I learned an important lesson this past week--the importance of getting to know the educational assistants that cross paths with me throughout the typical school day. These people are, on the whole, qualified and competent at what they do. Your burden as a teacher can be eased if you make it known to these paraprofessionals how their individual charge is doing and keep them updated on what you specifically need from them. I recommend also taking the time in the class period to get to know the para on a personal level, if the time warrants. It need not be every day, but when your paths cross for a few seconds here or there, ask a friendly question. A positive working relationship makes many otherwise tedious tasks go smoothly, and educational assistants appreciate and respect you in return. And who knows what will happen after this affable relationship is established. Perhaps a teacher could compliment such a paraprofessional on her flattering haircut and will learn that for ten years she cut hair professionally. And before you know it, it's a Wednesday afternoon after school and you find yourself getting your hair chopped off. Familiarity does have its perks.