How to Become a Paraprofessional Educator in Connecticut

Paraprofessionals assist teachers in the classroom by maintaining classroom management and working closely with students. To become a parapro in Connecticut, you can read on and learn about their average annual salary, as well as how individuals have to either accomplish a certain level of education or pass a basic skills assessment.

Requirements for Connecticut Paraprofessional Educators

Average Salary for Connecticut Paraprofessionals (2016)* $31,500 (Teacher Assistants)
Required Degree Associate Degree (as one of 3 options)
Degree Field Any
Testing Requirements Praxis ParaPro Assessment (as one of 3 options)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step One: Complete the Required Education or ParaPro Test

To meet federal guidelines, paraprofessionals must meet at least one of three requirements: complete at least two years of post-secondary education, earn an associate's degree, or pass a related assessment. There is no specific mention about the area or subject to which any education must belong. One option, then, would be to kick-start an education career by getting an associate's degree in education. Some colleges in Connecticut offer teacher education courses, such as early childhood education, nutrition for children, child development, and working with exceptional children. There may even be an opportunity to spend a semester completing a field experience in a real classroom. These programs may require students to accomplish at least a 'c' grade in their education classes.

Connecticut paraeducators are also able to prove their abilities by taking the Praxis ParaPro Assessment and accomplishing a minimum score of 457. This exam can take two and a half hours to complete and is made up of about 90 multiple-choice questions. As many other basic skills tests, this one has three major sections: reading, mathematics, and writing. In the reading section, test-takers are challenged to find the purpose of a selection of writing, to locate supporting information, and to help children break words down. During the mathematics portion, future parapros will demonstrate their grasp of basic math functions, geometry, and applying these in a classroom. Finally, the writing section focuses on grammar rules, word choices, and parts of speech, as well as helping students brainstorm ideas and revise drafts.

Step Two: Undergo Background Checks

To protect children from those who work with them in a classroom every day, Connecticut gives its paraprofessionals 30 days after they are hired by a school district to submit to a series of background checks. The Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will both scan their records for any criminal infractions. Additionally, before a person is hired, the Department of Children and Families Child Abuse will look through their records to find any instances of abuse or neglect.

Link for Connecticut Paraprofessionals

The following link includes more details about the Praxis ParaPro Assessment exam in order to better prepare you for it.

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