New paraeducator Ruchi Jain bridges the learning gap for students


Joshua Cedro

Jain started her career as a paraeducator at Pomeroy Elementary School.

For years, new SCHS paraeducator Ruchi Jain volunteered in SCUSD classrooms, and it was not until four years ago that one teacher suggested Jain obtain a position in the district as a paraeducator. Eventually, she did, initially at Pomeroy Elementary School. 

“There are so many kids, and the teacher cannot give that kind of (one-on-one) support to all,” Jain said. “That is what drove me towards this profession.”

Despite her current job, Jain was not originally looking for a teaching position. Since Jain was raised in India, the American school culture and atmosphere were unfamiliar to her. By volunteering in classrooms, she wanted to help her daughters blend in while also helping children.

Becoming a paraeducator presented Jain with many challenges as she did not receive proper training at the beginning of her career. 

“Getting to understand those kids really required time,” Jain said. “But slowly and gradually, I learned and I was able to help.”

As a paraeducator, Jain sees herself as the bridge between students and teachers. She breaks down instructions for students and provides individualized support for those who are Emerging Bilingual. However, becoming the educational link requires establishing a trustworthy relationship between herself and the students, and Jain said she has been able to get most students to open up and be comfortable around her by communicating with them daily. 

“Even if you spend months with them, sometimes there’s something that just clicks between you and the other person,” Jain said. “Then they can ask for help, and there is not a fine line that obstructs them.”

When she first started as a paraeducator, Jain worked with kindergarteners and first graders, and the classrooms were always festive for Halloween. 

“The beautiful costumes they used to come in,” Jain said. “We had so much fun in the classroom, watching movies and eating popcorn.”

Outside of work, Jain loves to indulge in literature, and she enjoys a variety of genres.  

“I’ve read about historical people like Elizabeth II, (Prince) Charles, and it really inspires me,” Jain said. “I like some light stuff too, like countryside stories.”

Along with students, Jain has built relationships with SCHS staff, and she had a relatively easy time meeting them since most were going through similar experiences in the classroom.

“Everybody is warm, very welcoming and ready to help,” Jain said. “It’s really good because I like working with the staff.”