1.1 I work as a Special Education Needs Teacher Assistant (SEN TA) in a year two classroom in a primary school; it is a small school with one class of around thirty children for each year, ranging from reception to year 6. In year two I work with aged 6-7 year old children, one teacher and a teacher assistant. The school had a friendly atmosphere about it and seemed very much like a big family as it had strong outside support from many parent helpers who voluntarily came in often providing extra help. While there I feel I built up a good working relationship with both staff and pupils.
As SEN TA my responsibilities are to promote the inclusion and acceptance of all pupils, promote school policies on pupil behavior ,support the implementation of strategies and targets to manage behavior, contribute to the management of pupil behavior , employ strategies for behavior management and report any problems to the teacher , report any progress towards targets for children with Behavior Support Plans, provide level of attention appropriate to pupil’s needs, modifying approach to ensure that desired outcomes are achieved , deal with any disruption and report to the teacher any difficulties that I was unable to overcome, provide support for learning activities, feeding back to the teacher on progress made ,promote independent learning , encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning and promoting development of self-esteem.
1.2 Practitioner’s expectations should be to become a valuable practitioner, to be reliable and build good relationships with children and parent careers, encouraging play whilst learning, and by having children’s best interests e.g. physical activities, outings, this would help them to enjoy their growth in knowledge and assist in enhancing their development as a whole. Also practitioners should work as a team with other staff members and parent/careers in order to support the children to promote the children’s initial learning so that the children will feel confident and would be able boost up their self-esteem, and this will also help them in their future, and prepare them in further education when they move onto school. Also the expectations that are to be done in placement at a relevant standard is to supervise the children this plays a big role in child protection Act and health and policy.
Practitioners should always watch the children closely to prevent and reduce the severity of injury to children. Children often challenge their own abilities but are not always able to recognize the risks involved. Practitioners need to supervise children and identify any risks and minimize injury. Keep is also a relevant way that ensures practitioners are kept to speed with standards as they are reviewed regularly and must reflect KEEP (the key elements of effective practice)
Keep provides framework for the practitioners to understand what effective practice looks like, formulate their self-development plan and to reflect on their work. “KEEP has been developed alongside and is consistent with the common core of skills and knowledge for the children’s workforce, which sets out the six areas of expertise that everyone working with children, young people and families should be able to demonstrate effective communication and engagement with children, young people and families, child and young person development, and safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child.
2.1 Reflection is the examination of personal thoughts and actions. This means focusing on how you interact with colleagues, service users and the environment. It means thinking about how you could have done something differently, what you did well, what you could have done better. How you can improve what you have done. It also means reflecting your own values, beliefs and experiences which shape your thoughts and ideas. This will allow you to obtain a clearer picture of your own behavior and a better understanding of your strengths and take appropriate future action. It is essential that we respect the skills and expertise of other practitioners we work alongside. To work as a team we need to listen to others and take on board what they are saying. As someone new to the role we can learn a lot from our more experienced colleagues. To have a good relationship with other colleagues we need to show them that we respect their views, knowledge and opinions.
In my short time at Cranmere Primary I already feel that I have learnt a great amount from the other staff, particularly the support staff. This knowledge is vital and invaluable and will stay with me throughout my career. A teaching assistant who may feel the need to improve her knowledge on dealing with children who have behavioral problems would need to do a college course, where she would need to use the internet and books for both her resource and references and extra information. To which she would then put all this into practice and have a new knowledgeable skill that would be invaluable to her professional role. While in your chosen profession, to hear the views of what others think is also another way of developing yourself, they see you in a different way to how you actually see yourself.
They may give you advice on how you could improve on a particular way that you handled a dispute between two children, or how you had helped/or how you could help a group of children with a subject or even doing a wall display. Their advice is an invaluable way of improving one’s self development. Another way of improving on your development is to learn from yourself. Reflect on how your day has gone and what you could have improved. 2.2 In order to become an active participant in the process of reflective practice I answered 11 questions about events from past week. This exercise helped as to decipher what we have learnt about ourselves, to find our strengths and weaknesses, what is our favorite task and what we find difficult and how we could adjust our style of practice to receive the best results. See attachment 1 I completed a SWOC analysis from which stands for strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and challenges.
In this form I listed 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses, specified current opportunities available and challenges that prevent success. This helped me to draw up targets to input in my personal development plan. See attachment 2 2.3 Everyone has different values, beliefs and preferences. What you believe in, what you see as important and what you see as acceptable or desirable is an essential part of who you are. The way in which you respond to people is linked to what you believe in, what you consider important and what interests you. You may find you react positively to people who share your values and less warmly to people who have different priorities. When you develop friendships, it is natural to spend time with people who share your interests and values. However, the professional relationships you develop with people you support are another matter.
As a professional, you are required to provide the same quality of support for all, not just for those who share your views and beliefs. This may seem obvious, but knowing what you need to do and achieving it successfully is not the same thing. Working in a school, you are bound to come across people whose views you do not agree with, and who never seem to understand your point of view. Awareness of differences, your reaction to them and how they affect the way you work is a crucial part of personal and professional development. If you allow your own preferences to dominate your work with people, you will fail to perform to the standards of the Codes of Practice for child care workers set out by the UK regulating bodies.
All the codes require child care workers to respect and promote people’s individual views and wishes. But how do you manage to make the right responses when there is a clash between your views and those of the people you are working for? The first step is to identify and understand your own views and values. We each bring our backgrounds, beliefs, values, talents and behavior standards to work. Taken together, these define how we treat others and how we expect to be treated. They define what makes each of us unique. To respect diversity is to recognize each individual for his/her unusual and unique talents.
3.1 Once I have analyzed the demands and expectations of my job role, the next step is to consider what I can already do and which areas I may further need to develop. This learning outcome looks at how I might evaluate my own performance and how I might use feedback to inform me. It is important to think about what I can do already and which areas I need to develop further. I also need to find ways of evaluating myself. Responding to feedback one of the ways in which I can evaluate my current state of knowledge and performance is by asking others for feedback. This is important because it can be hard to be objective about your own performance. Also I may lack skills or knowledge to be aware of what else you should be doing or other ways in which I might work.
Feedback may come from a variety of sources, including parent and colleagues as well as early year’s advisers. Feedback works best if I trust the people it comes from and if they feel that they can give me an honest view. It is a skill in itself to be able to listen to feedback carefully without becoming defensive. It is often easy to begin to defend the reasons why I do things, but the key is to remember that the focus is on improving performance. It is my responsibility to ensure my knowledge and skills are up to date. It is important to regularly attend training and refresher courses such as First Aid, health and safety training. Legislations and procedures are constantly changing and it is important to maintain your knowledge and keep it correct. I am responsible for the children hygiene and to keep them healthy, to respect the safety rules and to prevent and avoid the dangerous situations.
4.1 As a teacher assistant, I have a responsibility to engage in continuous professional development. This means taking action to keep my skills and knowledge up to date and seeking to improve my capabilities across the range of tasks I carry out daily. Continually improving my knowledge is essential to my role and ensures that I have the skills and knowledge needed to create the best for the school that I work for. To improve my own knowledge is very important to me and I really enjoy learning new skills which can benefit my roles or future roles. In doing this I feel I am progressing in my career, keeping myself desirable to other employers and maximizing my potential to do well within my career. Therefore if I continue to develop professionally and improve my knowledge resulting in me improving my practice I will: Become a positive role model to other staff
Be confident in my own abilities and future employment
I enjoy learning and extending my knowledge of children and child development. I have thoroughly enjoyed my work placements, as in the placements I have been able to extend both my practical and theoretical knowledge. I feel that my strengths include being a good listener; I have good communication skills which I feel are essential for a teacher assistant. I am a hard working and enthusiastic person who thoroughly enjoys a challenge and the responsibility being placed in them, I am a creative person who enjoys designing and making resources which can be used in planned activities my placements. I enjoy working in a team, as this gives me a sense of satisfaction. 4.2 Continuing professional development raises the standards of your skills set and I think that to always be able to update your skills and develop knowledge and find ways to do this is a positive attitude to take.
As a teacher assistant it is very important and it takes a keen interest in continuing professional development, it means its standards are likely to be high and would make it more appealing to parents seeking a placement for their child. In the classroom it is important for me to be proactive in my own continuing professional development. In order to feel more positive and confident about my profession and to keep motivated and inspired by new ideas. It also means keeping up to date with the latest teaching techniques, regular reviews of procedures and practices, such as first aid and child protection. Most importantly is the benefit to the children’s education. I think that it is important to continue my professional development throughout my career , as this will help my knowledge to grow and expand and as a teacher assistant are many ways in which I can constantly keep improving. There are many courses/classes at college; attend conferences and or workshops as well as the option of learning via reading books or using the internet.
There are many courses for a large variety of subjects as children with behavioral problems and doing this course I will would need to use the internet and books for both my resource and references and extra information. To which I as a teacher assistant I can put all this into practice and have a new knowledgeable skill that would be invaluable to my professional role. Another way to see what professional development you can do is to hear the views of what others, they see you in a different way to how you actually see yourself. They may give you advice on how you could improve on a particular way that you handled a dispute between two children, or how you had helped/or how you could help a group of children with a subject or even doing a wall display. Their advice is an invaluable way of improving one’s self development.
Another way of improving on your development is to learn from yourself. Reflect on how your day has gone and what you could have improved on. 4.3 Working as a teacher assistant made me realized that I have to develop my skills to be able to participate in the learning development of children. Developing my professional skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement. There are many types that can facilitate learning opportunities, ranging from college degrees to formal coursework, conferences and informal learning opportunities situated in practice. There are a variety of approaches to professional development, including consultation, coaching, and communities of practice, lesson study, mentoring, reflective supervision and technical assistance.
I think that personal development is to do with developing the personal qualities and skills that everyone needs in order to live and work with others, such as understanding, empathy, patience, communication and relationship-building. As a teacher assistant I found many opportunities to develop my knowledge and my own practice, like finding a course to improve my math skills or ICT skills or sometimes I can just improve my phonics watching a video on the internet. As a teacher assistant I have to improve my skills because I have to help the children with their learning and understanding what they are doing.
5.1 As a student at SCOLA I learn about all the policies in a school and to respect them. My time in school has developed my philosophy of valuing each child as an individual, as well as part of a community. I aim to give children as many learning opportunities and experiences as possible in order to engage, motivate and prepare them for future life. An appropriate, balanced, challenging and creative curriculum is essential in developing children’s skills, knowledge and understanding. I have in particular come to understand the value of sharing learning objectives and success criteria with children. Knowing exactly what is expected and how they can achieve allows children to focus more clearly on tasks. This also facilitates effective self and peer assessments, as there are clear criteria and objectives to assess against, encouraging children to take more responsibility for their own learning.
During my placement I had the experience of some confidential information being shared with me by the teacher, concerning child protection issues with a pupil in the school; as I have knowledge of confidentiality of children’s information I understood I was trusted with this information which was not for me to share with anyone. Ways in which confidentiality is kept in early years settings includes ensuring that all staff are aware of the policy and are kept informed of laws and regulations regarding the handling of a child’s personal information. Information should not be shared with anyone other than professional staff who need to know and should be stored away somewhere only certain staff can access. While in placement I had the opportunity to meet parents of some children; in one situation I sat with and cared for a child who was ill in school and waiting to be picked up to go home, when the parent arrived to collect their child I greeted them in a respectful and approachable manner, introducing myself so that they knew my role in the school, I explained to the parent what had happened; how their child had been ill and what had been done to help her and make her as comfortable as possible while waiting to go home.
This parent was friendly and polite in return and was happy with me giving her the information. As students in a setting I think coming across respectful, welcoming and polite is necessary in this situations and you have to show a professional attitude throws any problem that may come across. Working as a teacher assistant I discovered that much of our work with children is about the world around us and I feel that an interest in this and some experience of it is more likely to make it seem more interesting and accessible to the children. 5.2 At school I had to work with the lower ability group to help them with numeracy At first session I had a group of 5 children, I was feeling nervous and some of the children were excited to have this session with me.
I started the session by explaining the exercise and I give them some to do by them self’s in this way I was making sure that they understand. During this session I had to explain the exercise in different ways so that everyone can understand and make sure that the lesson includes everyone on any levels. I try to make sure that the time that I was working with them will not be boring or very hard and challenge them when I show that they needed. At the end of the session I realized that even throw the children understood the exercise, I have to be more organized and at the next session to plan more different activities for them. Is important to keep a record because in time is possible that you have to do the same thing and you can improve by seeing what you have done wrong or what didn’t work last time. Makes you see your work from a different point of view.