In present, their role is extremely important, and it is hard to imagine things as easily as they run now without their help, especially because there is a big deficit in the number of teachers in primary schools.
Skilled teaching assistant bring a very valuable contribution to pupils achievement within the learning environment.
Unfortunately I started working in a school later than I should have, but I feel as every experience I've been through led me to this.
I volunteer as teaching assistant 3 days a week, and in the rest of the time I look after two children, aged 9 and 5 years old, that attend the school I work in. My job description involves certain things, such as assisting the teacher by supporting the pupils during the teaching of the curriculum and always working under the direction of the class teacher.
Because I am all the time surrounded by children, I can assist the children and understand their learning needs.(K.U 1.1) My prior job inside the classroom is to listen to the children, respect and value them. Even though I haven't been working for too long with them, the pupils in my classroom already gained respect and confidence in me, and I can see how slowly, with my help and of course, the teacher's , they are gaining the sense of independence, which is extremely important for a child developing. I'm helping by ensuring they have access to the curriculum at all the times, and by using plenty of praise and rewards. I make sure that all the children participate fully in every lesson, by reminding them of teaching points made by teacher and help them organise and participate in appropriate play activities or games.
Most of the times I'm working with pupils in Year 3, but sometimes I'm in Foundation Stage. In the Year 3 (7-8 years), I encourage the pupils to work independently when the case and to try to manage their own reading. I'm also always encouraging them to use the library independently, as I am with the pupils in Foundation Stage, which need to be encouraged to develop their independent learning skills. They have to learn to take turns and speak and follow simple written instructions. I need to make sure that the pupils are able to make choices about books and to persuade them to learn independently.
In both cases I am always trying to teach the pupils to use information from various sources and to complete all tasks set in a given time.
I have to be aware at all the times of the school's policies, for example in the case of children protection, the school has a member of the staff who is responsible for child protection matters, a Child Protection Policy and certain procedures to deal with any child protection issues arising(K.U 1.2). Another important matter that I must always keep in mind are the policies regarding bullying, as unfortunately, is a very common problem in schools all over the world.
In order to provide support for the school, I must attend all the staff meetings and training sessions and to make sure that I'm in constant process of acquiring the full range of skills and knowledge needed to satisfy job requirements, especially as I come from a foreign country.
It is also very important that I, as a teaching assistant, I understand my roles and responsibilities in relation to school's policies and insist that the pupils conform to the standards detailed in the school's policy in behaviour, and if necessary, take measures to isolate (conform the policy of behaviour) a disruptive child from the rest of the class.
As stated in the title, my most important role is to provide support...