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Joplin School District offers unique career path in special education

A paraprofessional is a non-teaching staff member who helps teachers with classroom management and assisting students with special needs — and a new program will allow them to advance in their careers.

Joplin Schools has announced a new position for those who don't possess a teaching certificate but who want to help teachers in the classroom with behavioral and management needs.

The new position — behavior interventionist — is for paraprofessionals who want to advance in their careers. Behavior interventionists assist teachers with classroom behaviors and management needs and attend to the physical, personal, academic and emotional needs of students with special needs.

This is a more lucrative and long-term position than a paraprofessional. Behavior interventionists undergo specialized training to become more skilled in their ability to respond to student’s behavioral needs to maintain long-term relationships.
This training can include coursework, practicum hours and certification exams.

Behavior interventionists must be able to identify and assess behavioral problems, develop and implement behavior plans and monitor the effectiveness of those plans.

Paraprofessionals can begin work in Joplin Schools at $13.65 per hour. Behavior interventionist wages begin at $16.75 per hour and increase to $18.00 per hour after on-the-job training. Both positions offer full-time benefits to employees, including free mental healthcare resources. Find out more at

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Fred Fletcher-Fierro