Our student helpers are valued members of the TDA tutor team. Student helpers are an extension of the teacher’s teaching style, a positive role model for students, and a key to maintaining class structure and order. We expect our student helpers to be highly responsible and creative, possess organisational and leadership qualities and, very importantly, to be reliable. Like our teachers the student helpers cannot be selfish they need to be someone who pays attention and enjoys helping others.
A positive attitude and a solid attendance record are important but not all assistants need to be overachievers sometimes those who need develop their own confidence and skills benefit from helping others.
We frequently have pupils asking to be student helpers, so we do have a waiting list. Student helpers must be Year 10 and above and have been enrolled at TDA for at least a year. They must agree to the commitment that the role brings. There is an initial trial period of 2 terms. This gives the teachers and students helpers a chance to see if it will work. This gives us and the student a chance to decide if they are serious and committed. If the student is successful and wants to continue, they will then move from a voluntary helper to a paid assistant. Student heleprs will be paid during class times but will be expected to attend outside events voluntarily.
Student Helpers Responsibilities
Initially students will be expected to observe and help with elements of the class, as they grow in confidence, they may well be given further responsibilities and creative freedoms. We are careful not to expect too much responsibility too soon as this can have a negative effect on their experience, as well as on the class.
Student helpers maybe asked to take the register, tidying shoes and bags, supporting nervous or struggling. As the student teacher becomes more comfortable, they may do the warm-ups, incorporating their own ideas. Student helpers will be part of preparing lesson plans and event planning.
Training as Teachers
In addition to the student helpers supporting the class they also develop real teaching skills and opportunities to practice those skills. We are very proud that a number of our student helpers have gone onto teacher training and their teaching at TDA has supported their applications. Each teacher communicates differently with their student helpers, but there will be contact through the week to plan for classes. Communication is an important skill for student helpers.