About the Paraprofessional Chapter

UFT paraprofessionals work in the classroom as part of an educational team providing educational and supportive services to children. The teacher is the team leader and has sole responsibility for introducing new material. The paraprofessional is the reinforcer for the teacher's lessons.

If you're a general education paraprofessional, you work in the school's classrooms, libraries, reading or math labs, resource rooms or with small groups of children, reinforcing the day's lesson.

If you're a special education paraprofessional, in addition you may be involved with feeding students, brushing teeth, toileting, changing diapers, giving wheelchair assistance or performing other tasks specifically listed on a student's individual education program (IEP).

Chapter History

All poor and mostly women, paraprofessionals first joined the nation’s schools in small numbers in the 1960s through a Great Society antipoverty program. It wasn’t easy at first. Some encountered discrimination and disrespect. They were made to do jobs no one wanted, like taking children home and cleaning up if they got sick. That slowly changed, and it had a lot to do with the leadership of the UFT.

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