Why another blog?
Teacher Assistants, Education Assistants, School Service Officers, or any other title you may have, have a difficult job with students who have behaviour concerns. (This doesn’t mean teachers don’t have a difficult job. I think we would all recognise they do as well. However, I’m especially talking to TAs here.)
You can often feel isolated when handling these behaviours and you often have little or no training behind you.
I know the newer TAs may have completed an Education Support Certificate. and this would go some way to assisting you to deal with the behaviour concerns. However, I’m not sure this helps with all of the issues you face.
I have had 10 years experience working specifically with students who had these concerns. It was during a time when schools had enough money to pay for great training.
But let me start at the beginning!
I have 3 daughters, all who have had behaviour concerns! And before you judge please hear my story.
Daughter number 1:
My eldest daughter is now 33 years old. When she began school, she was in an open plan class setting. She would often complain of not being able to work out the teacher’s instructions when given to the whole class.
I took her to an occupational therapist, who told me messages went into her brain but got jumbled there. REMEMBER this was before all the diagnoses we have these days. After learning through my own reading about Asperger’s Syndrome I began treating her as if she had Asperger’s. It has only been the last 12 months, yes at the age 33 years I have realised she has Auditory Processing Disorder. And with the frustrations of this she had her episodes of behaviour concerns.
Daughter number 2:
Always a girl with behaviour concerns! Diagnosed with ADHD! I had always treated her as if she had ADHD, but she was not diagnosed until age fourteen, at her request. I was also told by a professional she had ‘abandonment issues’. That was more likely because of our family situation at the time. However, I knew very little of what this title meant.
Daughter number 3:
My youngest daughter I only met when she was 8 years of age. Let’s just say she had some major behaviour concerns and I was her support worker in her school. Her issues stemmed from abandonment and trauma. The rest of her story is for her to tell, apart from the fact she was one of my first guinea pigs when I began work in this field.
It was because of my birth daughters that I developed an interest in this area and was then lucky enough to work with the students I did.