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One of the most important relationships for the world is of between the students and the teachers. In this perception one other factor has placed its importance and it is the teaching assistant which had become essential for both the teachers and the students. The role of the teaching assistants has drastically enhanced and with this changing situation they have gained equal popularity to teachers. They play a crucial role in constructing new generation of the world. In other words teaching assistants support the teachers in shaping the tomorrow's world. In this way, it becomes crucial for the society to develop the force of efficient and dedicated teaching assistants. In this process, the most important factor is that they must have clear idea about their role in teaching and learning process. Teachers must have unambiguous perceptions of some of the significant areas related to the educational process, which have been tried to be pursued in this assignment.
Crucial Areas of the Educational Process:
A national Curriculum Framework:
National Curriculum is the path or map designed by the central government authority to provide the best and consistent learning to the pupils of the nation. It used to be segmented into key stages which are based on the blocks of the years. For all the stages, there is clear specification of the subjects to be taught, of the skill and knowledge to be obtained by the students, benchmarks of the assessments and the process of assessments.
Being the driver of the whole process of education the teacher must have clear perceptions of all these significant components of the educational process. They should develop their teaching style which should be best suitable for his or her students on general ground within the range of national curriculum.
The factors that the teaching assistant pursued properly are:
Subjects to be taught: The teacher must have complete knowledge of the subjects selected in the national curriculum along with the level to be taught for each key stages of the education. This is very crucial because the teacher only can transmit the best knowledge if he or she has the great degree of it and to make the transmission process easy it is also necessary that they should be confident enough.
Understanding and abilities to be obtained by the students: What is the target decided by the national curriculum for each stage should be understood by the teaching assistants as in next stage the students has to face the advance course of the relevant subject hence it becomes necessary to make them reach to certain level of understanding of the each subject.
Coherence in teaching to make it easier to understand: The whole process of transmission of knowledge and abilities should be undertaken coherently to make the process easier and smooth for the pupils. The teaching assistant must develop this skill by studying the National Curriculum thoroughly.
Assessment and Report of the pupil's progress: One of the significant responsibilities of the teaching figure is to evaluate the pupils' development according to the criteria of the National Curriculum.
During the whole process, the teaching assistant must keep the guidelines and criteria developed in national curriculum.
Guide The Students To Shape Their Behaviors:
As we all know the school is the first place of outer world where the student steps in, from his or her home. The behavior and the approach the student adopt in the school play an important role in deciding their whole life. In schools, they first time find themselves within the groups, competition, freedom from the parental restrictions and the responsibilities of the studies. It becomes necessary to help them to cope with all these challenges. In schools, teaching assistants are the mentor of the students and they have to show them right path in developing their behavior and attitudes towards various aspects. The parents trust the schools and thereby the teaching assistant for building the future of their children. In the educational years most of the part of their active time the students pass in the schools in the supervision of the teachers and teaching assistants hence it becomes the responsibilities of the educators to teach them how to behave nicely, how to react various circumstances and how to face different challenges. This is why the educators are known as the future shapers of the society.
In their career, the teacher has to come across with the students having constructive and disruptive sorts of temperament. Teaching Assistant must be able to create motivational environment for both of types of students in order to increase or introduce the constructiveness in the nature of the students. When they have to deal with the student having various kinds of disruptive attitudes starting from the unpunctuality to violence not only with their classmates but with the school's staff members, it becomes real issue for them. Further this issue is increasingly establishing in educational world. The main reason behind it is very simple and it is that they are controlled directed by other dominant factors whichever they find suitable for their inherent interests. In other words if there are some disruptive kind of innate interest in them they will directly influenced by the destructive and distractive aspects. For them the teaching assistants have to be wary, sensible and have to make extra efforts to teach them the value of right virtues and their positive effects on their future life. To create an extra effective environment for them they have to apply some class room management techniques such as:
The educators must have control over the class environment
Adapt the smooth process for transiting the education
Some processes should be divided into groups with given them the specific responsibilities
Modification of the groups time to time
Introducing various challenges in course work
Introduce certainty for discipline standards and course standards
With passionate and dedicated attachments for the students welfare, the teaching assistants can enhance the probabilities of getting success in improving levels of productivity of the students.
Factors Affecting Learning:
There are various aspects which influence the learning process of the pupils among which we will discuss the most influential:
Learning is solely affected by the maturity or the mental development and the eagerness of the learners. Some of the physical aspects such as maturation of muscles and brain are essential for any kind of ability's development and psychological aspects such as social maturity and willingness to learn any new thing play major role in developing maturity of the learners.
Skill of observing things and inherent levels of the curiosity are one of the crucial aspects which play major role in developing the ability of the perceiving and eventually the learning. Mindful observations create a path for clear understanding and developing ability of responding faster. The persons watch objects, processes and behaviors and endeavor either to copy them or to evaluate them. In this way, the first step of developing abilities and knowledge is conscious or unconscious observation. Sharp observation makes the process of learning smoother and healthier.
In learning process one of the crucial factors is insight also. Insight means the inner perception which aids the person to understand the situation and developing reactions for that. Though having sound insight is not possible for everyone, then the person usually use his or her foresight which is important for goal seeking behavior.
Along with the perception and observation, attention is also major factor for learning e being absent to the situation or subject the students will not be able to observe or understand. Attention is believed to be concerned with determination. It used to be volatile or fluctuate in nature and shift from one thing to another very speedily. If the students' attention is stuck with the subject they would learn it quickly and smoothly and is diverted to other things will make the learning process complicated.
Inattention or distraction from the subject of the students is one of the major challenges in front of the teaching assistants which usually occurs due to internal health issue or other outer disturbances. The teacher should handle such distractive situation carefully by developing deep intimacy with students and applying classroom management techniques.
Interest is internal nature which creates person's liking or disliking towards various things, subjects and situation. Interest affects the level of the attention of the students hence it becomes necessary for the educators to make the educational transiting process able to ignite the interest of the students. Developing students' general interest of the is the prime responsibility of the educators. Interest in fact enhance the student's attention thereby observation and eventually understanding. It has been observed that even if the person is having limited grasping can grasp the subjects of his or her interest excellently.
The range of the Role of Teacher Assistant:
During the last ten years the numbers of the teaching assistants attached in the schools have been drastically increased. It has been more than doubled than the numbers those were in 1997. With this increasing numbers the role of teaching assistants seem to have changed and enhanced massively. In most cases they are playing their original role of providing class room support while the researches indicate that around 48000 are associated straight away to assist the students' specific educational requirements. Except schools, they are also connected with supporting various Local Authorities as members of Behaviour Support Teams, in Sure Start Projects and in Children and Adolescent Mental Services. Sometimes they play a role in supporting the incorporation and inclusion of students for particular education of specific Schools. Sometimes they work with disqualified or barred pupils in rejoining the conventional schooling. In this way they are not only attached with the class room supporting role but their role has been extended to the supporter of School's projects and helping the pupils who find obstacles in learning process.
Groom and Rose (2004) had indicated the diverse range of activities performed by the teaching assistants in as they support the student to deal with their social, emotional and behavioral difficulties across one Local Education Authority. Not only the students but the teachers, parents and the governors also consider them inevitable for the students' development as they provide support for students, teachers, schools and curriculum
Principles of Effective Learning and Teaching:
Principles of effective learning and teaching had been identified with various perceptions by people or institutes having diverse ideology hence it is difficult to produce general idea about this subject. However I have strived to find the best suitable principles for effective learning and teaching for school children which have been divided into six components as under.
The Learning Environment Should Be Supportive And Productive:
This is the most important factor for making the learning and teaching process effective. The processes should flow smoothly and the students should not feed any burden. They should find the support of teaching assistants and teachers at every confusion or obstacle. By developing such productive background the teachers can get the best from the students as in such background the students will deliver the maximum.
The Learning Environment Promotes Independence, Interdependence And Motivation:
The environment in the classroom should inspire the students to take the initiatives on their own along with the confirmation that they will get the support of their classmates and group members whenever they will need it. In other words this concept suggests that there should be healthy competition in students where learning only should be prioritized than anything else.
Student's Need, Background, And Interests Should Reflect In Curriculum:
Every nation and thereby society have different cultural, social and economical background which play major role in developing ideology of the people living in it which of course is true for the students too. Hence the curriculum development should be done with keeping all these concepts in centre in order to bring true meaning for the educational process as it could get success than only.
Creation Of Healthy Learning Environment To Maximize The Outputs:
There should be such healthy and challenging environment in the class room that the students prompt to explore thorough level of their thinking. Challenges can be created by developing challenging exercises and healthy internal competition.
Assessment Practices Are Integral Part Of The Learning:
Assessment practice should be done in a way that student should find motivation from that and not a form of making criticism of any body. It should not derive any kind of burden from it.
Learning Should Be Connected With Social And Practical Exercises Outside Classrooms:
Learning process should not be limited to the classroom activities and students must be provided the exercises which bring them closer to the society in order to develop future responsible citizens in them. Apart from that they should not be delivered only the theoretical knowledge but must be furnished practical experience as for many subjects the theoretical and practical worlds used to have vast gap in real world practices hence the student should be provided the opportunities to have practical knowledge at the time of the learning itself.
Encouraging Pupils In Independent Learning:
It has been seen that, the self reliance in any process bring maximum results hence the development of the educational environment should be done in a way that pupils becomes independent in their learning process. They should have trust on their own abilities and virtues along with the trust on their teachers that whenever the students will need them, they will be there to help them. The attitude of being independent and confident will play the extensive role in the future for the students. Independence involves the challenge and interest of the students in the process hence by practicing one concept the effects can be tripled.
To build this attitude among the students the must be provided the opportunities to take initiatives and being participated in various challenging work. This would enhance their confidence level and from one point they will become independent.
Promoting Positive Relationships in Schools:
Relationship at all the levels have great role in success of any process, which is true for the educational processes too. The relationships between students, students and teaching assistants, students and teachers, teachers and teaching assistants are very crucial in developing above described ideal learning environment. Bitterness in any of them will not let the endeavors of all the aspects to reach to the desired point of success as it will produce the obstacles in the way of success in one or another point.
Creating healthy relationship is the first step to create healthy learning environment and for doing it the teaching assistants and teachers only have to strive as the pupils would not understand the value of it at first stage. There should be harmonious and pleasant internal relationships among the students which is one of the biggest challenges in front of the teaching staff. In order to develop that, the teachers should have motivational control over the classrooms environments.
This is an attempt to explore the various aspects of the role of teaching assistants along with the kind of duties they will have to perform and the expectations of the society and the educational surrounding keep for them. Being an ideal teaching assistant one can serve the society and nation greatly as their influence on the future generation never can be neglected.