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1. Get started

Start by watching a short video. Then read the cartoons, quotes and key principles. They introduce the main ideas covered in this module. Discuss these as a group. The learning outcomes describe what you’ll achieve once you’ve completed the six steps.

Collaboration and partnership between teachers and support staff

1 Get Started a
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When teachers and teacher aides are clear about their roles and ways of working together, all students in the class can benefit.

— Principal

It is clear that the roles of teacher aides have evolved over time. Both principals and support staff talk about the ineffectiveness of having teacher aides operating simply as child minders. There are positive indications … that more deliberately planned collaborative approaches between teachers and teacher aides are being developed.

— Support Staff Working Group report, 2011

Module01 Get Started

Key principles — the big ideas in this module

  • Teachers have full responsibility for the learning and behaviour of all the students in their class.
  • The main role of a teacher aide is to be an aide to the teacher (not a ‘helper’ for individual students). Teachers provide guidance so that teacher aides can support the classroom teaching programme and student learning.
  • It works best when teachers and teacher aides know about each other’s roles and responsibilities and respect the knowledge and experience each person brings to the team.
  • Teachers and teacher aides need time to meet if they are to be effective in building relationships and planning how they will implement the classroom programme.

Learning outcomes for this module

This module is intended to support teachers and teacher aides to achieve four aims:

  1. Develop a shared understanding of  their roles in their work together.
  2. Identify current supports or barriers to working together and ways to use the support or address the barriers.
  3. Trial a jointly agreed solution for enhancing the way they work together.
  4. Reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of what they have tried together, using the questions in this module.