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Elevating Paraeducator Careers

...Gaining Momentum

Welcome! We are so excited to unveil our digital platform for the NEA Paraeducator Institute (also known as (\ˈpī\). Our vision is to elevate paraeducator careers and PI is a huge step in that direction. Over the last year we have been engaging members on the various components of the Institute. Today marks another exciting step in recognizing and elevating paraeducator careers. The PI site will serve as a hub, an online community for paraeducators and other members of the education team. Paraeducators, parents, teachers, and administrators will be able to learn about a variety of issues important to the paraeducator profession, including professional development opportunities, best practices, policy, and more. 

As you will see in the top right corner of the PI home page, we incorporated the symbol of the united teaching profession into our PI logo. Adopted by the NEA Executive Committee in 1966, the symbol combines the legacy of the past (the pi symbol is the ancient Greek word for education) with new direction for the future (the arrow across the pi symbol). The spherical triangle, serving as a background, represents the mutually supportive programs of local, state, and national education associations to advance education. The design symbolizes the forward thrust of education through a united education workforce. This symbol truly exemplifies the role that all education support professionals (ESP) contribute in meeting the foundational needs of the whole student. Paraeducators and other ESP are critical members of the education workforce who educate and nurture our children in the classroom and protect and engage our students on the playgrounds, cafeteria, hallways, and classrooms.

I want to thank the thousands of paraeducators who work tirelessly and often without recognition, respect and adequate pay for all that you do both inside and outside of the classroom to ensure that students are successful, whole, and prepared for life beyond the bell.

In closing, I would like to dedicate this site to Anna Lou Pickett, the founder of the National Resource Center for Paraeducators (NRCP) and friend of NEA. Anna Lou was a true pioneer paving the way for paraeducator careers. She served as an advisor to the NEA Paraeducator Institute. Anna Lou passed away on May 10. To read more about Anna Lou’s legacy click here.

Roxanne Dove

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Visit the Paraeducator Institute group on NEA edCommunities, NEA's online, professional, interactive social community, to leave a comment on this article.



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How to Join NEA edCommunities

  1. Visit and register if you are not already a member of edCommunities. 
  2. Once you are a member of edCommunities, search for the NEA Paraeducator Institute Group page by clicking on GROUPS (along the top rail of the page) and typing the first few words of the group name into the search bar.
  3. Click “Join”