Classroom assistants are literal angels sent down from the superintendent or principal as a gift to you. Having an extra pair of eyes, ears, and hands in the classroom can be a Godsend! If you’ve never had a classroom assistant before or tend to be a bit of a control freak, you might not know what to do with your classroom assistant. Check out seven things you can have your classroom assistant do to help you keep your best friend busy.
#1 Keep the Peace
One of the best parts of having a classroom assistant is having another set of ears and eyes in the classroom. Sometimes, especially if you are having to work with a small group or an individual, students can get a little on the rowdy side. Having a teacher’s assistant in the room can be a game changer in times like these. Because the assistant has the same “power” that you do in the classroom, they can correct behavior and help make sure students are staying on task.
#2 Act as Center Security
Another way you can use a classroom assistant is to have them be center security. Whenever you are using centers in your classroom, things can get a little crazy especially if there is a new center you are introducing. By having your classroom assistant be available to help at all centers or putting him/her at one center as a “help line,” you can work with students who may be struggling with a new concept.
#3 Check and Check
We all make mistakes as teachers and having a second pair of eyes for us can be incredibly helpful. If you are starting a new project and you’re unsure about something, a teacher’s assistant can help see any potential red-flags.
Not only can a teacher’s assistant “check” for red flags, they can also proofread a new worksheet, help correct student work sheets, and be the go to person for keeping tabs of who is winning the pencil war.Having an extra pair of eyes, ears, and hands in the classroom can be a God send! Click To Tweet
#4 Be the Shoulder
When we are in the classroom, you never know when “disaster” is going to strike. Students are little people who have emotions and sometimes our emotions can get the best of us. When a little one just can’t take it anymore and the guidance counselor is not available, the teacher assistant can be a shoulder for the student to cry on. If the student wants to talk to you, the classroom assistant can take your place in front of the classroom while you help your student work through his/her feelings.
#5 Lend a Hand
A classroom assistant can be so much more than an extra “body” in the room. With that extra set of hands, a classroom assistant can work with a small group of students or maybe one student who needs extra help in accordance to his/her IEP.
Along with helping with students and lending an extra hand, these multi-skilled assistants can help you hang up artwork or lend a hand putting up some fresh bulletin board boarders (which I swear is impossible to do no your own).
Another way a classroom assistant can lend a hand is by helping set up a project by getting materials around. By having the classroom assistant set everything up, you have less of a “lull” when it comes to the next activity and students are less likely to get side tracked.
A teacher’s assistant can act as a “corrector” in many different ways including but not limited to:
- Restating what happened between two students or a teacher and a student.
- Sometimes, things happen and administration has to get involved. If a student says that a teacher said this or that, the teacher’s assistant can correct whoever is not telling the truth. In other words, he/she can “bare witness” to the events in the classroom and be an advocate for you or the student.
- Correcting student behavior.
- It is impossible for a teacher to be everywhere at once. Therefore, if a classroom assistant sees a student acting up, he/she can correct the behavior before it becomes disruptive. This not only is great for transitioning, it can be great for keeping your classroom management on point.
- Correcting work
- While I wouldn’t make this an everyday thing, your classroom assistant can help with correcting work as well. We all know how overwhelming it can be to get everything done in a day, and your classroom assistant can help you as long as he/she isn’t doing ALL of the work.
#7 Copy that!
Finally, a classroom assistant is amazing for helping you get ready for the week. Sometimes, all you really need is for something to run down to the office and make a few copies. While this is not your classroom assistant’s primary job, it can be helpful to have someone there to help with the “little” tasks of the day that make a huge difference!
Classroom assistant are literal angels. They wear so many hats from a counselor to a teacher to a decorator to an office assistant. What a classroom assistant can do you for you is really limitless but you want to make sure you are treating him/her with dignity and respect. Make sure you are giving them meaningful tasks and not just undesirable ones. Thank them often and make sure you buy them some desk candy to; they need it just as much as you do!