Whether you have just got your first role as a teaching assistant or are an experienced TA starting a new role, you’ll want to hit the ground running on your first week! Your first week as a teaching assistant is all about building relationships and getting to grips with your new role. So, how can you do this? We have put together a list of top tips for your first week as a teaching assistant!
1. Building relationships
Building effective relationships is crucial in your role as a teaching assistant. Constructing these strong relationships with your pupils can be central to gaining trust and transforming behaviour and habits of learning.
It may sound obvious that building relationships with your students is important, however it is just as important to build these effective relationships with both parents and your colleagues. Having a strong level of communication and trust with these people will help you to make the best decisions throughout your career as a teaching assistant.
2. Learning to collaborate
When starting your role as a teaching assistant, it is super important to focus on collaboration. You are working as part of a cohesive team with the teachers you work with, the children, their parents and SLT. Although time may not always allow it, working closely with these people as a team when possible is likely to make you much more effective in your role.
Catching up with other teaching assistants to hear each other’s experiences and give advice is a great idea. Try to do this in your first week to gain a great collaboration from the get go! The same goes for your class teacher – perhaps set up a meeting at the end of your first week to ask for feedback. Setting up a strong sense of collaboration from the start is really useful for you in your role as a teaching assistant.
3. Make the most of your induction
It is highly likely that your first week will include a detailed induction to help you with your transition into your new role. Whether you are new to being a teaching assistant or experienced, your induction is important in gaining an understanding of both the school you are employed at and the specific post you are working in. Make the absolute most of your induction – make sure you’re taking everything in and asking as many questions as possible. It is your time to gain a deeper understanding of your new workplace, team and responsibilities.
4. Ask lots of questions!
It’s your first week in your new role – a new environment, a new experience and meeting lots of new people! Although perhaps daunting, asking lots of questions is going to put you in the best possible position for your future in the role. Your colleagues will be more than happy to answer your questions – they’ve all been in your position once!
Some key questions for your first week may include:
- How will my day-to-day structure look?
- Who specifically do I report to?
- Are there any students with specific needs that I should be aware of?
- Are there any particular policies/procedures that I need to be aware of?
5. Show your passion
Children and students are very intuitive – they will pick up whatever you put out. In other words, if you think that a task is pointless and uninteresting, they are more likely to think the same. So, it’s super important that you are enthusiastic from the get go! Show your passion about what you are teaching and what the class is learning about – excite your students into learning alongside you. As well as this, showing your class teacher and SLT your passion from the very beginning sets you off in the right direction for a fantastic career at your school.
How can i-teachers help you to become a teaching assistant?
A i-teachers, we specialise in placing talented graduates in Graduate Teaching Assistant roles in a wide variety of subjects areas. We work with a wide range of Primary, Secondary and SEN specialist schools across the UK to provide you the perfect role in the perfect environment!
i-teachers’ Step into Teaching programme
At i-teachers, we aim to support you and allow you to explore teaching roles with our ‘Step into Teaching’ programme to support all graduate roles in education. Our experienced education consultants will place you in a paid teaching assistant position that is perfectly suited to your skill set, in a school that suits your personality. We believe that practical experience is invaluable and learning from teaching experts is key. On your ‘step into teaching’ programme you will get to experience the life of a teacher or teaching assistant, and truly impact the lives of pupils, whilst in a fully supportive environment. It is fantastic work experience both for your own personal development as well as for your CV, and you can earn whilst you learn!