Teaching assistants are referred to in different ways—teacher aides, instructional aides, and paraprofessionals—depending on the area of the country and the local authority where they work. Teaching assistants fulfil a key support role in helping students succeed in the classroom environment. Their responsibilities are many and varied.
Teaching assistants help the teacher with standard housekeeping tasks like taking attendance, collecting homework, and recording grades. They also help teachers prepare and set up materials and information for lessons. In addition, teaching assistants:
Reinforce lessons and help students as they complete classwork. This might include small group or 1:1 help.
Enforce classroom rules as well as rules outside of the classroom. This might include hall and cafeteria monitoring duties.
Serve as a sounding board and assist teachers as they create lessons and classroom policies.
Staff our Circle of Friends club at break and lunchtime.
Additionally, they also help teachers work through issues with individual students and help meet the needs of mainstream additional learning need students by making modifications to lessons as needed. This might include reading tests out loud and providing additional time outside of class for students to finish assessments.
There are a number of teaching assistants who are trained to a certain level that enables them to work independently with a small group of students or 1:1 within the ALN Department.
Head of Additional Learning Needs
ALN Support Manager