It is essential to establish respectful and professional relationships with children and young people in the role of Teaching Assistant. There are certain strategies which enable such a valued and trusted relationship be established. A relationship in which a child trusts and respects their TA and feels comfortable in their company, allows the TA to offer a supportive and caring environment in which the child can learn and develop.
Listening is arguably the most important way in which to establish a respectful and professional relationship with a child or young person. By a TA listening to what a child has to say, without interruption, conveys to the child that the TA in interested in and values what the child has to say. By not interrupting the child, it shows that their views and opinions are not only respected by the TA, but are also as important as the views and opinions of the TA themselves. The TA should also take an active interest in what the child has to say and an interest in the child themselves. For example, what are their hobbies, their interests, their likes and dislikes? When talking with, or listening to children, the TA should maintain eye contact, concentrate on what the child is saying and physically lower themselves to the child’s level, thus giving the child the same respect that they would give to another adult. This shows the child that they are considered an equal by the TA.
Children respond to routine and rules and should be made aware of what the rules are and the consequences of breaking rules. By doing this, it enables the TA to explain to the child that the punishment they have received for breaking a rule ‘is fair’. Fairness helps to establish respectful relationships. Children are very aware of the concept of fairness and the statement ‘it’s not fair’ is often heard within the classroom. Another way of... [continues]
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