“Teacher appreciation makes the world of education go around.”
The other day, I had sent one of our teaching assistants on a course so she could help me implement one of our key ‘concepts’ in school. She got there and was made to feel as though she was not in a ‘position’ to be there on the training.
For someone to come back and give me this feedback from a course is absolutely appalling. I knew exactly what the course entailed – as the headteacher, it is something that I want to drive in school, but knowing that when others are involved it will become embedded more fully, I wanted to send a teaching assistant to the training to help me to ensure that everyone felt a part of the process. But, for her to come back feeling as though she shouldn’t have been there, or that she wasn’t in a position to influence or create change in the school is absurd,
This is a fundamental ‘perception’ that needs to be changed not only in schools but out of school as well.
The role of the teaching assistant has changed so much. They are a vital aspect to every classroom. Without a teaching assistant, children are not able to make the amount of ‘rapid and sustained’ progress that they could when working in a small group led by a highly proficient TA. Our schools would suffer without teaching assistants.
As stated in a previous post, they are the glue that really holds everything together. They know the children inside and out, they get to form that special bond with the children and form a trust with children that teachers often just aren’t able to tap into.
There are teaching assistants that I know, who put in just as many hours as teachers do, preparing, planning and organising ready for the week’s lessons, working late into the night to ensure that lessons are fun and exciting. Just because qualifications and training might be different (you would be surprised and/or shocked at the extent of training that some of the TAs I have worked with have!), doesn’t mean they don’t work just as hard or shouldn’t be involved in key decisions
All members of staff should be highly valued and treated the same, we should be treating everyone with the utmost respect and regard.
Teaching assistants, just like teachers need to be involved in the school development process, a part of planning the future of the school helping to create independent and inspired learners.
Like missing a fundamental cog in a well-oiled machine, a school would fail without its teaching assistants. We could not provide the children with an outstanding education without them.
How do you show your staff that you value each and every one if them?