The role of a teaching assistant in a classroom cannot be underestimated. Teachers are well aware that without the support of their TA, many lessons would not work well and the needs of the pupils wouldn’t be accounted for. This is because the TA is there to assist children while the teacher delivers the lesson, working with them to make sure they understand what’s being asked of them.
This applies across the board too. In primary schools and high school settings, mainstream and specialist educational establishments, there are teaching assistants in the classroom to help and assist where they’re needed.
At Randstad, we have a range of primary teaching assistant jobs available and lots of information about this area of teaching. If you’ve always wanted to follow this path and become a primary school teaching assistant, take a look at our job description for this role.
The role of a teaching assistant in primary school
So, what is the role of a teaching assistant? What does it involve? Here are the main things that the TA does in a primary school classroom:
Working with a teacher
The principal role of teaching assistants is to help with the teacher’s lessons, particularly in basic maths and literacy. This can involve identifying children who seem to be stuck and stepping in to help them or working with small groups of children who are at risk of falling behind.
Sometimes, experienced teaching assistants even present lessons to the whole class when the teacher cannot be there, but in this case they’d be following the teacher’s lesson plan rather than making their own.
At all levels, they help the teacher prepare materials for lessons and assist with marking. They also go along on school trips, where they help to supervise the children.
Motivating and inspiring pupils
One very important role of a teaching assistant is to help any children who are having difficulty engaging with school work. There can never be a fully successful one-size-fits-all approach to learning and, while the teacher focuses on the class as a whole, the assistant can work with those children who need special attention.
TAs are often trained in strategies and methods to help with specific learning needs in order to fully assist children in the classroom.
Managing behavioural issues
When children are being disruptive and making things difficult for the rest of the class, it’s an essential part of a primary school teaching assistant’s job to work with them and try to resolve the problem.
This could, for example, involve identifying an underlying problem with an unsettled home life or a hidden disability, and letting the teacher know about it. It could also be as simple as persuading the child that good behaviour can be worthwhile and that learning can be fun.
Teaching assistants may also intervene with withdrawn children who are being bullied or simply find it difficult to socialise. Being ready to listen and provide friendly support can make a big difference to children like this.
Making school accessible to all
The teaching assistant job description in a primary school, but also in any school setting, includes the task of making school accessible to children who face practical difficulties. They do this by providing support and solutions.
The pupil could be a slow learner. They might be an immigrant who’s trying to learn a new language at the same time as trying to understand what they’re being taught. Other factors could be that they have religious or social backgrounds that make it difficult for them to relate to the way some subjects are presented. They may also have disabilities that mean they need extra support.
Many different options
Working as a teaching assistant may be many things, but it’s never dull! Every class is different, throwing up fresh challenges, and there are opportunities to do further training for those interested in specialising in particular areas. Teaching assistants work closely with teachers to establish the best approach for any group of children and to make sure that they all find school as educational and enjoyable as possible.
Find a primary school teaching assistant job with Randstad
Contact our recruitment team today to find out more about our current primary teaching assistant jobs. We have a range of roles available and our jobs board is filled with general posts as well as specialist TA positions. You can also send us your CV so that we can email you directly with any teaching assistant roles that suit your skill set and experience to date.