Interview with Miss Gradziel -Secondary TA and EAL Specialist

I am a Secondary Teaching Assistant who works across the whole school.

I support teachers in the classroom and work with students in small groups or in 1:1 sessions if they need extra support. Today I am hoping to tell you more about what I do day-to-day and the best parts of my job.

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Every Monday and Wednesday, I run a Mental Maths session for a group of students from Year 7 and Year 8. The main aim of this session is to practice and consolidate previously learned skills. The best way to improve mental maths is simply by doing a variety of maths questions regularly.

Since September, students have been working on My Maths which offers a very good selection of maths questions and games, building the students’ skills base. This is a very useful website which brings Maths alive. It covers different calculations and includes games and videos for easy learning.
This term students have started to work on PIXL Times Table. A fantastic way for secondary students to continue to improve their times tables, it also allows teachers to analyse students scores and see which students need support and how they can improve.

Day to day I also provide support for EAL students. I carry out EAL sessions with students where English is not their first language. I work with individuals and small groups in order to promote their inclusion and to provide support for them to allow them to feel confident in a British class-room. I want students to become independent and I encourage them to learn more by showing how it is important.

Once a week I lead an EAL lunch club where I simply talk with students about everyday life at school and outside. I promote EAL students' well-being, resilience and confidence. As English is not my first language I think I understand learners' position better. I know how the students feel because I have been there myself. I find it easy to understand them when they don't know how to express themselves and I am happy to help them and give advice on how to learn languages effectively.

The best part of my job has to be working with and seeing students engage and make progress. I love to work with the Year 8s in their mathematics lessons, because students in this class are very eager to learn. Usually, I support the whole classroom but mostly I help those students that would benefit the most from my helpt. I always try my best to improve their mathematics skills. I help those who are struggling to understand and to help keep them up to speed with their peers. I am happy to provide any additional support, boost their self-esteem and help build their confidence in what they can achieve in maths.

I also like to help support pupils on school outing or at different school events. This month I went to London with the Year 7 girls for their Basket-ball Tournament’s kick-off event. I am finding different ways to contrib-ute to the school and to inspire learning in students and I look forward to the rest of my year, every day is different.

Onwards and upwards

Miss Gradziel