Teacher Expectations - Do We Have Any Influence?

October 4, 2012
Kira Wright, CCC-SLP

This is part of a continuing series of posts on therapy ideas to support assistants (SLPAs) and paraprofessionals in the schools in their work with students and their supervising SLPs.

An education story on NPR in September focused on how teacher expectations impact student performance. It turns out that our expectations influence the way we treat people, and in thousands of little ways that may be individually inconsequential, but build up over time, the way we think about people changes their behavior! For students, these behaviors are reflected in achievement, social interactions, and classroom dynamics. 

Take a look (or listen), and think about what kinds of expectations and preconceived ideas you bring to the therapy room. 

How can you challenge your own preconceived ideas?

How can you influence the expectations and behaviors of the paraprofessionals or teachers you work with?

SLPAs and paraprofessionals should always operate within the scope defined by state and national licensing organizations and should only conduct allowable tasks under the supervision of a speech-language pathologist.