Best Practice

The four Cs of effective teaching assistants

Professional collaboration between teachers and teaching assistants is crucial to high-quality lessons and teaching. Matt Bromley outlines his four Cs for creating outstanding working relationships

For teachers, the classroom is their kingdom – it is their domain and they are responsible for building a positive learning environment in which their pupils can grow and succeed. Often, however, teachers must share their turf with another adult, usually a teaching assistant. How well the teacher and teaching assistant manage their relationship is crucial if pupils are to be engaged, challenged and make progress.

So, what is the secret to fostering a successful working relationship between a teacher and teaching assistant? I have developed the four Cs to help – they are: consistency, communication, clarity and connections.

Although it may sound authoritarian and undemocratic, teachers must remember that it is their classroom and they are in control of it. Of course, in most cases the teacher and teaching assistant will get on well, have the same high standards and be aligned in their determination that all pupils succeed. But, if there are differences, the teacher will need to make clear to the other adult that they expect them to follow their lead when it comes to supporting learning and managing behaviour.

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