There are many different types of teaching assistant positions, ranging from Nursery to Secondary Schools, Special Education Assistants and college. Your responsibilities as a Teaching Assistant will vary depending on where you are working, but there are a few key elements to becoming a valuable assistant in any learning environment.
All children are individuals, learning in their own individual way! It is essential that we get to know their personal interests, learning style and the activities that they enjoy. Find out as much as possible about any additional needs the child may have and carry out research into how to make learning more accessible.
Remember that many children struggle to make abstract and challenging concepts real. This is key role of anyone supporting teaching and learning. Always ask yourself how you can bring the learning to life and make difficult concepts very real through explanation and choice of resources.
Preparation is the essential part in delivering outstanding learning support. Plan meetings with the teacher, have discussions before an activity, thinking through the activity, carefully considering your choice of resources.
Get your questions ready, you may need extra tasks and activities ready for children who finish earlier than others, perhaps considering the types of challenges you may come up against during the activity e.g. what might the children find difficult to understand? Are there be any opportunities for children to lose interest? How are you going to promote positive behaviour?
Strive to be one of the few adults children will remember for making a positive difference to their lives. Do this by acknowledging the small things, finding opportunities to get to know the children and talk to them about their interests, use this knowledge then to build self-belief and promote the idea they can achieve anything they want to. Sometimes the only difference between people who reach their goals and those who don’t is belief. Make it your purpose to create the next generation of believers!