Your first role as a TA can be intimidating, we get it. Not knowing what to expect, where to go, what you’ll do…especially if you’ve never worked in a classroom before. But it can also be a very rewarding and useful experience on the road to becoming a teacher. We hope these tips will come in handy for your first day!
1. Be proactive
Make sure you’re not just standing around waiting for the teacher to direct you and tell you what to do. Show your enthusiasm by asking the teacher for work and if there is anything you can assist them with.
If the teacher is dealing with a student during the lesson, don’t just watch. Help minimize distraction and keep the class on track. They will appreciate this.
And remember, you’re there to learn and gain experience, so make the most of your time. It will go a long way!
2. Build a rapport with your students
Building relationships with your students is essential as a teaching assistant. First and foremost, introduce yourself to your students. Get them to also introduce themselves. That way you can address them by their name right away. Not only is it practical, it also shows you are invested in their learning. It allows you to build a connection, and in return they are more likely to give you their attention.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support
If you’re new to your role, there will be many things you are unsure of. You are not expected to know everything, so if in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
As an example, a child may ask you for some help. If you don’t know the answer to their question, be honest and let them know you’ll get back to them as soon as possible with an answer.
Do your best to not put pressure on yourself. You won’t be perfect from the get-go, so treat the role as a learning experience and do what you can.
4. You will have bad days but that’s okay
Things don’t always go as planned. Your lesson might not have flowed as smoothly as you hoped it would. Students were not concentrating and were constantly misbehaving. These things are sometimes out of your control. These things happen.
The best thing you can do is look back and see what went wrong and what you could do differently next time. Remember, every day is a new day.