Paraeducator Support:

SUMMARY

Citation:

Balshaw, M., & Farrell, P. (2002). Teacher assistants: Practical strategies for effective classroom support. London: David Fulton.

Summary:

This 136-page book addresses the work of Teaching Assistants (TAs) is based on review of literature (primarily from the UK) and the authors own research in Manchester, UK. The book is divided into four main sections. Section 1 (Background to the development of the Good Practice Guide) describes: (1) recent developments in the work of teaching assistants in the UK, and (2) the origins of the "Good Practice Guide." Section 2 (Developing a conceptual framework for improving practice) addresses: (3) defining TA responsibilities, (4) creating partnerships with teachers and others, and (5) developing assistant teams and reviewing performance and promoting development. Section 3 (Strategies drawn from experiences in schools and LEAs) includes: (6) strategies that support the development activities, (7) developing clear job descriptions, (8) working flexibly with assistants, (9) planning teamwork with teachers, (10) drawing parents, governors and others into the work of assistants, (11) creating opportunities for team development, and (12) devising induction strategies, professional development reviews and records of achievement. Section 4 (Summary: Reflections on future practice) addresses: (13) working effectively with teaching assistants. The four main sections are followed by approximately 30 pages of appendices (e.g., indicators of effective practice, workshop activities, action research plans, sample questionnaires, job descriptions).

Summarized by: Michael Giangreco, August 2004