5 Top Tips for Teaching Assistants
A teaching assistant’s role varies from day to day, but as a whole, you will usually work to support the school, inside or outside the class.
Additional support is a massive help to teachers and pupils, which is why TA’s are always very high in demand, regardless of whether you’re helping a student to read or prepping resources for the next class.
If you’re still new to this role, or you’re currently looking for teaching assistant jobs, we have a few tips below to help you out – since you’re probably going to have your work cut out for you!
1. Develop your attention to detail
Attention to detail is a skill you will need on the very first day of your placement. Picking up on the finer details quickly, such as learning the names of pupils in your class, goes a long way and will help you to quickly establish a personal connection with each individual. Learning the basics as soon as possible will also help when you are providing them with one-to-one support too.
2. Write less, talk more
On occasion, you may become nervous – that’s natural! Don’t let it affect the way that you are teaching and connecting with your class, in the event that you are required to give a brief lesson (via the teacher’s instructions). Engage with each student and don’t write too many notes on the board. It is much easier for them to lose focus when you don’t make a connection with them through the likes of discussion. Plus, if you’re facing the board while you are delivering a lesson, this could result in misbehaviour or a lack of interest if you take your eyes off your class for too long…
3. Make time for questions
We all learn new information at different speeds. Some of your students may be a little slower than others with this, so allow time for them to think about and answer any questions you may have during your lesson. Adding pressure may cause reduced participation, so give them a few seconds to react, and you’re sure to get more hands in the air.
4. Encourage participation so you can assess their understanding
When delivering your lesson, it’s fairly easy to see the difference between a student who is totally engaged and another whose attention has drifted. This could easily be due to the fact that they don’t understand what they are learning about, or they simply aren’t listening. If you pick up on this, open a discussion, or ask questions to get a better idea of how much your class understands from your lesson. A plenary at the end also helps.
5. Teach facts, not opinion
Everyone has their own views and opinions. While your student’s young minds are still busy moulding, it’s important to teach them the difference between facts and opinions, and not to shift your own views upon them. Teach your class to develop their own views through asking questions, and questioning answers. Teach them what they need to know for their tests/exams, but don’t limit them to this alone.
The bond you build with your class is essential, whether you’re a qualified teacher or a teaching assistant. Their learning depends on how well they digest the information you are teaching, and there is a better chance of this happening if you establish a strong relationship with them.
If you’re currently looking for teaching assistant jobs, head over to our job search page today to see what we can offer you.