Working the partnership to plan, prepare and maintain a learning environment. Working alongside the teacher to plan works/activities. Knowing exactly what is required to support children and how to deal with children with difficulties, as she will not be able to ask the teacher questions during the activity. TA should plan an activity with clear objectives to make sure it runs smoothly. Helping to organise the learning environment and supporting the introduction of new activities. The learning environment can be any area, not just a classroom, e.g. playground, Hall/gym, Computer Room, Cooking area, etc. Hence she needs to be familiar with all these areas before working with them to carry out activities with children. Always asking advice from others if she is not familiar with a particular area of the school.
Preparing and setting out classroom resources and equipment as directed by the teacher. Following the rules and procedures of health and safety (e.g. ensuring all equipment and surfaces are safe, hygienic and usable). Knowing where the school stores the equipment and resources. Knowing how different equipment items work before using/carrying out the activities to avoid any disruption and accident during the activities. (P 7) All children, including special education needs (SEN), should be given the same equal opportunities. They should be considered when planning and setting out materials and resources. The environment needs to be adapted for the needs of particular children within the class.
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Checking the availability of safety equipment and reporting any shortage/damage of any learning materials to the teacher. TA must use her own initiative to do things. Use the time effectively so that she is not waiting to be told what to do next. During and in between lessons, the TA can ensure enough classroom resources and other materials are ready to use, especially when the teacher is busy. Encouraging children to keep the room tidy, put things back at the correct place after use, and clear away waste materials. Talking to children while tidying things away about what she is doing is good practice. Help with monitoring and evaluating children’s progress.
Be able to monitor children’s responses to learning activities and take appropriate action to modify or adapt activities to meet the learning objective. TA gives feedback to the teacher on how particular sessions have worked with children and whether they have achieved their learning objectives. In addition, TA should give suggestions for anything that might need improvement next time to the teacher. The feedback can be verbal or non-verbal (fill in the evaluation sheet). These forms must be kept safe, and they are confidential. In verbal feedback, TA must communicate clearly and effectively to the teacher.
When doing a lesson evaluation where TA has to fill in the sheets, TA must accurately fill in any information regarding the children’s learning and response to the activity. Behaviour management. Working alongside the teacher to manage/promote children’s behaviour. Understanding how children learn and develop socially, emotionally and physically, she can support and enhance the learning process through a wider understanding of children’s needs and anticipating any problems and smoothing them over. Be able to create a peaceful and productive learning environment where the children can really progress, following the school policies about children’s behaviour.
Any worries or concerns about how to deal with children’s behaviour must be referred to the teacher. Be familiar with the ways individual teachers deal with children who demonstrate difficult behaviour to avoid giving conflicting messages to the children. For consistency and effectiveness, the teachers and TA must establish a good relationship and a shared understanding of how children’s behaviour will be managed. Encourage children to take responsibility for their behaviours using agreed classroom/school policy/strategies. Helping with classroom records.
Keep up-to-date records using the information provided by the teacher; it is important to complete the records accurately and legibly. TA should always double-check any record whenever filling it in. There is a legal requirement for schools to keep records of children and staff confidential, so she must be aware of issues concerning confidentiality. TA should access records under the direction of the teacher. TA should never discuss children’s records unless she is required to do so. Such information should not be passed on to other people. When keeping information, TA must not leave the computer unattended. When personal information is accessible, passwords should keep information secure. Passwords should not be displayed in the office or classroom areas, and discs & files should be locked away when not in use. TA should review and dispose of any unwanted personal data.
WORKING WITH THE CHILDREN. Supporting children’s work using the material and strategies agreed by the teacher. Supporting different activities such as class discussions, small group activities and independent learning as directed by the teacher. It is important to understand what the children are to do and what they are expected to learn. (P7) Working to build positive relationships with all children to gain the children’s trust. All the children should receive the same respect, consideration, interest, and understanding as any adult in the community. The TA must serve as a role model for the children.
Communicating effectively – it is important to communicate effectively with children to build an effective relationship. Knowing the stages of language development of children at different ages is useful. TA has to think about the best way to communicate effectively with children, whether or not she is working with a child who is just starting school or with the older child(ren) with special needs. TA should encourage children to interact positively, as she serves as a role model for the children. Encouraging children to be independent by:
- Giving them positive encouragement and praise gives them a feeling of achievement and desire to sustain their interest in learning activities.
- Listening carefully to the children. Taking notice of their contribution so that they feel they are being valued.
- Ensuring that children have sufficient resources to complete the task so that they do not need to seek help from the adult. Ensuring that the resources are accessible and that the children know where to find them within the classroom.
- Providing a level of assistance, which allows children to achieve without helping them too much.
- Children should be motivated through positive experiences that are interesting and can be made real to them.
Keep children on task. TA must know how to support the children to stay on task and concentrate. If children have difficulties or get frustrated, the TA teaching assistant should report to the classroom teacher. (P7) Adapt work where necessary – TA must be aware of children’s special education needs and adapt work where necessary as directed by the teacher. TA might not be able to ask for help from the teacher in this situation, so she must adapt the work the children have been given so that they are more able to focus on the task. TA can do this by talking through what they have to do and simplifying it or showing them exactly what they need to do. If the task is too easy, the TA must find a way to extend the children’s ideas.
(P7) Equal opportunity. Children should have the same opportunities, regardless of ability, race or gender. When working with a group of children, TA should encourage each group member to say what they have to say so that they all have an equal opportunity. When working with SEN, It is important to understand the child’s needs and the areas in which they need to work. TA should be able to help them to do this across the curriculum and agree with the teacher the strategies to be used with children who need extra help or who have specific education targets. Working cooperatively. Encouraging children to work co-operatively. TA should reinforce positive interactions between children.
Confidentiality. TA must keep children’s information confidential when working individually or in-group. Information regarding their learning should not be passed around. Care and support children. TA provides immediate care for the children when s/he is upset or unwell, referring any serious concerns to the teacher, designated First Aider, and/or a senior management team member as appropriate to the situation. TA must seek the assistance of appropriate staff where conflicts or anti-social behaviour occur outside her role to resolve.
When TA notice any sign of abuse such as emotional, physical, sexual or neglect, TA must make the report to designate person. If nobody does anything about it, TA can go direct to Social Service or NSPCC if a child is a victim of abuse and want to tell the TA about it. TA mustn’t promise the child to keep it a secret, and TA must not ask any questions because the children may make something up. TA should report any concerns to the designated person. It is confidential. TA must not discuss this matter.
WORKING WITH THE CURRICULUM. Having good knowledge of the national curriculum (or appropriate curriculum for the children). Under the direction and guidance of the teacher, TA provides support for the curriculum. Aware and understand theories regarding how children think and learn, the sequences of expected development, factors affecting children’s progress in learning difficulties, National Curriculum document, the National Literacy Strategy, the National Numeracy Strategy and the planning process.
WORKING AS PART OF THE SCHOOL. Knowing the policies of the school and working with them. TA must be aware and understand the school policy and procedures relating to different aspects within the school. Aware of confidentiality issues linked to home/children/teacher/school work and to keep confidences appropriately. Always check with the teacher (or the line manager) if in doubt Teamwork. Get on well with other members of the team. Communicate effectively with another member of staff and support others. Personal and professional relationships should be kept separate, carrying out duties well and cheerfully, considering other members of the team, acknowledging the support and ideas of other team members, not gossiping and talking about other people within the team and always being open and honest with colleagues about the ability to provide support.
Dealing appropriately with difficulties in maintaining working relationships, either by taking direct action to resolve difficulties or referring them to someone who has the authority to deal with them. Information sharing with teamwork is subject to the principle of confidentiality. However, respect should be shown for the roles of other team members of staff. Organisation structure. Knowing the different roles of the team members in the school and decision-making within the team. Attending staff meetings. . When meeting with the teacher or SEN, giving feedback on the children’s progress.
TA must make relevant contributions to provide more effective support for both the teacher and the children, ensuring the contributions are relevant and helpful to the team’s work. Opinions should be expressed clearly and concisely, demonstrating respect for the contributions made by the team. For example, making notes during the meetings to remind oneself of any action that might need to be taken from the discussion made by the team. Training. TA might undertake training to enhance personal development and to use the knowledge to benefit the school.