Date
26 March 2019

Introducing TA to classroom culture and expectations

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Supporting and preparing teachers in their role’

Introduce a new TA to students

Introduce a new TA to students

Encourage teachers to set the tone for how a teacher aide will be received by students by:

  • introducing the TA as someone who will be working in the classroom with the teacher to help everybody learn
  • providing the TA with an opportunity to mihi mihi and introduce themselves and their interests to the class 
  • outlining some of the responsibilities of the TA within the classroom
  • supporting the TA to get to know all the students
  • avoiding saying the TA is here “to help Sarah".

Source: Adapted from Welcome to the classroom: An information and communication guide for teachers and one-to-one paraprofessionals

Share expectations about classroom culture

Share expectations about classroom culture

Encourage teachers to take time to introduce a new TA to:

  • an overview of the classroom philosophy
  • confidentiality protocols
  • the need for discretion when talking about students in their presence
  • appropriate and inappropriate use of touch and force
  • how you value and respect differences in culture, religion, gender, social class, and abilities
  • agreed approaches for getting the class to listen
  • agreed approaches for motivating children to cooperate
  • agreed approaches for managing conflict with or between students.

Source: Adapted from Welcome to the classroom: An information and communication guide for teachers and one-to-one paraprofessionals

Build collaborative relationship

Build collaborative relationship

Checklist for building collaborative working relationships between teachers and teacher aides.

  • Check school policies have been introduced to the teacher aide, including that on confidentiality policy and practice.
  • Agree on communication methods.
  • Explain classroom routines.
  • Provide information about the students they are working with.
  • Provide a daily written schedule of tasks, including plans to follow when implementing teacher-planned instruction.
  • Demonstrate strategies for working with students.
  • Schedule regular debriefings to discuss issues, answer questions, and reflect on student progress.
  • Acknowledge and recognise the teacher aide’s work and give specific constructive feedback.

Source: Adapted from Directing paraprofessional work, M.F Giangreco and M.B. Doyle (opens in a new tab/window)

Establish information sharing options

Establish information sharing options

Explore ways to keep communication flowing between regular meetings.

  • Display schedules, rules, and other information on the classroom wall or whiteboard for quick reference by teacher aides.
  • Teachers can make their classroom plans available to teacher aides in hard copy or digitally (for example, as a shared Google Doc) so teacher aides can see what is planned for the day/week/term/unit.
  • Teachers can provide summaries or excerpts of classroom plans to teacher aides, indicating the teacher aides’ tasks.

Source: Adapted from Welcome to the classroom: An information and communication guide for teachers and one-to-one paraprofessionals

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Teachers and teachers’ aides working together: Module 2 – Identifying your connections activity

Publisher: Ministry of Education New Zealand

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Support and prepare teachers in their role”:

Return to the guide “Supporting effective teacher aide practice ”

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