27th Annual Paraeducator Conference opens with robust class schedule

March 13, 2024

Being a paraeducator means being a laundry list of different roles for your students.

That often means needing to be prepared and educated about a litany of topics and learning techniques you may not even know about until you see them.

At every Paraeducator Conference, the diverse class schedule is a highlight and Tuesday was opening day at the 2024 Paraeducator Conference where this year’s 1,249 attendees were able to dive into all the offerings on tap this year.  

Wide range of class offerings
This year’s offerings range from understanding how to work with students from traumatic backgrounds and dealing with compassion fatigue, to CalPERS basics and CPR training. From an interactive presentation on gender and pronouns to understanding the evolving digital landscape, attendees at the Paraconference have the chance to learn more about who their students are as people and the world they live in. 

Paraeducator Conference 2024

Even for those attending their first Paraconference, like Angelica Martinez from Beaumont Unified Chapter 351, the excitement of this year’s conference was clear.  

“The classes and how excited everybody is has really stood out,” she said.  

A small action can go a long way in the life of a student who isn’t feeling accepted or included, but learning situational awareness and how to recognize those times can be the difference in their school experience and even their home lives.  

Recognizing students' individual needs
Classes like ‘Pronouns: Small Words, Big Impact’ and presentations by the Kaiser Permanente Educational Theater program on mental health showcased the large impact paraeducators can have on students’ lives and how nuanced recognizing their needs as human beings is.

“That’s actually a big reason why I came,” said Harley Parson, a member of Patterson Unified Chapter 174. “I come from a very small area so finding where I can be more inclusive is a big reason why I chose my classes.” 

Paraeducator Conference 2024

Classes are not just classes at Paraconference, either. They’re a back-and-forth conversation between presenters and attendees that keep even lengthy classes from feeling dull or stale.  

“I enjoyed that aspect,” said Maria Marroquin from West Covina Chapter 91 after attending ‘Navigating the Digital Landscape’. “There was a lot of discussion and not as much of a lecture. It didn’t feel like a three-hour class. [The presenter] wanted to hear what we had to say.” 

This year's schedule of classes
For a full list of classes scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, visit the schedule page and for all Paraeducator Conference information, visit csea.com/paraconference

This year’s Paraconference is just getting started, though. This week is about the chance to bond and spend time together outside of school sites and Wednesday’s game night and food trucks will be the perfect chance to relax for the CSEA siblings and guests in attendance.  

For more information on game night, visit the Paraconference general information page.  

This article was written by CSEA Sr. Communications Specialist Matt Murphy