refers to a trained aide, specializing in a particular subject, who assists a professional like a doctor or teacher but doesn’t have a license to practice in that profession themselves. In a school setting, you may hear the role referenced as paraprofessional, paraeducator, special education paraprofessional, teaching assistant, teacher’s aide, classroom assistant, inclusive aide, inclusive instructor, instructional assistant, ed tech, and more.
The California Department of Education defines a paraeducator as an individual “who is employed in a preschool, elementary school, or secondary school under the supervision of a certified or licensed teacher, including individuals employed in language instruction educational programs, special education, and migrant education.”
Paraeducators juggle many roles in schools and are often the backbone of a classroom, supporting teachers during instruction and supporting the learning and well-being of students.
To learn more, see our article Paraeducators 101.