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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.

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  • 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.

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