A Change to the Focus of Empowering Teaching Assistants

My focus is changing slightly from what I expected when first starting this blog.

Originally I thought if I gave you all my knowledge from when I was a TA you would handle your job better.

However, as I now look at the subject of ‘self care’ I feel a need to assist with reminding all of us who give to others so much how to care for ourselves.

If I had looked more at this while working in this field I maybe could have worked for longer than I did.

Having said that I will still be sharing ways which helped me deal with the day to day challenges when working with these students.

This means more knowledge! I do feel there are so many great people out there writing about this that there’s plenty of info for you. If only you had time to read that, plus look after yourself, plus have time with family and friends.

So let’s start communicating about the subjects you’d like me to find so I’m not giving you a bunch of information you’ll never use! Talk to me about the individual students you work with where you are concerned about their behaviour.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Training when working with Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders or ADHD

Just a couple of things I wanted to tell you about!

Can I encourage you to go to http/:elearning.suelarkey.com.au

Sue Larkey and Tony Atwood offer some free webinars.

I found training with both these experts well worth my time.

Next is a group of podcasts by a scientist who has done extensive research into the mind – brain connections.

Her name is Caroline Leaf! She is sharing her theories on ADD and ADHD.

Go to https://drleaf.com

Go to podcasts and then YouTube and hear what she has to say.

When I have heard them all I will share my views! But going on what I’ve heard so far from the first one I’m liking her point of view.

My new post that I promised with loads of pictures, lol, coming soon!

What stress releasing and fun activities can you develop!

So what do you do to unwind??????

I really want to know!!!! It may give others great ideas none of us have thought of!


This post will be filled with loads of photos as I think it may be the best way to show you the things you could do to unwind!

They will include things to do as a single, married and family. Hopefully something that is in your budget will catch your eye!

The first thing you will notice is there are some quiet types of thingsfirst! This wasn’t intentional, but is what I’m more likely to do.

Journaling JOURNALING! Often recommended when there’s noone to talk to! (healthfitnessevolution.com)57581a7b-b99c-4f93-a88d-593537a606c8-11217-000010afa06b8a70

READING FOR RELAXATION! I enjoy a good murder mystery when I feel stressed. (mensdailylife.com)

Who doesn’t like a good dose of chocolate? (Actually I know a couple of people who don’t!) GOING TO PLACES LIKE THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Flickr.com)

COFFEE WITH FRIENDS! Relaxing with friends over a coffee is one of my favourite things to do. Just sitting and chatting about nothing in particular and hopefully having a good laugh as well. (depositphotos)

DRINKS AND ENTERTAINMENT!  A great combination  for unwinding. (timeout.com) EXERCISE AND PEACEFULNESS! A great combination for those who love to stay fit. (pxhere.com)

FITNESS CLASS! They look like they’re enjoying themselves. And it’s a great way to get rid of frustrations. (123rf.com)


BIKE RIDING! This could be fun either with the soothing sounds of the sea or the countryside with its greenery and sounds of the bird. (freestockphotos.biz)

RUNNING! Either by yourself or with others. I used to get angry kids to run around the basketball courts to get rid of their ‘Angry Energy’. Seem to work! (food.unl.edu) HOW ABOUT FENCING! Looks fun, especially with light sabres. (fullcircleproject.org.uk)7fab7808-5802-4116-96ac-cdbc36d0ad08-17067-00001941fc282e93 BOXING! Often recommended for frustration and anger, take it out on the punching bag instead of a person.

(examinedexistence.com)7e5b39a4-c870-41bd-8f49-903f0b7d1502-17067-00001940ed54bf1e BOARD GAMES Personally, not my thing, but im sure people love this type of thing. (thepinsta.com)” 5d10f237-19b0-4662-8375-5486a5764d04-17067-0000193e195efe8b COOKING! My husband used to know when I’d had a bad day at work. there would be a huge, elaborate meal waiting for him. Relaxes me no end! (self.com)34d5ed0c-66cb-4f73-b4b6-3d88e35c31c7-17067-0000193d69e912be GARDENING! I used to go to my mother’s place and yank out the weeds to help with frustration. However, I know many who find gardening very relaxing. (123rf.com)

fe66916b-a981-4931-adf5-4965d224f32a-17067-00001939bec5a1cbYOGA/MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS!I find this quite difficult as I seem to have ADHD of the mind lol. But I know others who really benefit from this.(everydayhealth.com)

 A FAMILY SOCCER OR FOOTBALL GAME! If there’s no kids get a group of friends together at the park. (featurepics.com)

1f5949b1-991c-4d40-b3e0-11d477db4d0c-17067-00001937a9c45ec7 PICNIC! With family or friends. (vancoolver.com)

This was my favourite! COFFEE BY MYSELF! It helped me just drift mentally and daydream or sort through my thoughts of things at work. (Yes I’m an introvert!) (creativemarket.com)

So I hope I’ve given you some good ideas here!

But, don’t forget to look after yourself on a daily basis as well.

I’ll talk about daily ‘self care’ at another time.

(I apologise if the words are in odd places. seems to depend which device you read it on.)

Bye for now all!

More Ideas on Support for Teaching Assistants


Counselling Services with Department of Education

Here in South Australia the education department offers free counselling for employees. This counselling can be for work or personal issues. I would recommend it if you’re feeling like you need support. It would be completely confidential!

Having said that I have never used them! I never even thought of them as an option unfortunately. However a friend of mine used them last year and said they helped her a lot!

This Way Up

This is an Australian organisation which offers courses via the internet. http://www.thiswayup.org.au

They offer courses such as: Coping with Stress and Introduction to Mindfulness.

Other sites to check out include:

Hopefully those in other countries can find similar to these!

When I was in this line of work I’d only heard of Beyond Blue, and I did use some of their materials to help myself cope at times.

When talking about ‘mental health ‘ please don’t think you might have a mental illness. Mental health is about your physical, mental and emotional reactions to life.

Friends and Family

There are a few different places and types of people who can help with this!

My main support person was a close friend who had also worked with me in out of school hours care. She was fantastic as she appreciated the difficulty of working with these students but understood the privacy aspect as well.

You may have a person in your life who you used to work with who can be a sounding board for you. As I’ve said I’m now retired, however, I have a friend still working in this field and we meet about once a month for our friendly catch up but also she’ll chat to me about work when something is bothering her. (And it’s not always the students we talk about).

So who else can we look to?

  • Supportive friends – these friends may not be able to fully comprehend exactly what you’re on about but if you just need an ear they are happy to listen.
  • Your spouse – again perhaps not able to fully comprehend but understands the need for you to talk about it.
  • Siblings – this one I was lucky with as she had been director of out of school hours care for years before I beg
  • an this work. This m
    eant she had a great understanding of  the students I worked with.
  • Adult children – again very lucky as my daughter worked with students with behaviour concerns as well. Although this was later in my years of this work.
  • Support Person – this can be someone at school as we’ve talked about before or someone you have chosen to be a mentor/coach from outside the school. (Remembering, these sessions would all be confidential).

I’m hoping this has helped you think of people who you can talk to when you need someone.

Next time I’ll talk about what to do for yourself to help you switch off and relax!