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Teacher Aide Role in ILE

Started by Wendy Parkes 23 Jun 2016 8:34pm () Replies (9)

Teacher Aide Support in ILE. What roles do your teacher aides play in your Innovative Learning Environments?  Thanks.


  • merryl (View all users posts) 23 Jun 2016 8:48pm ()

    Hi Wendy

    Our Teacher Aide takes on the role as a roving facilitator. She also targets different students that we have noticed may need some "extra" support to ensure they maintain/develop their independent work habits. Occasionally we may identify a child with a particular learning need and the TA may target that with the child for a period of time.


    Our ILE is all about increasing the student's capacity to learn with increasing independence. We don't want out TA's to reduce Learner Agency. They question, probe and support the children to continue articulating what they need to do and the decisions they need to make. They will work often as a roving teacher may, allowing children to prove goals or direct them back to resources provided to students (ie. Google site) to help the child continue their role in their own learning journey.

  • Angela Botherway (View all users posts) 24 Jun 2016 9:06am ()

    Hi Wendy 

    Our Teacher Aides are also used as extra support people. They sit along side akonga who need extra support or who do not have independent skills yet. 

    Like Merryl said we target specific groups every half term and give them a boost. Our goal is to support students with complex needs who require extra empathy and dignity.

    TKI also has a great site within its Website on Teachers and Teacher's Aides working together.  http://teachersandteachersaides.tki.org.nz/Teachers-and-teachers-aides/Our-roles/Module-1



  • Wendy Parkes (View all users posts) 25 Jun 2016 7:13am ()

    Thanks ladies - we are heading in the right direction with the 'roving facilitator'.

    Cheers for the feedback


  • Lynne Silcock (View all users posts) 30 Jun 2016 12:17pm ()

    Hi all

    Sounds like you already have it sussed but you may like to look at the new guide on the Inclusive Education website: Supporting effective teacher aide practice.

    It includes videos from NZ schools and a range of multimedia resources to support schools to make the most of teacher aides.



  • Wendy Parkes (View all users posts) 30 Jun 2016 2:41pm ()

    Thanks Lynne will have a look.  I appreciate your sharing of this site.


  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 13 Jul 2016 8:29am ()

    Hi Wendy,

    Our Teacher Aides (called Learning Assistants) function as co-teachers in our environment. They are released with the teachers each week for planning time and are involved in the learning talk about specific children. In the studio their role varies depending on students needs and their role, some are assigned to specific students others to specific roles. 

    They are typically the constant in the environment, teachers are released for a range of things on any given week where as the Learning Assistant is usually there. They also have separate PL once a fortnight with our SENCO.

    In our studios of 110 children (4-5 teachers) we typically have one LA per studio plus any for specific role such as ORRS.  We are still working through the dilemma of having LA's work with our most needy and vulnerable while teachers work with the children who have less learning difficulties- this is an ongoing challenge and provocation for us. We are very fortunate to have outstanding LA's and we can evidence the impact of their co-teaching, so far so good. There is no question their role, prominence and efficacy changes as we have transitioned to co-teaching in flexible learning spaces.




  • Juliet Dickinson (View all users posts) 18 Jul 2016 12:50pm ()

    Hi all,

    We took a brave move away from having 'roving' learning assistants within our spaces to having them run highly targeted interventions for our at risk learners.  These are run outside of the class environment.  (The opposite of what most schools are currently looking at). We had previously found that ‘roaming time’ was not utilised to its fullest potential as they weren’t trained to know what to look for and how to help.

    Whilst in Melbourne a couple of years ago we saw that a majority of the schools were using the Fountas and Pinnell ‘Levelled Literacy Intervention’ with huge success.  You can see more re the programme here.  The intervention is incredibly in-depth and as a result of this our three LA's running groups have developed high levels of professional knowledge about the components of, and how to teach instructional reading (including comp, phonics, vocab extension and writing skills).  The resources and support provided within this are incredible (but come with a price tag to match).  Currently, we are the only school in New Zealand running this intervention.

    The question though still comes down to; 'Is this the best use of their time and skills?'  

    To answer this; Yes 

    1. Our at risk students are getting 30-45 minutes of targeted daily instruction in literacy sometimes on top of literacy in class with their teachers (a big tick).  
    2. Student voice indicates that these students love attending the daily groups and prefer to leave the class to take part in it (another big tick).  
    3. Their overall achievement levels have improved (yet another big tick).  
    4. Our LA's have received the most incredible PD throughout the implementation of this intervention and meeting fortnightly with a Leader of Learning (tick).

    Our next step: We are though feeling the absence of our LA's within our Learning Communities and want to create a bit more balance.  With the literacy PD our LA's have now had with this intervention, this would be a real asset if shared with all of our students.  With funding these roles being increasingly harder to come by, this shift is hard to rationalise though.  Within our collaborative spaces, we want to develop opportunities for our teachers to become more engaged with ‘just in time’ learning, rather than always being on a rigid cycle of instructional groups.  Similar to the learning coach model.  Our Learning Assistants could take some of the instructional groups occasionally (which they are more than capable of) whilst at least one teacher can target more individual learning needs that need quick, responsive action?  This is something we are intending on exploring further.

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 29 Jul 2016 6:45am ()

    I like it Juliet,

    As usual your team has given careful consideration to the design of your learning environment and the roles of those it it!


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