Amy West
EDU 713- Fall 2010
Book Review – A Guide To Co-Teaching With Paraeducators

The book A Guide to Co-Teaching with Paraeducators is broken down into seven chapters. The chapters include topics such as why paraeducators are important, roles and responsibilities, tips and strategies for collaborating, co-teaching approaches, support systems, and collaborative members of inclusive teams. The chapters are easy to follow and quick to read. It is easy to skim and pick out topics that may be relevant to the reader at the present time.
The overall purpose of the book is to showcase the roles of paraeducators. The authors each have a variety of experiences in the field of education and have researched how the roles and responsibilities of paraeducators have changed since the 1950s. The authors have interviewed several paraeducators and the teams they work on and are sharing what these individuals have voiced as being salient when working with collaborative teams and using co-teaching strategies. The goal of the authors is that the readers will recognize and learn how paraeducators are advantageous in differentiating instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners. The authors meet this goal by providing the readers information about laws (i.e., IDEIA, NCLB, and P.L. 94-142) and how paraeducators help meet the standards set forth by the laws and how professionals supervise the paraprofessionals.
The resource section of the book is extremely beneficial and could be used by a variety of professionals and/or paraprofessionals. Included in this section are templates, checklists, lesson plans, and sample agendas that provide collaborative support for any staff member that maybe involved in co-teaching.
The reading was easy and quick. The reader can easily skim through the chapters and read carefully the sections that he/she feels are essential to the situation they are currently dealing with. The authors allow paraeducators to have a “voice” by introducing several paraeducators in chapter 2 of the text and providing scenarios throughout the remainder of the book.
The resources provided are valuable and simple to use. Samples of the forms and how to use them are found throughout the text and the blank forms are provided in the resource section at the end of the book with permission to reproduce them.
The book was published in 2009 and is current on laws and co-teaching strategies that we have discussed in class. The authors all have backgrounds in education and provide an insightful view from paraeducators’ perspectives.
I recommend this book for teachers and school staff who co-teach and work with paraeducators. One copy of the book would be sufficient, per school, if it were kept in a resource library and could be checked out as needed. The book is a great tool to refer to in the beginning of the co-teaching relationship and/or when things become rocky. Nevin, Villa, & Thousand say it best, “If you want a paraeducator to really give 100%, realize that they need to be shown they are a valued member of the community by being given the training and support they need to learn how to do the job and get better at it”.
Nevin, A.I., Villa, R.A., & Thousand, J.S. (2009). A guide to co-teaching with paraeducators: practical tips for k-12 educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.