By Louise Burnham
Quite suddenly, it seems - although it's actually been happening quietly for some years - our schools have far more adults working in them. Many of the extra people are teaching assistants, though that's a catch-all category encompassing a range of widely differing job descriptions. The one thing nearly all TAs have in common is their eagerness to know how to help children with their learning. They do not, as a rule, have much spare time for professional reading, which is why they will welcome this book. It's a format that invites browsing while at the same time making it easy to home in on specific topics. There are 10 chapters, each with about 10 to 15 lists. All the main concerns are there. The section on behaviour, for example, is excellent, and includes, among things to avoid: "Arguing with pupils - it is better to name the behaviour and apply the consequences."
In theory, everything in this book, though new to TAs, will be old news for teachers. In practice, I'm far from sure about that. Any book that's good for TAs will have something to say to everyone else in school.