Yes, all of these come from experience and I’ve addressed them in all kinds of creative ways. If you see yourself in any of these, I have one suggestion to help you become a great teaching assistant:
READ THESE AND DO THE OPPOSITE!
I want to be positive but I have my pet peeves and often they involve the teachers assisting in my Kids Yoga classes. I’ve vented with a friend, who is also an experienced daycare manager, and she rolled her eyes and said – “Hello, this is childcare 101.” Which is strange because most of these teachers would have graduated from childcare 101.
Let’s consider this a refresher course. When it comes to using or being a teaching assistant, we can use my experience to know what NOT to do. If this is you – consider yourself on notice!
5 Ways to Be a Terrible Teaching Assistant:
- Draw Attention to the Behaviour You Don’t Want: When someone is not co-operating, yell their name very loudly across the circle over and over again until everyone hears you and looks at you, except the named child, who is ignoring you.
- Model Apathy: Consider it unnecessary to get involved, whether it’s to participate in the yoga that we’re all doing or to stand up from your chair to walk over to help a child who has lost focus. Instead, wait and see what the yoga teacher will do about it.
- Put the Children’s Programming Second to What You’ve Got to Get Done: While the class is on, hold a planning discussion in the corner of the room with the other teachers or return your phone calls – be unaffected by the soft relaxation music that is playing while you talk.
- Let Others Worry About Cleanliness: Change half the kids diapers without ever washing your hands between changes or after you are finished. Then come and hug everyone. (Guess how often everyone is sick in this room!) Oh, and be sure to ignore the snot hanging from the kids’ noses.
- Over-Participate: Get so excited doing the yoga that you ignore the kids, ask the other (Assistant) teacher to help you try a handstand! Then forget there are little kids around and land on them as you come out of the pose.
As a special gift:
Bonus Way to be a Terrible Teacher Assistant: Answer the questions the yoga teacher is asking the kids, and be sure to do it fast, so the kids don’t have a chance to formulate their own answers.
Do you have anything to add to the list?