A Day in the Life of a Teaching Assistant

A Day in the Life of a Teaching Assistant

A career as a teaching assistant, supporting the educational and emotional needs of children and young people can be an extremely rewarding career. But what does a Teaching Assistants average day include? We asked Sarah to give us a real life honest account of her average day.

A Day in the Life of a Teaching Assistant

I arrive at work normally around 8.20. This gives me 25 minutes in

the classroom with my class teacher getting a heads up on what the plan

is for the day. She shares her planning with me and we catch up on

anything we need to be aware of regarding pupils wellbeing or health

issues or any updates for example. I will do some preparation for the

day; some photocopying, cutting up worksheets and other resources and

then sort books or whatever needs organising. This time is precious as

it is virtually the only time when the classroom is without the main

occupants; the children!

At 8.45 I get my coat back on and open the doors to our classroom. I

keep a notebook with me and take any important messages from parents

that need to be fed back to other staff members. I normally enter school

with an armful of forms that have been handed in too! It’s lovely to

greet the children at the door, it starts the day in a positive way.

I then return to class where by then, my class are doing some

handwriting or reading practice. I have a rota of children who I hear

read each morning so I will do that initially whilst everyone gets

organised and sits on the carpet.

Each morning, for twenty minutes I take a small group of children

for phonics. Phonics is the teaching of identifying the sounds and

patterns of spelling in the English language. This then helps the

children to decode and sound out words. I do lots of different

activities with my phonics group inside and outside, weather permitting

of course!

I will then sit down on the carpet with the children whilst the

teacher teaches the first lesson which is normally English. I will sit

close to the children who need the most support to ensure they can fully

understand and access the lesson. It also allows me to support any

other class members should they need anything. When the children go back

to their table to do their work I sit mainly on one table with the

children I sat with on the carpet. I will help them stay on task,

support their learning through positive encouragement and helping them

understand what they need to do. I will also make myself available to

other class members who have questions or need help.

At morning break if it is not my duty outside, I will ensure our

children have their milk and snack and then head back inside to prepare

the class for maths. Sometimes we will have time for a quick drink and

snack ourselves!

I will then after break take a small group of children out of class

for an intervention. This can be focusing on anything from phonics to

handwriting or maths work. This normally last 10-15 minutes and then we

will rejoin the class who are now doing maths. While the teacher recaps

to the intervention children I will go around the class offering support

and encouragement to the rest of the class.

Afternoons are spent doing the humanities or PE. Again I will

support the children with their learning whilst also listening to some

extra readers and often taking out additional intervention groups. I

will also prepare resources for the next day.

At the end of the day I help the children gather all of their belongings and prepare to leave.

I am a qualified paediatric first aider and so I frequently have to

dash out to deal with grazed knees, bumped heads and other minor

injuries or illnesses. It’s important in an emergency I can look after

the children so a recognised, up to date first aid qualification is

really important.

On top of all of this I support the children with any emotional and

behavioural issues that come along. This can be wide ranging so it’s

important to be patient and a good listener.

Being a TA is an amazing career, no two days are ever the same and

it is certainly never boring! The children I work with make my day,

every day!