When a teaching assistant/ teacher is supporting a learning activity there are lots of problems involved. Though this cant be avoided you should know how to handle the situation and find a way to deal such problems in future. The problems can be classified on the basis of learning activities and resources, Learning Environment and the pupil’s ability to learn. In a learning activity there are problems for both the students and teachers. Now let’s see what are all the potential problems that a teaching assistant/teacher face when supporting a learning activity.
Learning Activities and Resources:
The following are the problems a student faces during a learning activity and how I would deal with these.
• Objectives- When the teacher gives a task to the class some students might have not understood or they may be unclear of what has to be done. In this situation once, the task is been explained I would go around the students to ensure they are working on it correctly if not I would help them by giving an example and see to that they understand.
• Insufficient Information – When you do not receive adequate information from the teacher it becomes difficult for you to understand the task yourself through which you may not be able to support the students, when they have a problem as you yourself are not very clear about the task due to lack of information. In this case you can explain to the teacher about your problem and get the topics which we are going to discuss for the following week so that I could use the internet or other materials to prepare myself and be clear about the activity that’s taking place.
• Time Management – When the teacher asks you to prepare the resources for the task in a very short notice or you haven’t prepared it though a long notice was given due to other work commitments it is a major problem as the students suffer in both the cases so you should know what to prioritize first and if such a case comes up I will also be prepared to manage without prior preparation. In this situation I would give an activity and engage the students and in the mean time I would prepare myself and go ahead with the class.
Environment plays a vital role in a learning activity. Children get distracted very easily so its an important role for teaching assistant to see to that the environment is good and not a place for disruption.
As a teaching assistant I would check the classroom temperature and make sure it’s not too hot or too cold and prepare the classroom prior to the class. For a learning activity to take place it requires a lot of space I can help the teacher by finding a suitable place beforehand so that I can save time. Above all in a learning environment the noise levels are too high within the classroom and outside the classroom the students might be changing classes and within the class pupil would be talking among themselves as a teaching assistant it’s my responsibility to ask the students to be quiet and ask them to focus on the class and keep the doors and windows closed to avoid distractions.
Pupils Ability to Learn:
• If any particular child disturbs the task due to their poor behaviour I would sit along with the child and talk to him/her in a positive manner and see to that the class is not being disturbed.
• As the children are studying for a very long time its natural for them to lose their concentration which leads to disturb other children and poor behaviour so I would speak to the teacher and arrange for a game in between classes to refresh their mind which will help them to stay focussed and make learning a fun way.
• Some students have very low self-esteem which might stop them from taking part in certain activities in such case I would encourage the child and praise them by giving them a reward like a sticker or a star to motivate them and improve their confidence level in taking part in the class activities.
Apart from the above problems mentioned there are various others which will affect the ability of children which occurs when their basic needs are not met, when they are been abused or bullied or the environment in which they grow could affect them from concentrating. As a teaching assistant It’s my responsibility to see to that if any of the student behaviour has concerns if so I will inform the teacher and see to that its addressed.