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Unlocking the Power of Paraeducators in Special Education: Insights from Dr. Deborah Schloemer-Frazer

In a recent episode of “The FAST 15” podcast, I had the opportunity to have a truly insightful and inspiring conversation with Dr. Deborah Schloemer-Frazer, a seasoned special education teacher and trainer at Specially Designed Education Services (SDES).  Our discussion shed light on the significance of paraeducators and the importance of effective teaming approaches in the classroom. 

🎙️ If you have had the opportunity to listen to the FAST 15, take some time to get to know Deborah a little better by hearing about her personal experiences and perspectives in her approach to positive relationships with her paraeducators. 💬

Deborah Frazer’s journey from a passionate teacher to a doctoral student and trainer in special education curriculum and instruction highlights the transformative power of embracing personal growth and continuous learning. Her story serves as an inspiration for educators to pursue ongoing educational opportunities and adapt to new roles within the field. 🌱

Bridging the Gap: Research to Practice

  • Accessible Research Insights: Deborah emphasizes the importance of making research accessible to educators, empowering them to adopt evolving methodologies effectively. 📚
  • Bridging Theory and Practice: By staying up-to-date with the most current research, special education teachers and paraeducators can bridge the divide between theory and practice, benefiting their students. 🤝


One of the key challenges addressed by Deborah is the gap between research insights and practical implementation in special education.

The Power of Collaboration: Teacher-Paraeducator Partnerships

  • Open Communication: Regular meetings and feedback loops are essential for creating a positive and collaborative learning environment. 🗣️
  • Leveraging Strengths: By leveraging each team member’s unique strengths and expertise, special education programs can deliver comprehensive support tailored to diverse needs. 💪


Recognizing the pivotal role of paraeducators, Deborah stresses the importance of fostering strong teacher-paraeducator partnerships.

Impact of Paraeducators: Driving Student Success

  • Improved Student Outcomes: Studies consistently demonstrate that effective teaming approaches lead to improved outcomes for students. 📈
  • Dedication and Expertise: Paraeducators bring a wealth of knowledge, patience, and dedication to their roles, supporting students in their academic, social, and emotional development. 🧠


The impact of paraeducators in special education cannot be overstated.

Supporting Resources at SDES: Paraeducator Handbook 📖

At Specially Designed Education Services, we understand the importance of nurturing effective relationships between teachers and paraeducators. Our Paraeducator Handbook serves as a comprehensive resource guide, offering insights and strategies to enhance collaboration and coordination of support for students.

As special education teachers, paraeducators, and administrators, it is our collective responsibility to cultivate an environment that fosters growth, collaboration, and student success.

Gratitude and Empowerment: Celebrating Paraeducators

  • Expressing Gratitude: Consider various ways to build into your schedule a variety of ways to express gratitude for the unwavering commitment and dedication of paraeducators in the field of special education. 🙏
  • Creating Inclusive Learning: Together, as a united community of educators, we have the power to create inclusive, supportive, and transformative learning experiences that empower our students to thrive. 🌟

Paraeducators’  tireless efforts, often behind the scenes, make a profound difference in the lives of students with disabilities. 

Stay supportive and encouraging, Champions!

Barb Beck

Creative Content Director, SDES

©2024 Specially Designed Education Services

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SDES has teamed up with Mundo Pato, Inc., our cloud publishing partner, to create a simple and affordable solution for special educators to use during this critical time.

The Virtual Teaching Materials are a separate supplemental purchase that will greatly enhance the Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics ​or can be used on its own.

Virtual Teaching Materials Pricing 1st year: $1000 non-recurring configuration fee plus 12 x monthly charge.

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Monthly subscription charge is based on a minimum of 100 students ​and increases by $125 per group of 25 additional students.

Scheduling Tip

Find a student in your classroom who can read and understand your master schedule. Assign them a job in the morning to help set up individual student schedules. See the video of Megan setting up the schedule.
Play Video
Suzanne’s student Megan was her Teacher’s Assistant first period during her junior and senior year. One of her jobs, among other clerical tasks, was to set up individual student schedules. It saved Suzanne prep time in the morning and was a great vocational experience for Megan.

SDES has teamed up with Mundo Pato, Inc., our cloud publishing partner, to create the full Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics in the cloud. *The Styer-Fitzgerald Program in the Cloud Start-Up Fee: a $6000 non-recurring start-up fee will be added to the first year subscription only.

Cloud Pricing

Per Month
Per Year*
Monthly subscription charge is based on a minimum of 100 students ​and increases by $125 per group of 25 additional students.