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What makes an outstanding EYFS TA?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by year1109, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. year1109

    year1109 New commenter

    I am a qualified teacher with one term NQT induction completed in KS1. I have begun working in a Reception class full time as the Level 3 TA. I am loving it so far, it is my comfort zone as my PGCE specialism is Early Years. I am very tough on myself and I want to be the best TA I can be for my teacher. What do you look out for in a TA worth their weight in gold?
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Hi year1109, glad you are enjoying your new role.
    Fantastic TAs:
    - have a secure knowledge and understanding of child development and (in your case) the EYFS curriculum - which I'm sure you do, as it is your specialism
    - make sure they are familiar with any SEND needs in the class
    - enjoy and understand the importance of being part of a team. It is essential that you and the teacher both manage behaviour in the same way, using the same rewards and sanctions, and that you both use any special strategies suggested to support children with either behaviour or learning challenges.
    - are able to follow instructions
    - make sure they are familiar with all necessary school policies (especially safeguarding) and follow them
    - make sure they know what is expected of them in every session. This is done by taking time to look at the teacher's plans - and, when you know your part, thinking about how you will best deliver it and support the children to achieve the learning outcome.
    - are flexible and can adapt to different situations quickly and without fuss. It may be that the teacher doesn't always have time to talk to you, so there may be a quick note asking you to do something completely different from plan. It happens! Also, you may be asked to go into a different class or key stage to cover absence at very short notice.
    - know that ultimately the teacher is in charge and accountable and they work under their direction
    - are pro-active and use initiative. There will be times during every day when the teacher is whole-class teaching. Sometimes it's the right thing to do for you to be supporting a child or children on the carpet. If not, there is always a job to be done
    - using initiative also comes in when you are working with a small group. If the task proves too challenging for them, you need to know how to modify it so that they can access the learning. On the other hand, if they succeed straight away, you need to know where to move on to extend their learning
    - not everyone can do this, but it's great if you can always be in the classroom at least 10 minutes before the day starts. The teacher will often be rushing around and too busy to talk, but it does give them the chance to share any changes to the day and make sure you are prepared. It's also useful if you can stay for 10 minutes at the end of the day to help with clearing up
    - if you can, offer to attend planning meetings. It's so good for teamwork if you can have an input and share your ideas
    - if you are unsure about anything - ask. School staff are generally very willing to help!
    - Good TAs are keen to further their professional development by attending any courses or training offered to them
    - As a final note, the best TAs are those who smile, engage with children and families and help and support their colleagues. These TAs enjoy their job and it shows.

    Very best of luck and hope you continue to love your role!
    Trekkie likes this.
  3. Trekkie

    Trekkie Occasional commenter

    You nailed it sunshineneeded!!
    I wanted to get back in the classroom - not something that happens often these days!:D
    sunshineneeded likes this.

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