Back to school and those Inset days!

Just…be prepared!

I always, always hated it when, as a child, I saw the sign start to appear in shops. Of course nowadays as soon as summer starts they are out just to make money, just like Christmas already being advertised or Easter Cards…all marketing to make more money.

So back to school and what does that mean for a Teaching Assistant?

Part of the Answer is dependent upon which school you work at so I can only give you an idea of what it means for me.

To start with when I head back I have two INSET days (not insect days as my daughter thought!). Inset day was originally an acronym for IN-SErvice Training day and was also known as a TD Day (Teacher Development Day).

Continuing Professional Development is an important part of training in schools especially since the government changes policies, curriculum and whatever on a whim. It is something all schools must keep on top of.

Teaching Assistants share some of the training with the teachers but of course we have our own area in which we specialise and the chances are your SENCo will be doing some work with you or the team of TA’s.

There may well be boards to get ready, equipment to be checked and interventions to be worked out with teaching staff.

You may well be asked to do a variety of interventions usually to do with an aspect of English, Maths or sometime behavioural therapy. My advice is to find out this information:

  • exactly what is required of you
  • what is the target of the intervention
  • what time/s of the day/s it need to be carried out
  • where it is to be carried out
  • sheets to note progress
  • which children and from which years
  • have the parents given permission
  • when do they start

I would also recommend that you keep your own record recording the child’s progress, absences or other reasons you were unable to do the intervention.

Get yourself a academic diary (your school may supply one) they are quite cheap and take all the important dates from the school website off so you are prepared.