Do you need some ideas on how to maintain a positive relationship with TAs and Support Staff in your classroom? Keep reading!
Having a good relationship with TAs and support staff in your classroom is incredibly important. It helps to ensure classrooms run smoothly and that all students are receiving what they need to make progress.
Please take a look at the following tips collected from a very helpful article from The Guardian Online titled “How to work with your teaching assistant: it’s a double act,” regarding how best to work with those in your classroom and make the most of your time together!
Be clear and specific: don't assume that your TA knows what you want them to do. Think about how you would feel walking into a lesson and trying to decipher what to support the pupils with while listening to the teaching segment. It's hard to manage all of this at once, especially because you were on break duty and missed the first seven minutes.
Empowering your TA to be active in lessons not only enables them to raise their profile in the classroom, but also allows you to develop an engaging environment. Involve them in lessons and build a rapport where you can bounce off each other during sessions.
You will find that an experienced Teaching Assistant’s knowledge of SEN can be extremely helpful and they will be happy to work with you and suggest areas of support which will be most beneficial for individual pupils. Make sure you acknowledge this by always speaking in a professional manner and when there is conflict, clear the air and address the issue.
Allowing your TA to make independent decisions that are in line with your classroom rules and behavioural strategies is very empowering. Facilitating this will help keep the class running smoothly (especially if you are out of the classroom) and promotes a team approach to teaching.
Everyone benefits from feedback and your TA is no different. Give them details about what works well, remain positive and give clear requests. Make sure the feedback is constructive and help your TA to see the bigger picture of what you are trying to achieve in your setting. Schedule time for this perhaps every fortnight.
Value your support staff and remember they are part of the team. You can maintain a positive working relationship by remembering some key things: keep your Teaching Assistants fully informed about everything that affects their role; Make time to talk with your Teaching Assistant before and after lessons for prep and debriefs; don’t be afraid to ask a Teaching Assistant for advice; help build on the Teaching Assistant’s relationships with the pupils. They may have been working with a class, or a specific pupil, for some time and have consequently built up a good understanding of the pupil’s abilities and learning needs. Respect this valuable resource.
Click here if you’ve thought about becoming a TA or School Support Staff.