How can we help our school community be more authentically connected to our students with special needs?
The “EA Passion Project” is a professional development project for Educational Assistants to become an expert in an area, develop a resource and share that knowledge with other EAs and teachers. Through their own personal research, attending workshops and working directly with their student with special needs, EAs will gain expertise in a certain topic and create a resource that will be shared with EAs, teachers and the student’s parents. Ideas and examples of the resource that will benefit our school community: a tool, book, poster, visuals, video, toy/game, start a new club or BIG ideas like a buddy bench, a school mural or a calm-down corner.
CONNECTIONS AND PERSPECTIVES:
The EA Passion Project encourages EAs to pursue their interest and become experts in an area that would benefit their student with special needs. It connects EAs to their school community by having them share their knowledge with other EAs and teachers. It helps build positive relationships between teachers and EAs and, hopefully, resources created could benefit other students without special needs as well. The driving question also urges EAs to consider how our school community can be more authentically connected to our students with diverse learning needs. This connects well with our theme of being community cultivators as we build in opportunities for EAs to connect regularly to give feedback to each other and hopefully build up community among EAs. Also, having EAs share their expertise with teachers will hopefully help cultivate positive EA-teacher relationships. Finally, this project will hopefully create more awareness of how our school can foster authentic community among all our students.