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Teaching Assistant Essay

Question 1 Describe how you might contribute to a lesson given to a group of seven year old children learning to play percussion instruments.

First I would speak to the class teacher I was working with and find out the following points. 1. Which percussion instruments will be needed? 2. How many students will be in the group? 3. Where will we be practising with the instruments? 4, When will the instruments be required? 5. Where the instruments are kept? 6. What is required of me during the lesson (help students? Take photographs or other tasks needing completing) 7. If the member of staff requires me to research some fun activities that can be done to build up the children’s confidence in using the instruments.

Firstly I would research the fun confidence building activities if it was required by talking to a musically inclined member of staff or search the internet for age appropriate tasks that lend to the varying skills of the students.

After the directions were discussed I would make the space suitable for the lesson, taking into consideration adequate space for the group of students to work comfortably with the instruments with out fear of hitting one another, I would also check the surrounding area for any other dangers present.

Next I would gather the necessary equipment making sure to check that it was in working order and safe to be used by the students noting any damaged equipment that I found needing repair or replacing to inform the class teacher, also recording what equipment I have borrowed and when so that others going for the same equipment knew where it was.

Then I would set out the instruments in the space the students will be using for this lesson before the teacher is ready to bring the students in so that the lesson could commence with out disturbing the students by making them have to wait for equipment to be set up.

During the lesson I would do the tasks discussed with member of staff before the lesson so that they could concentrate on the lesson at hand.

Finally after the lesson has finished I would gather up the equipment I had borrowed and check it again to make sure no damage had occurred and it was still in safe working order, return the items and store them safely in there correct storage space noting that the equipment had been returned.

Question 2 What might your role be in organising, using and maintaining the learning resources, material and equipment for this percussion lesson?

My role organising would be determined in the discussion I would have prior to the lesson with the member of staff which might be to check the amount of working instruments we have available in school and if they are available for the time we require them.

I might have to record the lessons for use on a DVD or school website if parental consent has been given, meaning I would need to acquire and be proficient in the use of a digital camera or camcorder. If a CD containing music is to be used I would need to set up a CD player. Any electrical equipment needed I would check to make sure they have been tested recently by a qualified electrician.

If a music CD is required to help give the students an idea of keeping timing with a rhythm or beat so this would need to be sourced and checked for scratches, making sure we have the relevant rights to use the material on the CD.

In respect of using and maintaining the equipment would check all the available equipment needed for the lesson as much in advance as I could so that I would be able to inform the member of staff of damaged or broken equipment that needs repaired or replaced. Doing so in advance would be of great benefit to the teacher, as then depending on how many instruments we have in safe working order a decision could be made to either source more or maybe get the students to share. After the lesson I would gather the items we used and check them once more before I put them back into storage and inform the teacher of any change in the condition of them.

Question 3 Describe how you act in class in order to be an effective role model for the standards of behaviour expected in pupils?

In class and also anywhere around school premises I would act in a respectful manner towards all people staff, parent or student meaning I would talk to them politely and listen carefully to what they had to say. Respect also comes in the way to approach a student I would walk over ready to help however possible instead of race over in a hurry to get a job done.

I would conduct myself in a calm and collected manner where my voice would sound friendly and my body language would be welcoming so that students could feel relaxed and safe helping them to work well with myself and build a rapport.

When working with students who have good standards of behaviour they would be praised verbally in front of there peers with an added bonus of maybe a sticker for a full lesson or full day of good behaviour and contribution in class giving that student a sense of accomplishment. Where as a student who does not practice good standards of behaviour would be asked in front of the other students on the table to think how that action was not appropriate and told it will not be accepted again. I would always talk to the student misbehaving with a sterner voice but never yell or shout as it would be counter productive and a form of bullying in itself, if the behaviour remained unacceptable I would refer them to the class teacher.

At anytime with a student or group of students and I had to correct them for example a misspelled or incorrect pronunciation of a word, I would correct them in a way that did not make them feel unimportant or belittled because they got something wrong as it is always better to try and fail than never try at all. I would then make more of an effort to find something that the student does well and give praise for there contribution to the task at hand as well as for trying there best with the thing they got incorrect.

My behaviour and approach in class and outside of class towards the people I would come into contact with would always be consistent so that the students would know what I accept in regards to standards of behaviour. Which would also help students think that I would be approachable and not over react or dismiss a problem they may have with there work or in there life.

Question 4 What strategies might you employ to encourage pupils to behave appropriately? Describe how you might react to incidents of bullying and violence.

I would first off read the schools behaviour policy to get an outline of what is expected from the students along with any notes on consequences and rewards for any actions, also use common knowledge of acceptable behaviour.

Consistency in my standards of behaviour would be foremost in a practical example to the students of what behaviour is acceptable; giving them a model they can see to work towards in respect to how they want to act. My consistency would also breed predictability for example when I first see the students in the morning they would be greeted warmly and asked how they were feeling today, nurturing there social and empathetic development while they express there feeling. Respect will be shown at all times to who ever I interact with making it easier for students to show respect towards myself and in turn their peers.

I think the student would better understand and be more likely if as a school or a class to make it more personal made a poster of what they consider good and unacceptable behaviour. This way they have contributed and feel the rules are fair as they made them not just told this is what you have to do.

Confrontation should always be respectful meaning do not just start shouting at a student for there inappropriate behaviour but develop numerous ways to confront a student by discussing with staff to see which forms they believe work well.

In promoting good behaviour I would reward with praise as my main reward and if I believe a student does something extra to what is normal, say opening a day to a member of staff or helping someone in their group comprehend the task they are having difficulty with I would reward them with a sticker which would serve as a visible sign of recognition to a good deed and encourage other children to do the same. The sticker would also make the student who received it feel important and appreciated for their effort, especially knowing that rewards are not given out at random but for consistent good work or behaviour, not forgetting to reward students who are trying but are not as good as others in certain areas to give a confidence boost.

If I witnessed or an incident of bullying was brought to my attention I would firstly ensure I was calm and consistent to what my interaction with a student in an everyday matter would be so not to make anyone feel uncomfortable whether it be a child informing, bullying or being bullied. Then I would start a record in a note book at first of people involved and what it was about.

The incident would be isolated from the other students so that no one else was involved giving a calmer atmosphere to ascertain what is happening by talking calmly to the students as always practiced in school. Once the situation has calmed down I would inform the class teacher as to what happened giving any notes taken so they could read the account. I would then be inclined to do an assembly on bullying and why it is not accepted in our school so that the messages went out to all the students and did not target any one person. This would be better learned if I got students involved in maybe suggesting how to deal with a situation before it escalates to bullying or if an incident of bullying is observed, making anti bullying posters would be a good task to perform to raise awareness.

Question 5 Describe how you might appropriately observe the physical abilities and skills of a nine year old boy. I would discuss with the teacher as to what kind of observation they required as they may want a observation of where the child’s abilities are at the moment or how they develop over a set period of time. Then understanding exactly what is required from the observation and the protocols set out within the school for observing students I would plan the observation. Firstly I would plan to do it either at an active play time or when the students are all doing P.E. so that I can observe the student with out them realising it giving a more accurate account. I would make a sheet for the observation stating date, time started, time finished, student and reason for observation and have boxes for small notes regarding different aspects of physical abilities and skills such as;

1. Confidence setting up a sports game to be played. 2. Hand-eye co-ordination. 3. How they completed the task asked of them 4. Did they require any assistance during the task? 5. The way they interact with others during tasks. 6. Is the child challenged by the tasks or did they find them easy. 7. Concentration of student during task.

And a conclusion along with any other points discussed with the teacher before hand. Once the observation had finished I would then make a neater copy of the notes making sure everything recorded is fact and not my interpretation of events. I would keep a blank copy of the sheet used so that I could observe the same aspects each time. At a pre arranged time I would give feedback to the member of staff in which ever way they requested be it written or talked about with or with out the student present. If the student is present I would praise there accomplishments and constructively subject areas that could be improved. The notes taken during the observation would be kept in a safe place for five years designated by the member of staff and would not be open for discussion to anyone respecting the student’s confidentiality.

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