Teaching assistants have a lot of impact on the students. The recent years have seen an increase in the number of teaching assistants from 79,000 to a whopping 243,700. Schools spend a hefty sum for support staff. These days the amount is pegged at £4.4 billion which is about 13% of the total budget for education.
However, there is much research into classrooms settings that have revealed something that is despite the huge spending, the presence of the support staff are not really getting the desired effect that they should have on the students. A study was conducted where it was found out those children with a TA support in the classroom ended up progressing less when compared to other students with the same ability but did not have the same support.
Still, there is ample evidence that will truly support that TAs truly can make a huge difference in a classroom setting. Many teachers have reported these positive effects especially since with the TAs around, they are now able to enjoy a reduction in stress, in their workload, as well in the disruption in the class. The only thing that should be done is making sure that the presence of these TAs is maximized so as to truly reap their benefits.
The roles of TAs
It is important for school leaders to really think carefully about the role that TAs should play in the classroom setting. They need to rigorously define what are the best ways for them to work; not only with teachers but with the students too. Instead of using them as information resources for pupils that have been considered low-attaining, they should be considered as supplements for the teachers. They should not replace teachers either, but they should serve as additional resources to promote better learning.
Teaching assistants are found to have a positive effect if the intervention that they do is formal and is within small groups. TAs should work in settings that are structured and that they need to have high-quality training and support. To make sure that interventions are going to work, they need to be done briefly regularly, and consistently. Making sure that the TAs has received the right training ensures that the objectives and the outcomes are going to be clear. In addition, they must stick with how a programme should be delivered and that they should make use of assessment to determine which students need their support. It is their job to track the progress of these students too.
It is also important for schools to make their students understand the TA intervention and how it is connected their formal learning. These interventions often occur in the classroom. Most of the time, teachers, and the TAs may find it hard to collaborate due to time constraints. Making sure that the interventions are aligned with the lessons will help ensure that teachers get to have full control over it as well as plan things right.
Leaner more about the important role of teaching assistants and teachers in a classroom setting by reading about Peter Gale headmaster online.