If you are lucky enough to obtain a teaching job, then you might even be luckier if you have a teaching assistant, or aide, in your classroom. A teaching aide helps you in various ways and makes your day easier. However, your teaching assistant may not do all she needs to do while in your classroom.
These steps will help you cope with an ineffective teaching assistant:
Spell out expectations
Make sure the teaching aide knows the expectations while in your classroom. Teaching assistants have multiple roles they can fill to help a teacher. However, if the teaching assistant isn’t sure what you want her to do, she won’t fulfill her duties. Sit down with her either during a slow class time or after school. Do you want her to work with a small group of students or with a student one-on-one? Do you want her to pass back papers to the students or grade papers? Let her know exactly what duties you would like for her to do.
Once you have outlined your expectations of the teacher’s aide, she should be putting forth some effort to do as you asked. Give her cues or ask her for assistance if you need help passing out papers, need her to work one-on-one with a student, or any other job you need her to do. After some time, the teaching assistant should get the hang of your expectations. If she doesn’t, then you may need to take the next step.
Go to administrator
Whether the teaching assistant is a first year or a veteran, she should be able to do her job within a short time frame. You have a classroom full of students to worry about, and you shouldn’t have to worry about telling another adult what to do in the classroom. What do you do if she just isn’t doing what you expect even after you explained her duties in your classroom?
In that case, you could go to an administrator and ask for help. The teacher’s aide was hired to do a job, and she isn’t doing her job. As badly as you don’t want to cost someone her job, you have no choice but to do what you must for the best interest of your students. She is of no use to you in a classroom if she isn’t helping you as the teacher.
A teaching assistant helps you in various ways in your classroom. She should do as you wish and do her job well. These three steps should help you cope with an ineffective teaching assistant.