Teacher assistants offer tremendous help to the teachers both inside and outside the classroom. The teacher assistant is a “second eye” of the class teacher who helps the teacher to ensure that things move more and more smoothly as well offer additional help that makes the lesson plans and worksheets of the teacher better.
A properly trained teacher assistant is an essential resource in many schools and they are performing excellently. However, without the teacher assistant obtaining appropriate education/training and direction, he or she may be doing more damage than good.
There has been an enormous growth of support staff or teacher assistant in schools beginning from 2005.
A lot of teacher assistants play great roles in schools. They lessen teacher’s workloads and can assist the teacher in insuring that the students behave well in the classroom. Most are assigned with particular responsibilities to work with individual students who have learning disabilities in order to provide them with the additional support they need while the rest are assigned with a more common classroom responsibilities.
Things required in a teacher assistant to be a very good and helpful tool in teaching and learning:
The teacher assistant must be able to offer the teacher a helping hand to get the class organized during lessons. That is the most important function of a teacher assistant. He or she should be able to answer the questions other students may have when the teacher is attending to a particular student.
He/she should also be able to lend hand to the teacher when the students move their desks in preparation of the next lecture to save time. Also when the teacher is lecturing he or she helps to maintain other and to get the students to be more focused and attentive.
A good teacher assistant ought to work hard to maintain good relationship with the students and the primary teacher for his/her role to be effective. It is better to discuss with the primary teacher the role you would play prior to lesson so as not to give the pupils an impression that you are inferior when the teacher is giving a lesson.
When you discuss with the primary teacher beforehand about the role he wants you to play, it minimizes the possibility of the children disregarding and disrespecting you as not a real teacher. However, the teacher assistant’s role is very important in the life of the teacher and the pupils in the classroom because he is much more able to give attention to a pupil that wants to divert the attention of the teacher and the whole class to him because of what he wants or needs.
With the assistance of the teacher assistant, the teacher is more able to get the children to be disciplined, well behaved, more attentive and able to learn more during the school hours.
Again, the teacher assistant can be of a great assistance to the main teacher outside the classroom. The role played by the teacher assistant depends solely on what the main teacher wants him or her to do and the extent of help the teacher wants from him.
The teacher may require the teacher assistant to mark student’s papers and grade them during exams. They may also be required to produce and edit a worksheets, course materials, lesson notes as well as exams. The teacher assistant is often free to share her or his opinion about a particular subject during lessons but that does not necessarily mean that the opinion must be accepted.
The degree of work assigned to a teacher assistant varies from teacher to teacher depending on their personality and what they may require the assistant to do.
A teacher assistant sometimes may have the opportunity of planning lesson with the main teacher or occasionally planning the entire lesson. This happens mostly in language classes where the teacher assistant knows the language pronunciation and grammar better than the main teacher who may not be a native speaker of that language.