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Being a Teaching Assistant (TA) can be a rewarding career, but it is also hard work. TAs play an important role in the classroom, providing support to teachers and students alike. From assisting in lesson delivery to offering individualised guidance, TAs contribute significantly to the academic success and well-being of students.

 

To be a successful Teaching Assistant, you must be creative, patient, empathetic and have great communication skills. As a TA, you will cover a range of duties. What you’ll be doing depends on your level of experience, TA status, and the school you work at. However, the core role of a TA is to provide essential support to teachers in Early Years Foundation Stage and school settings.

 

Are you wondering whether a TA role is the right fit for you? In this guide we outline the roles and responsibilities of Teaching Assistants (TAs), Higher-Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs), and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Teaching Assistants (SEND TAs). By shedding light on their duties, expectations, and day-to-day activities, you can get a clearer picture of what type of role suits you the best.

Responsibilities as a Teaching Assistant

 

As a Teaching Assistant, you will be expected to fulfil a variety of duties and responsibilities. These can generally be categorised by classroom support, individualised support and administrative duties.

 

Classroom support:

  • Assisting teachers in lesson planning and preparation. 
  • Delivering tailored teaching activities to individual pupils or small groups of pupils. 
  • Providing one-on-one support to students who require additional help. 
  • Facilitating group activities and collaborative learning experiences. 
  • Managing classroom behaviour and promoting a positive learning environment. 
  • Utilising instructional materials and technology to enhance teaching and learning. 
  • Listening to pupils read, reading to them and telling them stories. 
  • Supporting the teacher in managing challenging pupil behaviour and promoting positive behaviour. 
  • Supporting the social and emotional development of pupils and reporting any issues when necessary. 

Individualised support:

  • Developing and implementing personalised learning plans or interventions. 
  • Providing extra support and encouragement to students who are struggling academically or emotionally. 
  • Monitoring student progress and assessing their learning outcomes. 
  • Collaborating with teachers, parents, and external support services to address students’ individual needs effectively. 

 

 

Administrative duties:

  • Assisting with administrative tasks such as record-keeping, grading, and organising educational resources. 
  • Preparing classroom materials and resources for lessons and activities. 
  • Managing classroom equipment and technology, ensuring they are in working order. 
  • Supporting teachers with paperwork, documentation, and other clerical responsibilities. 

What does a Teaching Assistant do day-to-day?

 

In the dynamic role of a Teaching Assistant, each day presents a multitude of tasks and responsibilities. Your primary focus will revolve around supporting both the teacher and students in various capacities.

 

At the beginning of the day, you’ll typically assist the teacher in preparing the classroom for the day’s activities. This may involve setting up resources, adjusting displays, and creating instructional materials such as PowerPoints.

 

As the students enter the classroom, your role transitions to ensuring they are settled and ready to engage in learning. Throughout the day, you’ll provide support to struggling students, offering assistance and guidance where needed, and stepping in to aid pupils who require additional attention.

 

After the school day concludes, you may assist the teacher with tasks such as grading assignments, monitoring homework completion, and overseeing any after-school activities.

 

Your role as a Teaching Assistant extends to working with individual students, small groups, or the entire class, catering to the diverse needs and abilities within the classroom. Direction and guidance will come from both the class teacher and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator (SENDCO), ensuring a collaborative approach to supporting student learning and development.

 

Click here to learn more about the responsibilities, necessary skills, required qualifications and education as well as opportunities for career progression associated with a TA role.

Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) duties and responsibilities

 

The role of an HLTA is to provide comprehensive support to teachers, students, and the school community. HLTAs possess a wealth of experience and knowledge, allowing them to take on leadership roles and deliver high-quality instruction in collaboration with teachers. Their roles include:

 

Lesson planning and delivery:

  • Collaborate with teachers to plan and deliver engaging and effective lessons that cater to the diverse needs of students.
  • Lead small group activities, deliver pre-planned lessons, or provide cover for absent teachers, ensuring continuity of learning.
  • Adapt lesson plans and instructional strategies to accommodate different learning styles and abilities within the classroom.

Assessment and feedback:

  • Assist with student assessment by marking assignments, providing constructive feedback, and tracking student progress. 
  • Contribute to student report writing, including writing comments and analysing assessment data to inform teaching and learning strategies. 
  • Participate in parent-teacher conferences to discuss student progress, achievements, and areas for improvement. 

 

Classroom management:

  • Support the teacher in maintaining a positive and inclusive learning environment by managing student behaviour and addressing any disruptions. 
  • Implement behaviour management strategies and interventions as directed by the teacher
  • Foster a sense of community and collaboration within the classroom, encouraging student participation and engagement in learning activities. 

Leadership and training:

  • Take on leadership roles within the school community, such as leading staff training sessions, mentoring new TAs, or coordinating extracurricular activities. 
  • Share expertise and best practices with colleagues, contributing to a culture of professional growth and development. 
  • Collaborate with school leaders to implement initiatives and drive continuous improvement in teaching and learning. 

 

Support and differentiation:

  • Provide additional support to students who require extra help or intervention, offering guidance and assistance during independent or group work activities. 
  • Differentiate instruction to meet the individual needs and learning styles of students, ensuring all learners have the opportunity to succeed. 
  • Foster a nurturing and inclusive learning environment where every student feels supported, valued, and challenged to reach their full potential. 

 

Click here to learn about the responsibilities, required skills, qualifications, salary expectations, and potential career pathways for HLTAs.  

Special Needs and Disabilities Teaching Assistant (SEND TA) responsibilities

 

SEND TAs work closely with students who have a wide range of special educational needs or disabilities, providing tailored support and assistance to help them succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Some key responsibilities and duties of SEND TAs include:

 

Personal Care:

  • Assist students with personal care tasks, including toileting, feeding, and mobility support, as outlined in their individual care plans.
  • Ensure the safety and well-being of students with physical or medical needs, following established protocols and procedures for administering medications or providing medical assistance.

Individualised Support:

  • Provide one-on-one support to students with special educational needs or disabilities, tailoring interventions and accommodations to meet their unique learning needs. 
  • Assist students with tasks such as reading, writing, and comprehension, adapting teaching methods and materials as necessary. 
  • Foster a supportive and nurturing relationship with students, building trust and confidence to facilitate their academic and personal development. 

 

 

Communication and collaboration:

  • Collaborate with teachers, parents, and external support services to develop and implement individualised education plans (IEPs) or education, health, and care plans (EHCPs) for students with special needs. 
  • Communicate regularly with teachers to share insights and observations about student progress, challenges, and successes. 
  • Advocate for the needs of students with special educational needs or disabilities, ensuring they have access to appropriate resources, accommodations, and support services. 

Differentiation and adaptation:

  • Differentiate instruction and learning activities to accommodate the diverse needs and abilities of students with special educational needs or disabilities. 
  • Modify teaching materials, resources, and assessments to make them accessible and inclusive for all students. 
  • Implement strategies and interventions to support students with sensory processing disorders, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and other special needs. 

 

Emotional and behavioural support:

  • Provide emotional support and encouragement to students with special educational needs or disabilities, helping them develop resilience, self-confidence, and self-regulation skills. 
  • Assist students in managing their emotions and behaviour, teaching coping strategies and techniques for dealing with stress, anxiety, or frustration. 
  • Collaborate with school counsellors, psychologists, or behaviour specialists to develop and implement behaviour management plans and interventions as needed. 

 

Read this comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about a role as a SEND Teaching Assistant.

The roles and responsibilities of Teaching Assistants, SEND TAs, and HLTAs are diverse, yet interconnected, each contributing uniquely to the educational journey of students. While Teaching Assistants provide essential support in the classroom, assisting teachers and students on a day-to-day basis, SEND TAs offer specialised assistance to SEND students, ensuring they receive tailored support. On the other hand, HLTAs take on additional responsibilities, including lesson planning and delivery, assessment, and leadership.

 

It’s important to recognise that there are different avenues for individuals to pursue within the realm of educational support, allowing each person to find their niche and make a meaningful impact in their role. Whether it’s providing one-on-one support, adapting instruction to meet diverse needs, or taking on leadership responsibilities, every member of the support staff team plays a vital role in creating inclusive and supportive learning environments where all students can thrive. 

 

Are you looking for a Teaching Assistant role? Why not get in touch with our team or click the link below to view our roles for TAs. 

 

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