Top Tips for New Teaching Assistants
Make Sure You Know Everybody’s Name ASAP
Essentially, as a teaching assistant the first thing you want to establish amongst the students in the class that you’re helping out in is a mutual respect between them and yourself. There are several ways in which you can achieve this but if you do not learn all of their names as soon as you possibly can then you will quickly find this undermining any efforts you make to do so. Naturally when you first start it will take a few asks until you’re absolutely sure who everyone is but make sure it is only a few. If you continue not to remember names the students will start to think that you simply don’t care enough about them to remember it and so you their respect will naturally wane. If your school provides a student roster complete with photos take the time to go over it, this will help you out so much in creating that bond between you and the learner.
Don’t get too Comfortable with Students
It’s always good when performing your role to be casual and down to earth with the students, often this can help them to see you as a figure of authority that they can look up to and better sympathise with, again helping achieve that respect. It is however super important that you remember to be professional and avoid any inappropriate gestures or statements that could perhaps be taken the wrong way. This may sound obvious, but it can be all to easy to say something silly, describing something as “retarded” for example can have immediate and heavy repercussions, even if you didn’t mean it maliciously. Always think about what you’re saying, using words like “silly” instead might not sound as casual to say but it’ll make things for simpler.
Student’s Will Often put in Less Effort Than You
Remember when you were at school, if you were anything like myself, you’d have much rather been at home or out playing rather than stuck in the classroom. Sure, there are certain lessons that we were more interested in but there is someone that won’t be interested in just what is being taught. It’s easy to take this to heart, especially when you and the teacher have spent so much time working on whatever it is, you’re helping out with. Just remember, they don’t necessarily choose to be here, they just know they have to and like I say, it was probably the same for you when you were at school. They’ve also got so many other classes to attend too, it can be hard to remain 100% enthusiastic throughout every moment of every day, even if you’re interested in the subject. Keep this in mind and it should stop you feeling so frustrated with their attitude, reliving one of the main stresses you might find in the classroom.