Assistant Teacher Role

Your primary role as a member of Lakewood Co-op is to work as an Assistant Teacher in the classroom. This involves supporting the teacher in whatever way possible. It also means modeling social behavior for all the children. Your job is to help children know what they can and cannot do. Humor and faith in children's growth is essential!

Here are a few helpful hints to keep in mind to make your job easier:

 
  • Sit down whenever possible while working with children.
  • Use a low, quiet voice. Enunciate clearly.
  • Try to limit socializing with the other adults while working so that the children can benefit more from your time together.
  • Use language that the child can understand. Help the child learn the meaning of words by example. Show her/him how. "Pull on the lever" makes little sense if she/he doesn't understand the words.
  • Answer questions and talk to children when the occasion calls for it but avoid talking to them all the time.
  • When children are working or playing well, do not interfere - just observe and perhaps add to or provide resources when appropriate.
  • Avoid talking about a child in her/his presence.
  • Be patient. Children need time to develop and improve gradually.
  • Suggest what a child is to do rather than what she/he is not to do. Look for what is right with the child instead of looking for problems.
  • Before giving a direction, obtain the child's attention.
  • Avoid conflicts and forcing an issue as much as possible. A little ingenuity often makes a situation go smoothly. The child needs to establish a pattern of happy performance rather than one of negative refusal.
  • Utilize the positive guidance techniques taught in parent education meetings and demonstrated by the teachers. Physical discipline is never used in the classroom.
  • Praise the type of behavior you wish continued. Success is the best reinforcement possible.
  • Allow the child to learn by experiment. Help her/him only when it is necessary to avoid failure and discouragement. Encourage her/him to find out for herself/himself.
  • Accept and appreciate each child as she/he is, remembering each child is different. Observe and study her/his "uniqueness" and her/his "sameness." This will give us the foundation for what we do with and for her/him.
  • Reflect the anti-bias philosophy of the classroom through your words and actions (see ANTI-BIAS GOALS).
  • Be relaxed, enjoy the children, and let it show when you are having fun.
 

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