During INSET week at the beginning of September, staff at DESC identified best practice to utilise our LSAs most effectively. Here are the top suggestions:
– Introduce the LSA to the class and explain to all students that the LSAs have a crucial role in the class so that all students view LSA as a valuable resource in the class
– Discuss their role with them before the lesson if possible.
– Communicate with the LSA such as briefing the LSA on the lesson plan (if time, you could e-mail them a copy of lesson plans/notes in advance).
– Encourage the LSA to be proactive and move around in class, providing support and monitoring/marking. They should feel empowered to contribute their ideas, and support with further resources such as producing vocab lists/glossaries etc
– Help your LSA gain confidence with the subject matter by letting them know what you will be teaching in the coming weeks so that they can prepare ahead of time. Support them with subject knowledge if necessary.
– Give the LSA regular informal feedback, and ask for it in return to develop your practice further.
– Ask your LSA for advice regarding support strategies, use of IEPs and best practice from other lessons and allowing LSA to make decisions/recommendations
– Let the LSA know in advance if they are not needed (eg during assessments), or if they will need to provide exam support, such as scribing.
Here are some ideas of what to avoid:
– Not acknowledging / interacting with the LSA, or leaving them to their own devices
– Having inappropriate / distracting conversations with LSA during the lesson
– Seeing LSAs merely as “helpers” to do admin tasks / hand out work sheets etc
– Positioning your LSA at the back of the room or sat with one child all lesson
– Sending the LSA away – see if they can support in another class