QTs: How to work effectively with a new teaching assistant

Having spent days of the summer break tirelessly planning lessons, reassessing the layout of your classroom, and generally planning the new school term, you’ve probably not spent a great deal of time thinking about the ways that you can build a health working relationship with your new classroom assistant.

Below are a few tips on how you can hit the ground-running with your new teaching assistant (TA), ensuring that you get off to the best possible start in the new term.

Establish a clear path of communication

Don’t take it for granted that your TA is going to know exactly what they are required to do all of the time. As soon as possible you should approach your TA, discussing your plans and approach to teaching so that you can be on the same wave-length. This is the secret to forming an effective teaching partnership.

Give your TA freedom to interact

In your classroom, your TA should be someone who your pupils aren’t afraid to approach. Get the most out of your TA by giving them the freedom to participate in a practical, engaging way, so that your pupils familiarise themselves with your TA, and learn to appreciate them.

Recognise your TAs strengths and weaknesses

Try and socialise in the staff room with your TA and get to know them on a personal level, as well as in a professional capacity. This will give you a more rounded understanding of your colleague, allowing you to distinguish what their strengths our, which you can in turn focus on.

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