Landing yourself a Primary Teaching Assistant job is a great way to gain first-hand classroom experience before beginning a career as a Primary Teacher. Your exact tasks will vary, depending on the primary school you are in, but these Primary Teaching Assistants tips will ensure that you succeed in the role.
1. Show Passion
It goes without saying that in order to do something well you must genuinely be passionate about it. This couldn’t be truer for a Primary Teaching Assistant because if you aren’t showing enthusiasm, your pupils will pick up on it.
2. Be Creative
Working with primary school children is no mean feat. Their attention span is still quite short, so you have to come up with creative ways to keep them engaged and focused on the task at hand.
3. Use your Initiative
Teachers often say that the best Primary Teaching Assistants are the ones who don’t need micromanaging. You’ve got the job for a reason, so be confident when you’re working independently and trust your judgement in new situations.
4. Be Proactive
If the teacher is dealing with a behaviour issue in class, don’t stand by and watch it unfold. Keep the rest of the class focused and continue with the lesson plan to minimise disruption. The teacher will really appreciate this, and so will your pupils.
5. Be Attentive
As a Primary Teaching Assistant, you are another pair of eyes and ears in the classroom. It is part of your job to get to know your pupils and report any changes in behaviour to the teacher.
6. Be Flexible
With each new day in your role comes a new situation you may be unfamiliar with. It is up to you to adapt to the different teaching styles of your teachers, and the individual methods that prove effective for certain pupils.
7. Patience is a Virtue
Remember when we said working with primary school children is no mean feat? We weren’t lying. Be prepared to go over certain parts of the lesson a few times to ensure that the pupils understand it, and remember that persistence is key! Don’t give up on your pupils if they don’t grasp something the first time around.
8. Parental Engagement
You aren’t expected to host your own parents evening, but talking to parents and carers is a great way to prove yourself as a great Primary Teaching Assistant. Parents will really appreciate your efforts and commitment to their child’s education.
9. Teacher Communication
To be the best Primary Teaching Assistant possible, you have to understand what your teacher needs from you. Maintain open lines of communication and ask for meetings where possible to discuss how you and your students can gain the most from your time in the school.