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What advice can you give me about my new TA role, please?(12 Posts)
I'm starting a new role as a TA in a Y3 class in September and was just wondering what advice all you teachers and TAs can give me?
I want to be brilliant at my job, in terms of making life for the class teacher as easy as possible, and in supporting learning, so any advice I can get before hand will be much appreciated. TIA.
Talk to the teacher and follow their instructions. Everyone works slightly differently, so some teachers may appreciate you setting activities up as they do direct teaching and others may not. Probably not in Y3 but you never know.
- never sit doing nothing. Sharpen pencils, check the homework tray, check the classroom is tidy.
- have high standards and encourage children to work quietly, walk nicely in corridors, be polite etc (I've often been just about to remind the whole class about not talking during silent working time and then realised it's a TA!)
- always have a pen and hankies.
Make good relationships with the children, particularly those who struggle with behaviour. Be positive, fair but firm. Be on the lookout for any problems starting to bubble up so that you can de-escalate the situation before it gets worse.
always have a pen and hankies - and a rubber in your pocket.
Hankies - never would have thought of that! Thank you. I will ensure that I'm never idle - I imagine there's never enough time to get everything done in school, or as quickly as you feel everything is done, there's a new pile of things to do.
Thank you .
Model the behaviour that you expect from the children. Eg Please & thank you, every time. Never chat when the teacher is addressing the class.
Make regular time to meet with the teacher to discuss plans. Agree from the start how they're going to let you know what's needed & how you can get clarification if needed.
Yyy to hankies! And hand sanitizer for yourself.
Say Yes to all the training you can get There are some wonderful intervention programs out there. Find out about the school's preferred handwriting style & calculation methods.
Offer to take on repetitive stuff, like weekly spellings or marking homework, checking book bags / diaries for notes, etc.
You sound lovely. I think I would just keep busy as said above. If you see the teacher doing something mundane ask can you assist. Take note of the instructions the teacher gives (aim of lesson etc) and support weaker or disruptive pupils.
When addressing problems in the class with teacher be respectful and say that you would like to bring to their attention xyz and just always be respectful and pleasant (and they should be to you).
Watch the strategies the teacher uses and follow. Keep room organised and tidy. Float around the room and try and sort things if you can.
Flatish shoes, layers and get familiar with the photocopier etc.
I was a TA for ages. If you can live with the low pay it’s a lovely job to have.
The most important thing in my opinion is to be pro-active. If a child is upset, comfort them, if the teacher doesn’t ask you to work with a specific group then float around and check that children are all getting on with it.
Nurturing the children is as much a part of it as helping them shine.
Also, enjoy it. Children are amazing to work with and if they see you having fun, they will too.
I'm sure you'll be fab!!
Listen to the teacher's whole class input, make sure you know what to do so you're ready to support the children and the teacher doesn't have to repeat her/him self.
Get your relationship with the teacher well established before you make suggestions about how to change things or new things to do (you may well have brilliant ideas but ease into it or it can be misconstrued as criticism)
Don't chat to the children or other staff whilst Whole class teaching's going on, if you can help it, it can be distracting.
Take on jobs that become "yours" EG changing books, collecting dinner money, getting areas set up. That helps share the mental load a bit.
Build good relationships with the kids.
Take an interest in interventions, there are some great ones that are straightforward to follow and make a real impact with the kids.
But mostly just be friendly and enjoy the job, I'm luck to work with some fantastic LSAs and we have a good chat and a laugh every day, which makes the job so much nicer.
I was a teacher and had a fab relationship with my TA, but it is normal for it to take some time to get to that easy stage.
I recommend having a tray set up, so the teacher can drop things in for you to trim/photocopy and you can just crack on and do it when you have a minute. I used to put post its on with the amount etc.
My TA took over monitoring the reading records and writing comments, and fed back to me anything I needed to know. She also helped children choose suitable books. That is a huge help.
Ask the teacher for a copy of the plans on Monday, so you can read through and have a general idea of what's happening.
Collect the kids from the playground at break/lunch if you're allowed to, a couple of extra minutes can be so helpful when you're trying to set up!
Take photos of activities when applicable.
Mark the books of the children you work with, even six less books takes a huge weight off the teacher.
This is from my POV of the things that made my life easier as a teacher, of course. I'm sure you'll do a wonderful job, TAs are so undervalued but are such wonderful support!!
Read the plans you are given, and ask if you aren’t sure about anything. My TA has full responsibility of reading records (home-school link books) and also the setting up and marking of a maths intervention. I haven’t a clue what to do if she isn’t there 😂
My TA and I can communicate telepathically now, I seldom have to say a word and she’s already dealt with a situation! It’s such a relief.
In return, I respect her greatly and consult her often about her opinion- she has a different insight to me and knows certain children much better than I do!
Most importantly, have a laugh with your class teacher, find out about each other and form a genuine friendship if you can- it will pull you through many tricky days.
Good luck and enjoy!
Such great advice on here - thanks everyone.
A tray - I like that. I will take all this advice on board.
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