An effective partnership between a support worker and teacher

Teacher-and-Pupil-Support-worker

Responsibilities and parameters

Providing behavioural support during lessons is an important part of the support workers role. However, there needs to be a clear understanding between the teacher and the support worker about responsibilities and parameters. The teacher is always ultimately responsible for the behaviour of the class, including the child with difficulties and should never be undermined by support staff. If there are situations that you are not happy with, always discuss this with the teacher outside of the lesson.

The practice of a support worker talking to a child while the teacher is addressing the class is not to be encouraged. It indicates that the child doesn’t need to listen, like everyone else and it distracts other pupils. If it’s a difficult situation take the child elsewhere, or wait until the teacher has finished talking.

Tips for pupil support workers

Remember to:

  • Reinforce the teacher’s expectations and behaviour management system
  • Remind the child in a positive way of rules and how you / the teacher want them to behave
  • Ensure the child understands instructions and how to succeed in the task
  • Redirect the pupil back to the task when their attention wanders and give praise for perseverance
  • Acknowledge every aspect of good behaviour and make sure the child knows you’ve noticed
  • Anticipate when a ‘trigger point’ is approaching and step in quickly to avert a negative reaction
  • Explain the choices that the child can make and the consequences

Try to avoid:

  • Making exceptions for the child you are supporting or ‘taking their side’ when they complain about the teacher
  • Telling the child what NOT to do
  • Delaying the start of independent activity or completing tasks for the child
  • Being drawn into irrelevant conversation
  • Highlighting minor misdemeanors, especially in front of the whole class
  • Undermining the teacher’s authority
  • An escalation of poor behaviour

The practice of a support worker talking to a child while the teacher is addressing the class is not to be encouraged. It indicates that the child doesn’t need to listen, like everyone else and it distracts other pupils. If it’s a difficult situation take the child elsewhere, or wait until the teacher has finished talking.

If you have any other questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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