click here to skip navigation and move directly to contenthome Para eLink: Where Minnesota's Paraprofessionals Learn Online  
   competencies | tutorial | glossary | help | site index 
about online training

online resources


technical notes

core areas

specialized areas



Core Competency Area 5

competencies       explore section       review       area evaluation

Area Introduction

One of the job functions of the paraprofessional is to be supportive of the teaching and learning environment. Providing a supportive environment greatly helps the learning process. There are a variety of ways that the paraprofessional can be supportive of the teacher and the learner in the classroom environment. Some of these ideas will be addressed in this competency area.

Paraprofessionals should be aware of the environmental factors that can affect learning and teaching. These factors can especially affect behavior. Knowing these factors is useful for maximizing learning. The following areas are components of the educational process and will be discussed: the learner, the teacher, the subject matter, and the instruction method. Being aware of these components can influence the ways in which you support the teaching and learning environment.

Technology can play a big role in teaching and learning. A brief history of the use of technology in the classroom will be presented. This will be followed by information about instructional technology and assistive technology. Knowing how this affects your role as a paraprofessional is important to your support of the classroom.

You, as the paraprofessional, can also impact the overall learning environment for students and staff. One of the ways in which you may do that is through working with students in an inclusive environment. You will learn more about inclusive environments, including their characteristics, their benefits, as well as, strategies to promote inclusive environments and potential problems of inclusion, including how to promote the learner’s independence. Inclusion is a reality in our classrooms today. Therefore, it is important for paraprofessionals to gain information about inclusion.

Finally, a brief look at instructional responsibilities will be presented. It is important to recognize which staff member is responsible for various duties. One of the most important things is to prepare for instruction and evaluate instruction. This is good practice in the learning environment. The paraprofessional helps to prepare and organize materials to support teaching and learning.

(Clicking the hyperlinked competency code, e.g., 1K3B, will take you to the associated training unit.)

5. Supporting the Teaching and Learning Environment
5.1 (5K1B, 5S1B) Ability to assist and reinforce elements that support a safe, healthy, and effective teaching and learning environment.
5.2 (5K2C) Awareness of the ways in which technology can assist teaching and learning.
5.3 (5K3B) Understanding of strategies for assisting with the inclusion of students in various settings.
5.4 (5S3C) Ability to use strategies that promote the student's independence.
5.5 (5K4B) Awareness of how paraprofessionals can impact the overall learning environment for students and staff.
5.6 (5S2C) Ability to prepare and organize materials to support teaching and learning, as directed by a licensed teacher.


pdf iconpdf     text iconrtf

Your facilitator may ask you to turn in a written copy of the area review, in which case you can use either the pdf or rtf file. If your facilitator wants you to submit an electronic file, download the rtf file and open it in a Word Processor.

Area Evaluation


top of page