Arriving at school as a student or working as a teacher or support staff role you should expect a place with respect, support, harmony and not a constant daily challenge. Going to work each day alongside a person you don’t like can have a negative impact on you’re teaching and create an atmosphere that’s not suitable for an effective working relationship.
Jane is a primary teacher who has been teaching key stage one at the same school for 7 years. The class teacher assistant (TA) that was assigned to her class for the past 3 years left at Christmas and new temporary TA was recruited for a few months until the summer break. The new TA is young with no prior experience, makes mistakes regularly, distracts children in class by talking to pupils when Jane has asked for silence, and gets upset when students are trying to misbehave.
Jane thinks the new school TA is not suited to the role, lacks appropriate training, and is not taking the class assistant job seriously. In a short time Jane has grown to dislike the TA for disrupting her lessons and hate the school teaching assistant for acting in an unprofessional manner in front of children.
Class assistant requires clear guidance & support
In all future lessons Jane provides support to the TA explaining and directing the class assistant more than she would normally do working with a TA ensuring her class is taught and supported adequately.
As a new teacher assistant with no experience the TA said they’re out of they’re depth at present with children’s bad behaviour and needs support & guidance on behaviour management.
Jane said she is the main authority figure in class and she will deal with any abrupt pupils, although the TA should be building positive working relationships with children so they behave and respect you as a TA.
Jane has proactively managed to change the bad TA class experience stopping prolonged problems with the teacher assistant providing assurances & ongoing support until the TA gains confidence and experience in the job role. Jane initially communicates teaching assistant do’s and don’ts around children & in lessons:
- Be firm, but fair.
- Follow school policy.
- Don’t disturb the teacher or pupils if the teacher is explaining something to the class.
- Be consistent and never back down & follow through on what you say.
- Ask for guidance & assistance if required, don’t suffer in silence.
- Use you’re sense of humor and not take students bad behaviour seriously.
- Don’t let the pupils off with bad behaviour as they will continue and see you as a soft touch.
- Build up a good rapport with the class and individual pupils to gain respect by getting to know the pupils quickly & individual names.
- Try to relax, be confident and smile occasionally, remember you have instant support from the teacher when you need assistance.
- Inform the teacher immediately of any disruptive students you can’t deal with, and I will deal with it myself.
School TA role crash course training
The teacher assistant department has provided the new employee with a list of duties that they’ll be expected to conduct in the job. Jane has taken on herself to help support the TAs roles & responsibilities in here class including:
- Support & provide guidance to school children answering class questions.
- Encourage pupils to complete all work they can to they’re best ability.
- Give pupils assistance to conduct and finish teacher directed tasks.
- Look after the welfare of pupils and provide children support that’s upset.
- Manage or help supervise pupil’s group activities in lessons or school trips.
- TAs require to help managing class behaviour promoting respect for others, patience, harmony, pupils working together or individually in a class & learning environment.
- Help set up the classroom & prepare some learning resources.
- Complete record keeping & admin tasks.
Expectations of teacher assistants working with children
During the short time the new TA has been working with Jane she realises the person is a horrible primary school teaching assistant as they are not respecting the role or acting accordingly to support young children’s lessons.
Jane knows how to deal with difficult teaching assistants as she has come across one previously and know she shouldn’t get directly involved initially confronting the TA with they’re unprofessional work practices.
Jane speaks to the primary school phase leader about issues she’s having with her class assistant. Details are passed onto to the TA department and they will speak to the new support teacher about the concerns. Results are instant with Jane & the TA after a meeting with the TA and they’re supervisor explaining TAs are required to act appropriately working with teachers.
The TA wasn’t fully aware they were distracting students while the teacher is talking and disturbing the flow of Jane’s lesson. They will now remain silent & not distract pupils when Jane is instructing the lesson.
The TA was informed that they require too act in a professional manner around school at all times respecting others and the work & roles they do.
TAs supervisor stated that as they’ve not been a teacher assistant before, support & assistance and training will be provided to help them cope without getting upset with children & the role to provide effective support to student learning in Jane’s lessons.
The conversation has resulted in a positive reaction from Jane’s TA with a personality attitude adjustment for the better. They have now started to build a working relationship together instead of the TA undermining a teacher in class.