8 Tips For Supporting The Second Adult In The Classroom

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How can you make effective use of working with a second adult in the classroom?

You may or may not have a second adult (teaching assistant in your classroom, and if you are working in England there is likely to be less support available. This issue on school funding aside, how can teachers best deploy the second adult in the classroom… This short video suggests how.

Make time to plan together …

Teachers are time-poor and there is a high probability that teachers have little time to co-plan with another colleague. This can be more challenging when a teaching assistant is timetabled to work with students throughout the week and there is no time allocated with those teachers. In some of the schools I have visited, planning time is set with teaching staff. It is happening, but it is rare …

Over the years I have been privileged to work with some amazing teaching assistants – many with a wide range of experiences. In this video, I offer some simple reminders for the busy classroom teacher.

  1. Make time to plan
  2. Share resources in advance
  3. Direct the second adult in the door
  4. Offer low-level behaviour management advice
  5. Have a clear plan to direct
  6. Follow up after the lesson has finished
  7. Offer some time together to train others in the skills you need in your classroom
  8. You can discover more teaching assistant tips here.

You can read more blogs in this series and also discover more classroom video ideas. Thanks for reading…


In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

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