Collaborative relationships with paraprofessionals
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Given the important and long-term role that paraprofessionals play in a self-contained special education environment, this research questions if the implementation of collaborative practices, specifically those often applied in co-teaching environments, support a positive and high-quality instructional environment where paraprofessionals work in collaboration with the lead teacher as part of an effective educational team with strong levels of personal engagement and professional satisfaction. This study found key co-teaching strategies that could be effectively used to improve delivery of instructional content, increase paraprofessional engagement and build a more positive classroom climate. Further reflection and research will provide additional insight into strategies to maximize the benefits of the selected co-teaching strategies.