1. Be friendly and approachable :

This might sound obvious, but you need to be friendly, supportive and approachable. This applies to both fellow staff and students. Think about the impression you are creating… being approachable and proactive is a huge part of being an effective TA.

2. Find out about the students you’re working with :

To be an effective teaching assistant, you’ll need to find out as much as possible about the students you are supporting. This might include reading their Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP’s), speaking to class teachers and the SENCO to figure out what motivates them, what stresses them and how you might best provide support.

3. Enhance your special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) knowledge:

If the students you work with have special educational needs (and it’s likely that they will), then make sure you understand the conditions they have. There is lots of information out there about types of special needs and how to effectively provide support so read up if you want to do the best job possible.

5. Work closely with parents and carers:

Guidance regarding EHCP’s tells us that parents, carers and other healthcare professionals should be working closely together to support children with SEND. You should make a point of finding out how your role plays into this and communicate with other professionals and parents as appropriate about the progress and development of the children you are working with.

6. Be prepared to help with personal care and medical needs where necessary :

Some teaching assistants will support children who have personal care and medical needs. This might include helping with feeding, going to the toilet or administering medication. Go into school with the mindset that you’ll tackle any task required with positivity and enthusiasm.

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