The key aspects of the role of a teaching assistant are to help raise educational standards in the classroom by providing support for the pupils, the teacher and the school. They must also promote a quality learning environment and contribute to making a positive, quality and effective classroom environment. Which in turn shall maximise learning, minimise behavioural problems and help to create a safe and positive environment.
The teaching assistant can support the teacher by preparing and maintaining the learning environment, preparing the learning resources and learning materials for use and monitoring and maintaining the learning environment and resources. They must also ensure that all learning materials, resources and equipment are used effectively, appropriately and safely. They must understand and promote how basic and curriculum specific equipment and resources can help a pupils learning.
An effective teaching assistant shall promote positive and good behaviour while always adhering to the schools policies. They should boost pupils self esteem with praise and encouragement when needed and to use rewards and consequences consistently and teach these to pupils in a manner that they will understand. Teaching assistants shall respond quickly to incidents in a calm and professional manner and be confident when recognising and responding to incidents of bullying, violence, inappropriate behaviour and in some cases disputes. All incidents should be documented and reported to the teacher or appropriate person.
By doing all of the above the teaching assistant shall be supporting the pupils, the teacher, the school and the curriculum, which shall maximise the time spent on teaching and learning experiences.
When supporting the teacher the teaching assistant must first be clear of what is expected from them. This is achieved through regular correspondence with the teacher on a daily basis. Once the expectations have been made clear an example of some tasks which can be carried out would be for the teaching assistant to prepare and maintain the learning environment and to also prepare the learning resources and materials for use.
On a daily basis an example of this would be following instructions from the teacher to prepare the learning environment for an art session, which would involve painting. Firstly as a teaching assistant I would ensure that the learning environment was well prepared as well as the learning resources meaning that tables were set aside specifically for this purpose, these would be in a well ventilated area and that any protection that the tables and chairs would need from paint were in use. I would also ensure that any aprons or other suitable protection for clothing that the pupils would wear during the activity were readily available.
I as the teaching assistant would then prepare the learning equipment, I would locate the paint and check the inventory for shortages or loss and record what was going to be removed. I would check all paint brushes to make sure that they were clean and in a good working order and ready for use. When preparing the paint I would follow the manufactures instructions and adhere to and health and safety instructions. Once this was done I would put all the materials out in the designated area including paper ready for use.
Whilst the pupils were completing the activity I would supervise and help when needed or asked. I would also help to keep the pupils focused on the task at hand. When all painting is completed I would place all paintings in a suitable area for them to dry and start to clear up. This would include putting all materials back in a clean and good working order in the designated place whilst checking the inventory and notifying the teacher of any shortages or losses. I would then proceed to clean the learning environment and remove any protection to the learning resources whilst also...