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What is your typical working day like?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by an_apple_a_day, May 31, 2012.

  1. Hi!
    I am about to start work as a voluntary TA and was wondering what to expect. It would really help if someone could give me an idea of what a typical day as a ta might involve.
    Also do you have meetings with your teacher where he/she goes over what the lessons are going to be and how you can help? If so how often are these?
    Any help appreciated, thanks.
  2. Hi!
    I am about to start work as a voluntary TA and was wondering what to expect. It would really help if someone could give me an idea of what a typical day as a ta might involve.
    Also do you have meetings with your teacher where he/she goes over what the lessons are going to be and how you can help? If so how often are these?
    Any help appreciated, thanks.
  3. Which key stage are you working in? Working patterns will very depending upon whether you work in Early Years, Primary or Secondary.[​IMG]
  4. I am working in KS1 and FS2 at the moment.

    I turn up around 8:15. Have a cup of tea and a chat with the teacher about what will be happening throughout the morning. As I have worked with the teachers for nearly 5 years, we have this reduced to 'we're doing news writing, and I'd like you to work with this table', but my instructions were more detailed in the start until I learned what the teachers' expectations are.

    I then get on with admin work (displays, photocopying, that sort of thing).

    9:00 my day officially starts as the childen come into the classroom for registration. During this time I might be running errands, continuing with admin work, listening to children read or withdrawing children for targetted support (support is agreed with the teacher, they identify weak spots such as handwriting, and I work with either one child or a small group on that one area).

    Then we have lessons, and I usually support the lower ability children on the carpet and at their table, though may sometimes be stretching the higher ability children by working on a different task to the rest of the class. If I notice anything with any of the childrens' work I feel the teacher ought to know (eg if a child is struggling with a concept) I will let the teacher know ASAP, or leave a note on her desk if she is busy at that time.

    At some point during the morning we have assembly, I will stay in the classroom doing admin or group work depending if it is an important assembly or just something like singing practice where the children won't miss out on anything!

    At morning playtime we have a duty rota, so one morning a week I am on playground duty alongside the teacher, or mornings I might be on first aid duty, or I might actually get a break.

    After playtime is phonics. I have my own (small) group of lower ability children who I deliver the school's phonic scheme to. I am given an hour a week to write up what I aim to cover that week and make/find the resources. It's not exactly planning, as all the information is there, however, you do need to decide what your focus sound will be, which book you will read on which day, gather the resources and write it up for the head teacher.

    At 12:00 we have lunch, but I often stop behind for a few minutes to chat to the teacher about what the children have been doing. We get an hour and 15 minutes, so after eating, I might get on with yet more admin work.

    In the afternoons I work with FS2, supervising whichever table/activity the teacher requests. It is a lot less structured, as the children mainly free flow in the afternoons, so it's a case of going with the flow and doing what I am told!
  5. Hi I'm a teaching assistant in nursery which also makes me a key person, so my role varies hugely!! My day starts at 8.15 and the first of many jobs is to set up the class room, baring in mind our nursery holds 55 children per session so there is more than one of me, and we all have different areas to set up. Children arrive at 8.30, we greet them then they split up into their key groups for register and carpet time, depending on which day it is will depend on which area I learning is covered, as key worker it is my responsibility to teach this part of the day. Then the children go off to do free play/adult lead activities and this is my time to observe and assess my key children on these areas, wether indorse or out! 10.15 and it's time for milk, again with my key group of children and then again adult/lead free play activities. At the end of the session it's my responsibility to replenish areas, tidy up, prepare resources fr the following sessions teaching and play, aswel as speaking to individual carers/patents about their children. The afternoon sessions is exactly the same a the morning in terms of routine! After school I have to replenish, tidy, file, photocopy, do resources and take responsibility of 25 key children files and assessments, updating data when appropriate and meetings...in a nutshell that is a typical day however early years being what it is no day is the same so if this is your chosen area...good luck! :)
  6. Hi! I am a TA in year 5. I usually arrive between 8 and 8.15 and use the time before staff briefing for any admin work, photocopying, sticking sheets in books, any marking (spellings/timetables/number wizard) or backing/laminating/putting up displays that may need doing, anything that the class teachers need doing really.
    The first 45 minutes with the children I either pre-brief a SEN child for numeracy and literacy, or hear readers.
    I take a small LA group for numeracy until break time.
    After break is usually literacy, I am based in the classroom, working at a table with LA children, or occasionally taking small groups out to work on group tasks. If it is a short literacy lesson I use the time before lunch to hear readers.
    During the afternoon I take intervention groups for reading, writing and numeracy across the week, both higher and lower ability groups.
    The short session between afternoon break and home time I work 1:1 with a SEN child, hearing him read, practising spellings/phonics/times tables or use a computer based reading/writing programme.
    After school I mark work from my numeracy group, and mark/file/record work from my intervention groups/1:1 sessions, make sure I am prepared for the next days numeracy lesson, and do any other jobs the teachers need doing.
    As for knowing what is going on in lessons, this is an area both I and the teacher I am in class with for literacy know needs working on. I manage just fine with just a very hurried summary of what the LA group will be doing just before the lesson, but sometimes I think it would be beneficial to know a bit more in advance, the teacher acknowledges this, but we never seem to get the time to look at it in more detail - always seems to be something more important that needs doing and then its lesson time!
  7. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    Unfortunately, where I work the teachers don't tell us anything about the lesson in advance. It doesn't help that our contract hours start AFTER the children arrive. Also, I run intervention groups as soon as I arrive, then also run intervention groups at the start and end of most lessons. In between intervention groups, I am in class supporting the LAs - which is sometimes very interesting when I have been told nothing in advance about the lesson, and have missed the start of the lesson doing an intervention! Sometimes I am asked to cover a whole class lesson by myself, even though I am not a HLTA. However, when a child has a "oh now I get it" moment, or when I see the test results of the children I have helped - all the niggles are forgotten. Good luck!

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