Teaching assistants have been around for decades, the profession was recognized and established around the 2000s. Whilst their main job is to help the teacher, they could also be your child’s best friend. Teaching assistants are often underrated, and in the high school setting, they work extremely hard. In some cases, they do better than the main teacher.
It’s almost as if in metaphorical terms, that a teacher is the bricks of the wall, and the assistants’ are the cement. If you didn’t have them, for starters, you wouldn’t be able to build a wall, and if you did try. You’d expect it to come tumbling down. Let’s discuss why.
What does a teaching assistant do?
1. One to one support
Teaching assistants are there to provide one to one support to each child that requires it. They will hold groups of small children, and take them to different parts of the classroom to partake in core learning activities.
2. They setup for the day and tidy away
They set up the class for the day alongside the teacher, and their job is to help tidy up after the day has ended.
3. Supporting the teacher
They have private chats with parents if they need information whilst the teacher may not have time.
4. Keeping things organised and making displays
Assistants also have a big part in organising the classroom displays including seasonal themes, time and date, month, and all things that contribute to your child’s learning.
5. Makes or does the activities
The teacher sometimes sets up the activities and presents them to the assistant to complete with the children. The assistant does reading, writing, numbers and science type activities with small groups at a time. Their responsibilities may also include teaching your child how to write their name, coming along to school trips, and keeping order in the classroom.
Teaching assistants offer one to one support whereas a classroom teacher will not have the necessary time to be able to do this. Since they have to always be focused on the day ahead, and the class as a whole. Some teaching assistants are put in a selective classroom to support one individual; this could be due to challenging behavior or supporting an individual with learning difficulties.
I believe that schools will need teaching assistants for years to come, it takes the workload off of the teacher’s hands, supporting children’s needs at lunchtime in the playground and dealing with playtime accidents. I have worked as a teaching assistant in many schools including nurseries, special educational needs college, high school and primary school, teachers could not be without assistants and they do not get enough praise.