Working with key stage one children can definitely be an eye opener. I walked in knowing nothing about being a teaching assistant three years ago, I just went with the flow.
I still do.
Most days I won’t have a clue of what’s were doing, unless it’s my day teaching. But I can normally take a pretty good guess.
In EYFS the children mainly work in a play based learning environment. In year one, to ease transition, we try and keep some play aspects and work up to whole lessons.
When it’s choosing time, the children can do what they like, but we do have some limitations. I find that most will draw or play with lego, but there are some children who will role play.
It’s in these times where you get to know the children, what they like, their hobbies and so on.
Recently we did a topic on animals. One of the lessons I had the children write about there favourite animal and why.
Most went for wild or exotic animals like lions or flamingos.
Then there was Nigel. The goldfish.
I had heard about Nigel before in choosing time and the children were talking about their pets. At the time, I was cutting out some laminating.
My point is children are fascinating, they can have their own conversation and jump from one topic to the next without having to explain themselves. As an adult we always have to have an answer to the unknown.
When I get the chance I still listen to those chatterboxes, more often than not they still talk about anything and everything, but their mannerisms and the language they choose has changed since the start of the year.
They’re growing up and learning every day.
Oh and Nigel is still swimming quite happily, he has a new friend called Ferris a pug-zu.