It is important for teams to remember that the ultimate goal for any student receiving special services is that he or she becomes self-sufficient.
Learn the basics of adult support in the school environment, define self-sufficiency, and identify ways to promote student self-sufficiency.
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During the day-to-day lessons and tasks of helping students make progress in their learning, it is not unusual for team members to let down their guard and shift into the mode of hovering instead of helping. It is important to help classroom teachers, parents, and special education teachers remember that the goal is to help, not hover.
Regardless of the reasons that support turns to hovering, the effects on the education of the student are negative.
Adult support for classroom teachers has been a part of the educational system since the mid 1960s. In today’s classrooms, it is common to find paraeducators who are assigned to help students with special needs in the general education classroom.
Too often, IEP teams see the addition of paraeducator support as a quick fix to eliminate barriers that may prevent a student from be successful in the general education classroom.
However, when a paraeducator is too closely attached to a student, it can lead to unintended harmful effects.
Because of the close connection between paraeducators and students, it is often difficult for paraeducators to notice when their helping has become hovering.
In today’s educational system, it’s hard to find a classroom that doesn’t have a paraeducator to help support students with special needs. As schools continue to move toward a more inclusive model of service delivery, general education teachers are finding themselves facing new challenges with students.