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Engage in personal development in health, social care or children’s and young people’s settings

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Engage in personal development in health, social care Or children’s and young people’s settings.

1.1- My current role is a learning assistant support practitioner within a secondary education setting. This involves working with vulnerable children and young adults on a daily basis. This includes children on the autistic spectrum, children with physical disabilities, and children with other learning disabilities such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. It is my role to offer the best support I can in order to make accessing the curriculum far easier for them, so that their opportunities are equal to their peers. Also within this job role I work closely with the music department within the school, and offer administration support and planning support for lessons; especially in cases where it could be far better understood by the children I work with. This enables me to identify the ways in which they learn best and help everyone including the children with special educatory needs to progress more effectively throughout their school-lives. In addition to this, I am tasked with tackling many young adults’ difficulties in understanding social situations and managing their behaviour as a result of this.

This may be through the playing of games which require teamwork and careful cohesion to achieve a better result; or giving them opportunities to express themselves in the correct manner to a named TA (in this case myself). For example, if a situation has arisen within the school day, and the individual has been upset with the way they, or a peer reacted to their behaviour. We discuss strategies they could use in order to prevent this sort of incident occurring again, in addition to teaching them ways they could repair any trust or friendships that may have been damaged by the event. This overall also builds rapport with the individual, and they feel they can express their emotions freely; causing their school-life to be far less stressful. 1.2- Expectations of my work should be that I will always strive to be a valuable practitioner who is considered reliable and able to build great relationships with children, parents and any other member of the public or education sector I should have communication with. This is maintained through realising that the children’s best interests are first and foremost in becoming a trusted member of their support team, and will enable clear lines of communication between myself and their parents. Alongside this, I believe I must have a successful teamwork mentality, the ability to work with other staff members is essential in order to support the child/young adult.

This is an expectation, as in my capacity as a learning support assistant I may discover a great learning strategy for an individual. My shared experience with others who also assist this pupil may lead to the child’s learning journey being made far more successful, resulting in a boost of their confidence and self-esteem. As well as these duties which are mainly reflected on by myself personally, and are open to different approaches in order to maintain successful support; there are expectations of my personal behaviour and manner that are non-negotiable within the school setting. These rules are placed in policies and procedures within the school, and set strict guidelines for rules regarding: Child protection

Although these have been talked over in many other reflection topics, it is a necessity within my role to continuously assess and maintain a positive role model throughout every day. As a learning support practitioner I ensure that I never divulge sensitive information regarding a pupil to any persons outside of the school premises, or risk the child’s health and safety in any way, shape or form. These are expectations not only reviewed by myself, but by government policies showing the importance of these issues within schools, and every other school environment in the UK. 2.1-Reflective practices are imperative in order to ensure that the highest standards of quality service are maintained. Reflection is a must as children, environments, behaviour within society and teaching methods change; a reflection of success must be used to ensure the best quality service is being provided. With continuous reflection as a learning support practitioner, I have been continuously aware of approaches I must use within my daily routine, and how I can adapt or develop my support methods in order to further benefit children and provide more information to colleagues; I have discovered this is why reflective practice requires a child-centred approach in order to be used most effectively. In addition to this, reflection has helped me to better understand those children and young adults that are different from myself, and therefore learn and behave in a completely different manner than expected.

I have had to take on board the opinions, cultures and attitudes of others to ensure that my support is diverse enough to reach individuals from all walks of life. 2.3- There are many factors within everyone’s lives that may cause them to have different beliefs and values. Within school: a school rich in cultural and economic diversity it is important to consider how these values and beliefs can affect working practice either positively or negatively. For example, a practitioner within a school may react more positively to a person who shares their values; giving less merit to those who are deemed to have a difference in opinion or priorities. Whether it is dealing with other teaching practitioners or children and young adults, extremely careful consideration must be made to ensure that equal and fair practices are being used to value each and every person’s beliefs regardless of personal opinion. This may seem like an obvious point to make, and practitioners would rarely believe or admit that they have ever discriminated within a classroom context. However, with a lack of knowledge in this area regarding the steps necessary to achieve equal treatment indirect discrimination can easily occur- intentional or not.

Working in a school, I have encountered many teachers, children, and other learning support practitioners whose views I do not agree with; sometimes reaching to the extent of not understanding each other’s points of view. However, as I am aware of differences in culture and how my reaction to these beliefs could undermine the trust and relationship I have with the person in question: I remain steadfast in the belief that correcting someone else’s opinions or disrespecting life choices and beliefs is extremely dangerous, and is inappropriate should I remain professional and respected within my role. If any educational practitioner should allow preferences to dominate their work with adults and young adults/children, they will undoubtedly fail to perform to the standards of the Codes of practice for those responsible for safeguarding children: issued by the UK regulating bodies. All of these codes require professionals caring for such individuals to respect and promote people’s individual views and wishes. The most vital step overall is to identify and understand your own views and values, and why these should not impact on your ability to teach and treat others equally.

4.1-Throughout my career there are a range of sources available to supply me with support for planning and reviewing own development. These are: Line manager: My Line manager assists me in my day-to-day life by answering any concerns I may have about work and offering advice on options available to me. Observations: My college assessor and LSA mentor watch me performing my job, this enables them to talk to me about any concerns they may have with my practices; offering advice and supporting my performance and development. Colleagues: Communication with other LSA’s about work can help me to get guidance on matters. Observing them during administration time can assist in seeing: how many issues are tackled which could improve my development. Meetings: There are a vast team of staff and LSA’s within school. Key stage meetings and staff meetings enable progress to be discussed and allow myself to get to know in advance about changes and future plans. These also allow me the opportunity to become involved with upcoming training events held within the school site. Mentors: A mentor is assigned to me personally at school, they can answer many of my questions about the job and point me in the right direction as they generally have far more experience within the particular school than I have. Self-assessment: Reflection on my own work assists in my planning and creation of strategies which can help me see my own progression path.

Class teachers: I can go to any teacher with concerns about work and progress, when available they regularly feedback information on my progress and offer information on the curriculum and how to better support topics tackled within the lessons. Appraisals: These are meetings which discuss my development progress, where I have been given opportunities to ask questions and review the job description to ensure I am meeting the criteria for the job. INSET days: Within school, INSET days are a great tool in identifying gaps in my knowledge and seeking out training where required. Staff notice board: Many courses and work-schemes are posted here at the school which show courses or training sessions (e.g VLE training, SIMS training etc.)

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