How To Help Your Teaching Assistants Support Your School

Most teachers and head teachers will agree that teaching assistants do a great job, but can you help your teaching assistants to become even more valuable to your school?

Thinking about the contributions of teaching assistants in the context of your HR strategy will help you to find ways to enable your teaching assistants to achieve more.

What Do You Want Your Teaching Assistants To Do?

Of course, teachers and teaching assistants already work together to support learning in the classroom. Have you also defined a whole school approach to how teaching assistants will contribute and what teachers can call on them to do?

It is a worthwhile activity. Your whole school approach will provide a good practice guide to which teachers and teaching assistants can refer. It may also serve to broaden the scope of the teaching assistant’s role by indicating the range of activities that teaching assistants can usefully be involved with.

What Do Teaching Assistants Believe They Contribute?

How often do you consult your teaching assistants as a group? Do you know if your teaching assistants are well motivated? Do you know what they believe they contribute to your school’s success?

People who believe they are adding value are usually keen and enthusiastic. Employees work better in any organisation, if they believe they are making a difference and that their colleagues appreciate and value their input.

Ask your teaching assistants how they feel about the value your school places on their contributions. The better they feel about what they do, the more they will be motivated to contribute.

How Can You Help Your Teaching Assistants To Achieve More?

The best way to start to answer this question is to ask your teaching assistants what else they believe they could do, or would like to do in school. Depending on the responses you may need to review their suggestions with other staff, organise training to help your teaching assistants to be able to do more or simply change the guidance about the role of the teaching assistant in your school.

It would also make sense to review what your best teaching assistants do and create a CPD programme aimed to bring your other teaching assistants up to the standard of the best performers in school.

What else could teaching assistants take on? Start the debate and help to facilitate change in your school.

Finally …

As you know there is always more to do in school. You have limited resources with which to complete all the tasks that need doing. Help this particular group of staff members to contribute more, and every one will benefit.

If you would like to talk to HR specialists about how you can help all your staff members to make a valuable contribution to your school’s success, talk to DOHR. 

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