The role of a teaching assistant will vary hugely between different schools, and there’s often a large variation even within a school. Here we look at the typical job description of a teaching assistant to help you understand what the job involves. Working one-to-one or with small groups of pupils
Teaching assistants will often be assigned to individual pupils who are in need of additional help, this may be because English is not their first language or because they have learning difficulties and require additional help understanding or completing tasks. You may also be asked to help individual pupils who do not require additional support, but where one to one teaching is necessary – for example listening to pupils reading aloud. Teaching assistants are also often asked to support learning more generally, either by ‘floating’ and acting as additional support during class activities or by working with specific groups of pupils. Teaching assistants usually quickly become very adept at identifying where in the class additional support is needed and once they are settled into their role there is often some degree of flexibility as the teaching assistant and teacher work together to ensure that their time and energy is best spent in a way that optimises learning for the class. Supporting pupils with learning difficulties or disabilities Pupils who have been diagnosed with learning difficulties will sometimes have a teaching assistant assigned to them for either all or part of the time to support their learning. This support may be necessary because a pupil is physically disabled, hearing or visually impaired and needs additional support accessing the curriculum. Or it may be because they have learning difficulties and need additional support to understand and complete tasks. Teaching assistants offer invaluable support to these pupils, helping them to keep up to speed with their peers and can often mean the difference between pupils accessing a mainstream...
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