Teaching Assistants Level 1 – reflecting on my learning
I mainly work at Level 1 which is pretty basic in UK further education. My learners are mostly volunteering as teacher’s helpers in primary (elementary) schools, maybe hearing readers or tidying up the classroom. They want to do a teaching assistants course and this is the gateway. Many of them have English as a second or even third language. Most of them are also parents. Part of the course is child development and basic psychology. A lot of what they need to know, they really know already.
“Their knowing is in their doing” (J Ryan – 2003)
to coin a phrase.
In order to help them make the connection I use paired discussion of real life scenarios a lot, combined with simple reading tasks. There is also the concept of using ‘realia’ (everyday real objects) that you can hold and touch and talk about or write about. I tend to use things they might come across in the classroom.
It’s still tough getting them to connect and value their current knowledge.
It sometimes seems like they no longer trust themselves in this new country, which now I write it down, actually seems quite reasonable and not at all surprising.