First meeting with new assistant

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by jbrinkm, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. jbrinkm

    jbrinkm Companion

    Oct 31, 2010
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    Aug 15, 2013

    What would be your advice for my first meeting with a new assistant teacher?

    I've been a teacher for a long time, but only in Pre-K for 3 years. My only experience with an assistant was very negative. She was already working in the classroom with the previous teacher before I was hired and I've struggled with the relationship since I started. It looks like I will be assigned someone new for this coming school year and I want to start out right.

    What would you consider to be the most crucial pieces of a first meeting?

    I'm planning to find out what he most likes to do in order to create a chart of daily roles and duties, and then identify what my classroom goals are and my expectations of him in order to meet the goals. How does that sound? Anything else to add?
  3. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

    Sep 2, 2012
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    Aug 15, 2013

    I had 2 paraeducators last year and came into a situation where they had already been working with another teacher for a long time, so I understand wanting to make a fresh start and start off on the right foot. I think, first and foremost, you want to be very welcoming and ask them about themselves. To me, if you start off a meeting by making a list of roles and responsibilities, you've already created a foundation of leader-follower, and I think it would be good to ease in to that. I would also ask them what their past experiences have been and the roles that they have had. Have they worked in a classroom before? Have they worked in preschool before? What kinds of responsibilities did they have there? I think having a chart of roles and responsibilties is good (I have one too) but I think you also want to keep in mind and explain that preschool requires you to be extremely flexible. Maybe your role is to do circle time every day, but one day a parent needs to talk to you, and it's okay if he does circle time then. Or perhaps every day it's his job to go through backpacks and send home newsletters, but if he is really engaging a student and engaged in a great lesson, then you don't mind to do it.

    One big thing that my para and I never talked about last year but drove me CRAZY was to always always always call/text/email me if you aren't going to be at school that day. Explain how esssential structure is in preschool and that even though absences happen, it would be great if he could let you know so that you can alter plans if you need to.

    Hmm...the only other thing I can think of is to explain your philosophy on behavior and classroom management. One thing I've found is that if a para has been in multiple classrooms, they've seen so many teachers do so many different things that they aren't sure what one teacher will let a kid get away with or what a teacher really wants to see with regard to behavior. I would clearly outline what you expect from kids and what you want your class to look like.

    Good luck!
  4. Miss~Blue

    Miss~Blue Rookie

    Jul 21, 2008
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    Aug 15, 2013

    Make sure you are communicating with them. Open communication is very important. :) I like the idea of assigning roles. We used to do that during my special education preschool internship since we had a lot of professionals in one room and it worked pretty well of course it was subject to change because preschool can get pretty crazy sometimes.

    Also the way you run the classroom might be important to share methods/ways of dealing with behaviors/etc. Stepping on toes is never fun. As an assistant, I know that every teacher is different and they all have their way of doing things.

    Lastly, get to know the assistant and see what their experience is and where they are coming from.
  5. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

    Aug 12, 2004
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    Aug 16, 2013

    Be clear as to what expectations you have in your classroom. Write them down and keep a notebook just for daily tips/reminders. This works well for me because sometimes things are forgotten or they may be unsure. It's nice because sometimes things get so busy/crazy that you don't have time to communicate and may think of something later on that you want to tell her/him.
    Be sure and mention the things that are most important to you. Be specific on how you manage your classroom and let them know you are always open to suggestions.
    Be friendly and let them know that you are not "lording over them," but want a friendly, open team working together. Most of all, have some fun!

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