Substitute Paraprofessional Job Description and Skills

Updated on: June 16, 2024

Job Overview

A Substitute Paraprofessional provides support to teachers and students in the classroom in the absence of the regular paraprofessional.

The role involves assisting with classroom management, facilitating student learning, and helping with administrative tasks to ensure a smooth educational experience for all students.

Key Responsibilities

  • Assist the lead teacher with classroom instruction and activities.
  • Support individual students or small groups to enhance their learning experience.
  • Help manage classroom behavior and maintain a positive learning environment.
  • Prepare and organize classroom materials and resources.
  • Supervise students during break times, meals, and other activities as needed.
  • Provide support to students with special educational needs.
  • Assist with record keeping and maintaining student files.
  • Communicate effectively with teachers, staff, and students.
Substitute Paraprofessional Job Description and Skills Page Image


  • High school diploma or equivalent; higher education or specialized training is a plus.
  • Previous experience working with children or in an educational setting is desirable.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to follow instructions and work independently.
  • Reliable and punctual with a professional demeanor.
  • Basic understanding of educational practices and classroom management.
  • Patience, adaptability, and a positive attitude.

Essential Skills for a Substitute Paraprofessional

Communication Skills

Effective communication with teachers, students, and staff is crucial. This includes listening, speaking, and writing clearly and concisely.

Interpersonal Skills

Strong interpersonal skills help facilitate positive relationships between the paraprofessional and students, ensuring a supportive and encouraging environment.

Classroom Management

The ability to manage and maintain classroom order is vital. This includes handling disruptions and encouraging positive behavior.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Being adaptable to different classroom settings, instructional methods, and student needs is essential for a substitute paraprofessional.


Patience is a key skill when working with children, especially those with special needs or challenging behaviors.

Organizational Skills

Keeping classroom materials, student records, and other resources organized and readily accessible is necessary for an efficient working environment.

Problem-Solving Skills

Quickly identifying and addressing issues as they arise ensures a smooth and productive classroom experience.

Technical Skills

Basic familiarity with educational technology and software can be beneficial in supporting classroom activities and record-keeping tasks.

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