"A day in the life of a teaching assistant"
No one day is ever the same! Everyday brings a new challenge and reward. Here's a snap shot of a day working in an SEN school.
- Before the children come in we set up the classroom for the morning. That can be setting up chairs and tables, putting out games and activities for when they come in, making sure all the books are up to date with marking and pasting in work and making sure the class room displays are up to date
- When the children come in the teaching assistants help them put away their bags and hang up their coats. We encourage them to come in quietly and get on with some of the activities that we have laid out. This is a lovely time as everyone is (usually) very excited to be in class and have stories to tell. It is a nice time to interact with the children and help them develop their skills in communication. Sometimes the morning might involve a visit out to do some shopping and sit down and have a drink in a café!
- After the morning's lesson/activities, the children usually sit down for a snack. Your job will be to get them settled at the table or on the mat to have their fruit and put their rubbish in the bin. After this everyone is very happy and excited as its time to go outside! Teaching assistants will usually get out some toys for the children to play with. Its now time to supervise the children's play and interact with them as they have fun. If a child is not having a good day, maybe you might take them for a walk around the school. Play is very important as the children have more time to practice their social skills and communication.
- We come inside for the next lessons of the day. Children will often sit on the carpet as the teacher takes the lesson and then move back to their seat to do their work. You can move around the room helping the children and talking to them about what they are doing. All this thinking and learning makes everyone very hungry! Time for lunch
- Just like in the morning, the teaching assistants will help the children get settled to sit down and quietly eat their lunch. Afterwards they get to go out and play again. You get to take time out too! Staff lunch breaks are usually rotated around this time.
- In the afternoon, the children will usually have a lesson that is lots of fun. It could be 'choosing time' or arts or crafts. Maybe they might do PE or dancing and movement. These activities are excellent for developing fine and gross motor skills and are always a favourite.
- Here is usually time for another quick play and run outside before its time to get ready for home time. Twice a week we would have assembly and all go to the hall to sing and celebrate the achievements of the children in the school.
- Finally its time to get our coats on, collect our things and go home…phew! All that and its only 3.30pm