Teachers and TAs Working Together

Whether you work as a teacher with a teaching assistant, or as a teaching assistant to a full time teacher, it can sometimes be difficult to find time to discuss education together. In many schools teachers and teaching assistants do not spend enough time together and often only get to communicate during class. We’ve put together a few good tips to help teachers and teaching assistants to work together to help your pupils.

Working as a Team

At the end of the day, the education and the wellbeing of your pupils is what matters most, so it is important to present a united front in educating your pupils.  Try to add or expand upon points already made and if you disagree or have a different method of teaching, try to discuss it in private instead of talking over the other person.

Communication Is Important

If you don’t seem to have much time to communicate between the TA or Teacher, it is important that you find time outside of school to at least get to know each other a little better. If you are working in close capacity on a long term basis, getting to know how the other person works is always a good idea.

Talk Through Any Issues

If you have any concerns or issues, whether it is with the other teacher or one of the pupils, make sure to talk it out. You can’t make any progress if these problems are not highlighted and if it is causing you unnecessary stress or worry, then it is better to talk about it. You never know, it may just be down to a misunderstanding!

How Group Projects can Help Children

A teacher constructing a group project for pupils in a school in Orange County, California, decided to do something a little different and used inspiration from one of her lessons to help encourage the children to work together. One of the books on the syllabus; ‘Hatchet’ is about a young boy who has to learn to survive in the wild after a plane he was on crashes into the wilderness.

Teacher Sara Siebert took inspiration from this tale – where the boy has only a hatchet that his mother gave him as a tool to use in order to help build a raft – in order to create a group project that encouraged teamwork between pupils. The pupils would have to build a miniature raft out of ice lolly sticks, string, duct tape and glue in order to re-create that iconic scene.

The concept of using a scene from a book not only familiarises the scene in the minds of the pupils, they are also able to better relate to the boy in the book after having built their own ‘raft’. They also gain useful mathematic skills needed to check the consistency of the raft and how buoyant it is, as well as seeing how much easier it is to work in a team in some instances than on your own.

Teamwork is an essential part of growing and developing as a child, so making it educational and fun is always a fantastic way of ‘hitting two birds with one stone’.

Community Garden Project at Luton Primary School

Earlier this year, Surrey Street Primary School launched the Growing Together community project, where pupils, parents and teachers work together to create a medley of different fruits and vegetables. The project is designed to help give children a greater understanding of where their food comes from.

The garden project is in development in a grassy area at the front of the school and is hoping to turn the area into seven different garden groups; one for each school year group. Throughout the course of the year, the children will take part in a number of gardening and cooking projects in order to give them a better understanding of the importance of where their food is grown and how it grows.
The Growing Together project is also known as the Surrey Street Family Growing Club, which meets every Friday at 2pm to tend to the gardens and get children and parents spending time together outdoors. As the campaign this year has been a resounding success, the school has plans to continue it for new families this September and in April next year, looking at different seasonal fruits and vegetables.