The requirements to become a paraprofessional vary depending on the school, with a common requirement being possession of a high school diploma and some schools requiring a few years of college and certification. The educational requirements are based upon the school district and state policies, as well as the particular position open for hire.
Paraprofessionals function as assistants to teachers. They provide support with classroom supervision, grading assistance and instruction. They can be assigned to a general group of students or be asked to give attentive aid to special education students. Because paraprofessional positions have both technical and social responsibilities, common skills desired of paraprofessionals include people skills, patience and computer knowledge sufficient to handle spreadsheet, data entry and educational software.
One tip for anyone who wants to become a paraprofessional is to look for volunteer opportunities at day care centers or libraries. Such opportunities provide useful training and can help candidates become comfortable working with children in small groups. Another tip is to research the requirements of the state in which one is applying for work. Some states require that paraprofessional candidates pass assessments or skills-based tests before granting employment, and doing some preliminary research informs candidates what they should be studying to prepare appropriately.