How do you approach working with an assistant? For example, how do you establish boundaries and expectations from the beginning? What are your daily checkins with them?

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Set up expectations ahead of time and share them in a document for reference.

Safety Expectations (masks, social distancing, hand washing, bathroom procedures, sanitizing materials, etc...)

General Expectations (duty times, not on phone, confidentiality, monitoring students, classroom management, participating in certain activities, modeling vs. doing things for students, etc...)

Regarding Academic Expectations, I provide my TA with our scope and sequence, my lesson plans, and checklists based on what we are working on at that time. (Letter ID, sound ID, syllabification, attempts at writing, etc... )

These checklists may also include oral language goals. (Explains how objects were sorted, makes observations using five senses, initiates conversations with others, etc...)

When I am pulling small groups, my TA is monitoring my kids in free choice centers. She has the checklist for that day/week on a clipboard and can use it to guide her discussions with students and jot down any observations or data.

My last few TAs went on to become teachers themselves, and appreciated knowing the expectations and being involved in helping students progress towards their goals!

(Sorry so long! 😬)


Before my students start I sit down one on one to discuss classroom routines and procedures. I stare at this time things I want from this teacher to keep things running smoothly. I bring up things like: At carpet time I need this person with the group the first few weeks of school so I can teach and she can help with control, I show her where supplies are for prep work, I discuss her roll at small groups, I discuss what classroom management and discipline will look like in the classroom, etc.

This is exactly what I do. This year I have a new TA so I will definitely need to do this first before children arrive.

In our district lead and associate teacher share both lesson planning, collecting anecdotal notes and leading lessons. Each week we carve out some time to make a plan for the week including who will lead what lessons. We each run our own small groups too. Do you have job descriptions? I feel like that’s really helpful in laying out expectations.

I actually work in the public school system too! It’s the lead teacher’s responsibility to approve the lesson plan/activity, but all of our associates have a minimum of a CDA and are required to attend PD on curriculum every year. I feel lucky to work in a district that prioritizes learning for both of us!


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