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Tell me about being a TA in Year 4

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by chocolateworshipper, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    I only have experience of working with Year 5, but not too dissimilar. The "pastoral" side depends on the year group really. This year there is very little, but my class last year were very needy. TA jobs vary, but I split my time between supporting children in class (running guided groups with the lower abilities for Maths and English) and doing intervention groups. My intervention groups include maths, writing and reading comprehension. I do some of these with the lowest ability, and some with the higher ability children who aren't quite reaching their full potential. The level they are working at varies HUGELY between different children. Last year our Maths abilities varied from 2A to 5A !
    I have found that adaptability is one of the key skills - different children are motivated in different ways, and you need to find that, and adapt your style accordingly. Also a huge amount of patience - it can be very frustrating when a child can't grasp a concept that you have explained many times in many different ways. You also need to be aware that you are a role model at all times - whether you are officially "on duty" or not. Set clear and consistent standards for behaviour at all times.
    Hope this helps - feel free to ask any questions. Good luck.
  2. Thanks, this is really useful to know. You've given me some really good ideas of points to make at interview! The interview is in a large primary school, there's another vacancy in KS1 but I'd quite like to get some KS2 experience. Do you have much problem with girls' friendship groups, falling-out and so on? My daughter's class seems to have a lot of this kind of thing, and I haven't had to deal with it in a professional context. Any good stock responses?
  3. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    I don't have much of a problem with this year group, but we had loads of problems last year! One way I responded to it, which often worked, was to sit them down and say that it made me sad to see them not getting on (of course this only works when you have built up a relationship with them) - and to say that although they may choose not to be friends at the moment, they could still be nice to eachother. To be honest, having children of your own really helps, because you are used to talking about friendship issues! One of the things I say to my youngest daughter is that people are often mean because they are actually sad - maybe something bad is happening at home - so to just feel sorry for them, and either make an extra effort to be nice - or to stay away from them until they are happier. Also to see it as an opportunity to make friends and play with someone different for a change. My eldest daughter dealt with a really mean girl by saying "what a lovely thing to say - thank-you so much" in a very sincere voice every time the girl was mean to her!. The mean girl got very confused, and soon got bored - and left her alone. By the way - the teacher did a friendship tree and all sorts - so you will never be on your own in trying to resolve things. Hope this helps.

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