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What types of things do you do to support the LSAs in your classroom?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by sideshow, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. I wanted ti ask in secondary because this year I have 3 LSAs working with me in 3 different classes and I want to make sure that I am doing all I can to help.
  2. I wanted ti ask in secondary because this year I have 3 LSAs working with me in 3 different classes and I want to make sure that I am doing all I can to help.
  3. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    Do you mean subject content wise? I used to be an LSA and until recently taught Sceince and Maths to KS3. My only advice is don't always put them with the bottom ability group. Sometimes it is nice to have a change,. Sometimes you may just have them walking around the rooom keeping the others on task while you work with a specific group of childre. (as long as they are confident with this, plus it also helps them see what is expected of the poorer ability) Grabing a few minutes if possible in the lesson to review what is expected can also help vastly. Obvioulsy this depends on the staff, but mine will also mark the work of the children they are working with if i give them a MS. (obviously this is subject and task dependent.)
  4. As a subject teacher of ICT, I have found in every school I have taught in that LSAs are often considered not necessary to support us ICT teachers, and have never seen one in a KS4 lesson. In KS3 I have seen them only in Year 7 lessons, never in Years 8 or 9. I say this because it colours what I say next. I tend to ask them to behave as another teacher and not to focus on specific pupils. A sort of tag team for the lesson as it were. Of course I know which pupils have attracted the funding that put the LSAs there, but we both keep an eye on him/her/them rather than one of us shadowing them. A good lesson will always have its goals and objectives set out at the start, and any LSA worth their salt will work out what part is aimed at those they are nominally there to support. What bugs me most is where the LSA changes from one lesson to the next. Continuity is more beneficial to all concerned.
  5. Honestly not a facetious reply, but how about posting a copy of your question on the Teaching Assistants' forum to get some ideas from them as to what would help them most?
    It's a great question that needs asking!
    From my own experience working with LSAs, letting them know what's coming up for the unit of work, and for each lesson ahead of time is crucial. Often, they're expected to support without having had the chance to think it through and to decide on the best approach. It's hard to get time to talk to them before every lesson (understatement, I know), but having some system of giving them an overview so that they can ask you for clarification if they need it, is better than them playing "Guess what we're doing today!"
  6. Great if you knew WHO was going to be the LSA, or IF an LSA was going to turn up. And then finding that they camp out at the opposite end of the school nearly a mile away (well, nearly), and they NEVER visit the staffroom.
    I have worked at many schools and not at one have I ever been able to find out who or if in advance, and not for the want of asking.
  7. I just wondered if there would be too many primary TAs there, when I am dealing with secondary LSAs. I think that they have to help specific kids and it does concern me sometimes that some LSAs do the work for the student rather than acting as a 1-2-1 teacher and helping to bring them on. Although I think that ours are a bit better than that.

    Can I really ask them to work with the students that don't get the support - they are there for the student that is where the money comes from?

    To be honest I am more concerned that the LSAs are able to pick up the subject knowledge and pass it on.. It can't be easy if they go to several different subjects per day and don't have consistency year to year either!
  8. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Shouldn't the question be the other way round?
  9. Good point. It always seems to be encouraged that teachers search out the LSAs, not them asking us (at my place).

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