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Paraeducators at Maya Angelou Public Charter High School

The Organization

Since it began operating in 1997, the See Forever Foundation's mission has been to create learning communities in lower income urban areas where all students, particularly those who have not succeeded in traditional schools, can succeed academically and socially. The Foundation operates the Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools in DC, as well as the Maya Angelou Academy at New Beginnings’ secure facility for committed youth in Laurel, MD. Our students develop the academic, social, and employment skills they need to build rewarding lives and promote positive change.

If you are interested in learning more about See Forever, please visit our website at www.seeforever.org.

The Touchstone

At the Maya Angelou Schools, the key to our success is rooted in building trusting, respectful and nurturing relationships with each other.  We strive to create safe spaces for all to be able to reach their limitless potential.  We are at our best when we work together to ensure the unique needs of our community are met.  We empower each other to grow successfully so we can see forever!  This is how we live the Maya Way, even when no one is watching.

Position Overview

Para-educators are assigned to work with a specific student with a disability and support students in numerous situations.  They work to allow students with disabilities to be educated alongside nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate.  Para-educators accompany the student to all classes during the school day, implement the student’s behavior plan, provide individualized attention and instruction during academic periods, and support them during other portions of the day, as determined by individual student needs.  Some of the more common reasons for this type of support include: (1) protection/safety of the student, (2) instructional support, (3) transition, and (4) reduction of anxiety for the student.

Para-educators carry out their responsibilities under the direct supervision of the Director of Special Education.  Para-educators will ideally work with students throughout the school year.

Responsibilities

  • Travel to school in a timely manner
  • Communicate appropriately with co-workers and special needs students
  • Develop bonds with students and work with their parents
  • Create and maintain a climate of respect and fairness for all students
  • Use creativity to plan activities for students
  • Model appropriate spoken and written language skills
  • Coach assigned student in social problem solving, and appropriate behavior
  • Work with assigned student on academic tasks specified in the daily lesson plan
  • Collect observations and data on student learning and behavior
  • Keep student information confidential by treating it with the strictest confidence and refraining from discussing the student outside of the school environment

Para-educators support positive student behavior and classroom and school culture by:

  • Implementing supports and consequences specified in the student’s Behavior Intervention Plan
  • Responding to student behavior using Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

Para-educators support children’s safety and physical well-being during the school day by:

  • Ensuring that they are with the assigned child during all hours specified on the IEP, including moving with the assigned child to all locations, accompanying them within the school environment to ensure safety, and asking for help when a child’s behavior threatens their own or other’s safety

Additionally, Para-educators may be asked to:

  • Support all students in a class in addition to their assigned student
  • Communicate with parents
  • Attend meetings
  • Participate in lesson planning
  • Participate in additional training and professional development provided by the Chief of Schools and other school leaders

Minimum Qualifications

  • High School Diploma
  • Tutoring experience
  • Basic reading and math proficiency
  • Basic people skills and ability to work with special needs students

Desired Qualifications

  • Basic knowledge of special education students
  • A bachelor’s degree or pursuit of a bachelor’s degree
  • A desire to develop a career within Maya Angelou Schools

Core Beliefs and Desired Characteristics

Candidates should possess an unyielding belief that with the appropriate supports, coupled with high expectations, all students can significantly improve their academic skills, and can develop pro-social and culturally normative behaviors that will enable them to succeed at school and beyond. Candidates should also believe that all students have strengths and talents and that good teachers help students find them and use them to address weaknesses or overcome fears. In addition, candidates should exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Honesty & Integrity: Does not cut corners ethically. Earns trust and maintains confidence. Does what is right, not just what is politically expedient. Speaks plainly and truthfully. 
  • Analytical skills: able to structure and process qualitative or quantitative data and draw insightful conclusions from it; exhibits a probing mind and achieves penetrating insights 
  • Persistence: Demonstrates tenacity and willingness to go the distance to get something done.
  • Strategic thinking/visioning: Able to see and communicate the big picture in an inspiring way; determines opportunities and threats through comprehensive analysis of current and future trends
  • Flexibility/adaptability: Adjusts quickly to changing priorities and conditions; copes effectively with complexity and change
  • Enthusiasm: Exhibits passion and excitement over work. Has can do attitude.

Salary and Benefits

Our salaries are comparable to those of other public schools in the District of Columbia area. Paid winter and spring breaks, paid summer break based on pay periods worked. In addition, See Forever offers a robust benefits plan, including health care coverage, HSA and FSA offerings, a 401k retirement savings plan, and the opportunity to positively impact students with a broad range of experiences and backgrounds. 

See Forever is an equal opportunity employer. We believe a diverse staff is a better, more effective staff. Persons of color are strongly encouraged to apply. 

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