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What makes a good LSA/TA?

(4 Posts)
mustbemad17 Wed 06-Dec-17 15:34:18

Just that really. Wondering if any teachers could give their insight into what, in their view, makes a good TA?

I've a background in education, education & SEN degree, worked with kids since 15, mum also works in schools. Once I had my DD i moved into care as it was easier to fit around her. Now i'm out of work & been signed up by an Education Recruitment Agency - he seems really keen that schools will want to meet me with my background.

I haven't worked in a school in a few years, I know instantly that I need to update myself on all the policies & OFSTED info. What else would teachers suggest? Aside from go in willing!

toomuchicecream Wed 06-Dec-17 17:57:12

The best TAs I've worked with:
Follow my lead - pick up on the way I speak to/question/support the children and use it themselves.
Establish a great relationship with the children by listening to them and being interested in them.
Don't talk loudly while I'm talking to the children (either to another adult in the room or to a child/children).
Think about the children and the learning and come to me with suggestions about how we could adapt what we're doing to make it even better.
Keep me informed about the progress of children they've worked with.
Know when I need a coffee and when it's a really really bad day so I need sugar in it.
Eventually get to the point where they can almost read my mind - they know what's going to happen next and have everything ready (maybe that was just because I gave her my planning every week and she read it).
Be willing to give everything a go.
In KS1, my TA always got the cleaning up bodily fluids jobs as well while I carried on teaching the class - she wasn't too put off by a bit of poo or sick....

To be honest, policies vary hugely from school to school - it's the school's job to tell you what their policies are and what they expect from you. Safeguarding however is the thing you really should read up on as you will always be asked about this at interview. You need to know that any concerns should be reported directly to the designated person within school and what constitutes a concern. I'm sure you could find on-line courses to help you with that. Ofsted isn't really relevant to TAs either. These days, when Ofsted come it is primarily to check custom and practice - are school policies being implemented.

If you have some time for background reading then read up on phonics - practice your pure sounds and get the vocab (digraph, phoneme etc) straight in your head. Many TA jobs are likely to involve an element of phonics teaching even if you aren't in KS1 so it will really help to know a bit about it.

mustbemad17 Wed 06-Dec-17 18:05:33

Thank you Too that's great. The actual day to day policies etc i'm not concerned over, as you say they differ. It's more the personality type things, I know some teachers get TAs that really stand out to them as good for one reason or another 🙂

Thankfully i've come from care work, so bodily fluids don't worry me...and my DD is just starting out at school so i'm reacquainting myself with phonics & things 😂

junebirthdaygirl Wed 06-Dec-17 22:40:49

Agree with toomuch. Itseasier to say what makes a bad TA. Someone who speaks to the children in a sharp way you would never speak to them. Someone in any kind of a mood and putting that mood on me. I am too busy for that nonsense.
My best T A was like my righthand woman..just there when l needed her but never in my way.
Sounds like you would be suitable.

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