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Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation
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Introductory Scenario

Veronica Mallory has been a paraprofessional for 30 years. Many of her colleagues—teachers and parapros—have already retired. So, her school, Jefferson Middle, has recently employed a number of new educators. Helping these educators become effective instructors is the challenge now facing long-time principal, Marsha Albright. 

As Marsha knows, effective communication between educators and students is crucial to the success of instruction overall. So, she’s asked a small team of seasoned educators—the Communications Professional Development Team (CPDT)—to create a series of workshops on communication for new Jefferson Middle School educators. 

The principal invited Veronica to be one of the four members of this team. “You’re great with the kids,” she said to Veronica. “The new teachers and parapros will learn a lot from hearing about how you learned to communicate so well with students and to break down communication barriers.” 

TAKE NOTES

By the end of this unit, you will probably be able to answer questions like those that Veronica posed to herself. Framing those questions in a more general way, they are: 

  • What are the characteristics of good communication with students? 
  • What circumstances lead to communication breakdowns with students? 
  • What circumstances lead to improvements in communication with students? 
  • What signs should educators look for as evidence that a communication strategy is (or is not) working? 

At this point, you may already have some answers to these questions. What are they? Jot down some notes or discuss your answers with one or more educators. If you are completing this Introductory Challenge with others in a workshop or class, your instructor or facilitator might ask you to share your answers to these questions with one or more other participants. 

Module: Communication and Collaboration

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