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The Educational Assistant Classroom Partner

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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 Student Support for all pupils with whom the EA comes into contact Support for the Teacher EA performs a number of routine tasks Support for the Curriculum EA is engaged in important aspects student performance Support for the School EA is not just part of the staff; they are part of a team There 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 students Has awareness of and assists with planning for class curriculum expectations Assists the teacher with follow-up for students through reinforcement and practise of the learning Assists with student development of social skills Assists by facilitating behaviour policies Spots early signs of bullying and disruptive behaviour Assists students to remain on task Foster the participation of students in the social and academic processes of a school The 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 assist The 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 situations Facilitation 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 children Assists individual students in educational tasks Frees the teacher to work with groups and individuals Assists students with physical needs/medical needs Displays a friendly, healthy relationship with the teacher, each valuing the other’s role Models respect and kindness Is intuitive to opportunities to allow student growth toward independence Enable students to become more independent learners INDEPENDENCE 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 class Makes more ambitious learning activities possible Reinforces and practises concepts/skills introduced by the teacher Provides feedback to the teacher Prepares classroom materials Helps with gathering lesson/unit plan resources Assists by being vigilant and intuitive to student and teacher needs Ensures open, professional communication with the teacher Shares information with the teacher Shares personal care and safety information with the parent where applicable Helps to raise standards of achievement of all students A 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 Assistant Models and nurtures a mutually respectful relationship with EA(s) Ensures EA participation in planning Creates a climate that encourages high-quality EA input Develops feedback mechanisms Shares behaviour management structures Ensures EA(s) is informed of the learning and behavioural needs of students Includes EAs in IEP reviews Is the communicator with the home regarding student program Create and maintain the Classroom Team EAs 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
Instruction Teacher Role Plan all instruction, including small group activities and guide the work of the EA Provide instruction in whole-class, group and to individual students in the class Educational Assistant Role Work with small groups of students on specific tasks including review, reinforcement and practise of concepts and skills already taught by the teacher Work with one student at a time to provide intensive instruction or remediation Free the teacher to work with individuals and small groups Ensure personal care and safety of students Areas of Communication Teachers provide specific content and guidance about curriculum, students, and instructional materials EAs note student progress and give feedback to teachers This 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 Development Teacher Role Develop and introduce all lesson plans and instructional materials. Ensure alignment with standards, student needs, and IEPs Educational Assistant Role Provide assistance in development of classroom activities, gathering and retrieval of materials, and coordination of activities Areas of Communication Mutual review of lesson plan components prior to class Teachers provide guidance about specific instructional methods Finding 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 Management Teacher Role Develop and guide class-wide management plans for behaviour and classroom structures Develop and monitor individual Behaviour Management plans Educational Assistant Role Assist with the implementation of class-wide and individual Behaviour Management plans Monitor hallways, playground, & other activities outside normal class with attention for student(s) with special needs Areas of Communication Teachers provide guidance about specific behaviour management strategies & student characteristics Educational Assistants note student progress & activities and give feedback to teachers Often, 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 Modifications Teacher Role Determine IEP program for applicable students Incorporate accommodations and differentiated instruction into all lesson plans Develop materials to suit student learning needs Educational Assistant Role Guided by teacher and IEP, provide appropriate accommodations to material (enlarged print, taking notes, reading material aloud, …) Areas of Communication Teachers guide EAs in the use of specific adaptations (from the IEP) Educational Assistants provide feedback about student progress and success of adaptations Teachers 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
Assessment Teacher Role Determine, create, and administer appropriate assessments Determine modifications and accommodations Use assessment results to inform future planning and curriculum development Educational Assistant Role Assist in the administration of assessments Implement accommodations Collect anecdotal student information Areas of Communication Teacher gives guidance about the content and implementation of all assessments EA gives feedback about student progress based upon learning expectations Mutual conversations about anecdotal information Assessment 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 Teams Assisting with the setting of personal goals for each adult to move toward implementation of the Vision HOW: 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 Bag All 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

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