How good are you at identifying your strengths? Go on then, list five things that make you a fantastic TA. Done it?
Now think about the areas you need to develop. Not so easy is it?
It’s important to be constantly updating our knowledge and skills but if we are blind to our own development needs then how are we to make a start? Some schools don’t even carry out appraisals on support staff. It’s easy to feel dejected. Why bother?
I believe training is important. It’s vital for our development but it doesn’t have to be formal. Training courses are great if you are lucky enough to get on one, but informal CPD is good too. Reading a magazine article can be just as useful as sitting in a classroom and being taught. There are some fantastic resources on-line just waiting to be discovered by us and used in our work with the children.
Learning Support Magazine is a prime example of how on-line materials can be used for CPD. It’s really easy to browse through the magazine to find the information you need. Past issues have covered just about every subject you can think of, from how to support children with communication difficulties to how to produce stunning displays. Just check the index and go to the relevant issue. Click on the cover to read the magazine. It couldn’t be easier.
Websites can be useful. Try typing Primary resources in your address bar and see what pops up. One of my old favourites is Woodlands Junior School which has great links to games and activities.
But there are dozens of great sites to look at. Don’t take my word for it. Have a google for yourself and see how much you can learn.