Presentation on theme: "The Educational Assistant Classroom Partner"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Educational Assistant Classroom Partner Revised July 2010
2 Four Pillars for the Educational Assistant Role in the Classroom Support for the StudentSupport for all pupils with whom the EA comes into contactSupport for the TeacherEA performs a number of routine tasksSupport for the CurriculumEA is engaged in important aspects student performanceSupport for the SchoolEA is not just part of the staff; they are part of a teamThere are 4 aspects to the role of an Educational Assistant with the LDCSB. By “Support for the Student” is meant that even though an EA is assigned to a classroom primarily for the personal care and safety of a students with high needs, the support is offered to all students in the class. “Support for the Teacher” comes by way of being the assistant to all work in the class for which the teacher is responsible. This will be outlined more specifically throughout the slides. “Support for the Curriculum” is that any opportunity to engage students with their learning is the role of the teacher/EA team and the work of EAs in review, reinforcement and facilitation of learning the teacher has introduced, is an important aspect of the work of an EA classroom partner with the teacher. “Support for the School” reflects that EAs are an important contributor to the successful development of students in that they are a vital partner in classrooms and in the school. There are many opportunities within the school and in the schoolyard for EAs to assist with the meaningful inclusion of all students.
3 Levels of Collaboration Collaboration might take place at any or all phases of the teaching-learning process and in varying forms of formality. A continuum could be applied to help categorize depth of collaboration.Collaboration does not always neatly fall into these categories.“The propensity for teachers’ collaborative work to defy categorization is testimony to the complexity and fluidity of life in schools.” (Cousins, 1994)This slide by Cousins, 1994 continues to offer guidance to schools that there needs to be scheduled opportunities for the teacher and EA to plan ahead, to de-brief and to support each other’s work…the teacher leads, and the EA supports.
4 Good Practice The Educational Assistant: Helps with the inclusion of all studentsHas awareness of and assists with planning for class curriculum expectationsAssists the teacher with follow-up for students through reinforcement and practise of the learningAssists with student development of social skillsAssists by facilitating behaviour policiesSpots early signs of bullying and disruptive behaviourAssists students to remain on taskFoster the participation of students in the social and academic processes of a schoolThe inclusion of all students requires vigilance and intuiting opportunities that come up in a day to ensure that all students feel accepted and part of a class. Relationship building is important to this process and a healthy, friendly and supportive relationship between the teacher/EA must model this for students all day long.The teacher must ensure that the EA has access to day plans or opportunity to be cognizant of lessons and activities to take place…well in advance so that there is perspective to what and how the EA will assistThe teacher introduces skills and concepts and the EA assists any students through review, reinforcement, facilitation (personal care and safety always plays the primary role, however, student INDEPENDENCE is very important and no student, unless medically fragile, should have an adult by their side all day long…this is must be judged by the teacher/EA partners.Social skill development in students is the responsibility of all…students at any age fall under a developmental continuum of skills dependent upon their prior experiences and their coping skills…kind, judicious adult intervention to assist students think for themselves in situations are necessary to their growth.EAs often have a first hand perspective of early signs of bullying or disruptive behaviour and need to share information with the teacher in order to program appropriate intevention with the teacher to assist the student learn how to behave appropriately in situationsFacilitation during activities/seatwork/in the gym for students who are challenged with attention deficits assists students to be more successful and to learn perseverance
5 Good Practice The Educational Assistant: Helps raise the self-esteem of childrenAssists individual students in educational tasksFrees the teacher to work with groups and individualsAssists students with physical needs/medical needsDisplays a friendly, healthy relationship with the teacher, each valuing the other’s roleModels respect and kindnessIs intuitive to opportunities to allow student growth toward independenceEnable students to become more independent learnersINDEPENDENCE is the goal for all students, including those with the challenges of disabilities. The relationship EAs create with students can often be the factor which moves students forward to relying on their own strengths, to believing in themselves and their ability to contribute to their own learning. This is a noble and awe inspiring position for any adult. Respect and kindness shown to other adults and to students, even when challenged, is the sign of a professional; someone who intuits student and teacher needs and “assists”.
6 Good Practice Helps to raise standards of achievement of all students The Educational Assistant:Is involved with the whole classMakes more ambitious learning activities possibleReinforces and practises concepts/skills introduced by the teacherProvides feedback to the teacherPrepares classroom materialsHelps with gathering lesson/unit plan resourcesAssists by being vigilant and intuitive to student and teacher needsEnsures open, professional communication with the teacherShares information with the teacherShares personal care and safety information with the parent where applicableHelps to raise standards of achievement of all studentsA classroom where the two adults work together for the success of all students, is the goal. An EA’s work is guided by the teacher, with opportunity and time to discuss student needs and classroom goals. Trust and openness, strong work ethic, common goals and understandings need to be modeled as students do attend to the demeanor and actions/words of the adults who care for them. They are influenced positively by the good relationship and teaming of teacher and EA.The teacher is the primary communicator with the parent while the EA may be involved in personal care and safety information. Communication books going home are the responsibility of the classroom teacher to oversee. Communication booklets need to guided by efforts to move student toward independence while not jeopardizing personal care and safety…a team decision.
7 Good Practice Create and maintain the Classroom Team The Classroom Teacher:Differentiates the roles of teacher and Educational AssistantModels and nurtures a mutually respectful relationship with EA(s)Ensures EA participation in planningCreates a climate that encourages high-quality EA inputDevelops feedback mechanismsShares behaviour management structuresEnsures EA(s) is informed of the learning and behavioural needs of studentsIncludes EAs in IEP reviewsIs the communicator with the home regarding student programCreate and maintain the Classroom TeamEAs do not develop program for students; the teacher, with the support of the SPST and input from the EA, develops any student’s program, including students on an IEP. The teacher sets a tone of “team” with the SPST and EA where there can be mutual respect for each other’s role. A process for planning and feedback needs to be worked into the day’s schedule for the teacher and EA; the teacher leads this. The teacher needs to ensure that classroom rules and protocols are understood by the EA (better yet, worked out with the EA and students). The EA needs to have familiarity with the learning expectations for all areas for students on an IEP and this is the role of the teacher to ensure this. The EA assists in the gathering of materials and addressing the follow-up instructions of the teacher in the classroom. It is important that the teacher is the primary communicator with the home regarding any student’s learning and well-being in that she/he is the one responsible. The EA communicates with the teacher regarding any item which will assist with that communication.
8 Roles and Responsibilities InstructionTeacher RolePlan all instruction, including small group activities and guide the work of the EAProvide instruction in whole-class, group and to individual students in the classEducational Assistant RoleWork with small groups of students on specific tasks including review, reinforcement and practise of concepts and skills already taught by the teacherWork with one student at a time to provide intensive instruction or remediationFree the teacher to work with individuals and small groupsEnsure personal care and safety of studentsAreas of CommunicationTeachers provide specific content and guidance about curriculum, students, and instructional materialsEAs note student progress and give feedback to teachersThis slide’s message is clear…the teacher is responsible for all students, including those with exceptional needs. The Educational Assistants work closely with the teacher and their work is guided by the teacher. A strong, healthy adult relationship modelled by adults working together in a classroom is a powerful example for students. Students need to see these adults laugh together and be respectful of one another, be seriously focused on student learning, spending time together in relationship, communicating frequently and showing interest in all of the students in the classroom.
9 Roles and Responsibilities Curriculum and Lesson Plan DevelopmentTeacher RoleDevelop and introduce all lesson plans and instructional materials.Ensure alignment with standards, student needs, and IEPsEducational Assistant RoleProvide assistance in development of classroom activities, gathering and retrieval of materials, and coordination of activitiesAreas of CommunicationMutual review of lesson plan components prior to classTeachers provide guidance about specific instructional methodsFinding the time to be planning partners is the most challenging aspect of this classroom team, however, professionals in their own roles will rise to the challenge for the sake of the students they serve, with the support and help from the SPST and the principal and vice-principal where applicable. The teacher is the teaching expert while the EA is a trained professional support in the field of education, most especially, in the care and well-being for students with high needs.
10 Roles and Responsibilities Classroom ManagementTeacher RoleDevelop and guide class-wide management plans for behaviour and classroom structuresDevelop and monitor individual Behaviour Management plansEducational Assistant RoleAssist with the implementation of class-wide and individual Behaviour Management plansMonitor hallways, playground, & other activities outside normal class with attention for student(s) with special needsAreas of CommunicationTeachers provide guidance about specific behaviour management strategies & student characteristicsEducational Assistants note student progress & activities and give feedback to teachersOften, an EA is assigned to a classroom due to there being students with high behavioural and social development needs. Working in partnership to plan for these students is crucial to the well-being of these students and of all other students in the class. A comprehensive and well understood classroom management plan with all students and adults participating in its development is the first step toward ensuring student engagement in learning, which in itself is a help to appropriate behaviour. When student behaviour escalates, there is the partnership to intervene.
11 Roles and Responsibilities Accommodations and ModificationsTeacher RoleDetermine IEP program for applicable studentsIncorporate accommodations and differentiated instruction into all lesson plansDevelop materials to suit student learning needsEducational Assistant RoleGuided by teacher and IEP, provide appropriate accommodations to material (enlarged print, taking notes, reading material aloud, …)Areas of CommunicationTeachers guide EAs in the use of specific adaptations (from the IEP)Educational Assistants provide feedback about student progress and success of adaptationsTeachers need to share the IEP program goals with EAs and seek their input. When the adult partners each are aware of student needs and the programming in place to address these, the student benefits. Both professionals have roles to play wherein the teacher introduces new learning and the EAs assist with review, reinforcement, monitoring progress, making suggestions. The teacher ensures appropriate accommodations and/or modifications are in place and the EA and teacher ensure their use daily. EAs keep the teacher informed as to their effectiveness or need to rethink these in order to ensure success and equity of access to the Ontario Curriculum.
12 Roles and Responsibilities AssessmentTeacher RoleDetermine, create, and administer appropriate assessmentsDetermine modifications and accommodationsUse assessment results to inform future planning and curriculum developmentEducational Assistant RoleAssist in the administration of assessmentsImplement accommodationsCollect anecdotal student informationAreas of CommunicationTeacher gives guidance about the content and implementation of all assessmentsEA gives feedback about student progress based upon learning expectationsMutual conversations about anecdotal informationAssessment of student development in order to routinely make programming decisions is the responsibility of the teacher with the EA assisting by monitoring and communicating with the teacher. The teacher evaluates the learning and reports to parents.
13 Goal: Healthy Adult Working Relationships HOW:Building your own relationships within Classroom TeamsAssisting with the setting of personal goals for each adult to move toward implementation of the VisionHOW:One way the LDCSB has to assist principals with continuous improvement and effectiveness of the classroom team is the use of the Teacher/Educational Assistant Work Relationship- Workshop In A BagAll professional teachers and professional Educational Assistants have a personal responsibility to ensure they are moving toward the vision of becoming a classroom team. The LDCSB has developed a Teacher/EA Workshop in a Bag to assist the process. This is a 5 to 6 week process of 40 minutes a week whereby the teacher and EA(s) meet to discuss articles they read ahead of time and to perform brief quizzes/activities and discuss results. The goal of the workshop is to support the classroom team to become a strong, effective professional learning team whose primary focus is to positively impact student achievement.
14 Team Together Everyone Achieves More Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress.Working together is success!Henry Ford