There can be many problems within a classroom to do with learning and it all comes down to how you can offer your help and guidance for the students to overcome them all. Some problems you may face could be:
Space – to overcome this you would need to plan beforehand on how many students are in the class and ensure if you are taking them to an ICT suite that there are enough computers, or if you have been relocated to a different classroom for a certain lesson making sure that there are enough tables and chairs for every student.
Noise – this one can be slightly more difficult as, with any child or young person, they become distracted easily with the slightest sound and their attention is drawn in the direction of the noise, for example in my Photography class, behind the building are train tracks and trains are constantly being used therefore every train that goes by students look, fidget and are immediately switched off to what’s going on in the classroom. However noise that’s created within the class can be maintained to a certain level, like in my Construction classes some lessons will need the electric saw out which creates a high whirring sound, however these are done in short bursts and is only on when a student is in need to use it, with supervision.
Shy pupils/Low self-esteem – this is to do with the child’s well-being and their emotional state. Every child, no matter what age, will at some point feel too shy and will lack the confidence to participate and be in fear of answering wrong and feeling embarrassed and often are discouraged to answer. As a TA (and teacher) you must encourage them that it is ok to be wrong and that you are there for when they don’t understand, and in doing so you will gradually build up trust between yourself and the student.
Tiredness/Hyperactivity – although there is a major difference between tiredness and hyperactivity both can be brought on by similar circumstances such as not eating correctly before school, as some students are known to skip breakfast entirely and try to go through the day on empty stomachs or some students will on the way to school grab an energy drink and a bag of crisps or chocolate bar which causes them to have a burst of energy for an hours or so and then sudden sugar crash leaving them craving more sugar or they become irritable and argumentative. To combat this, most schools offer a breakfast club before school, usually about an hour to half an hour before the first lesson starts and allowing the children to eat a balanced breakfast which can cause greater focus.
EAL – this is a major issue in most schools as teachers and teaching assistants aren’t usually trained or have knowledge on different languages however to break down the lesson in notes in their native language, alongside offering the English term for certain words, can encourage them to try to pick up small words thus creating an understanding of “Help me to help you” kind of learning.
Parental views – this is more often than not something that is dealt with outside the classroom and can usually be broken down to a few types of parenting skills. There are the parents where their child can do no wrong, the parents where everything they say is “well that’s not how I was taught” kind of mind set, the parents who believe it’s your job to not only teach but practically babysit their child as if school was a day-care centre and quite a few more, yet to overcome all of these it’s simple steps to take which are to arrange a meeting, have a thought out plan as to what the issues are at hand, possibly a second teacher/TA just so you have a form of support as some parents can get aggressive and to write down all details of the circumstances happening and offer a solution if there is one.
Resources – resources are what make a lesson. No resources, no lesson. As a TA it’s primarily your duty to set up the class with the instruction of the teacher and allow enough time so that if there are any missing resources you can locate them with enough time before the lesson.