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Digging deep into a range of roles

Managing Teaching Assistants: a guide for headteachers, managers and teachers By Anne Watkinson RoutledgeFalmer pound;22.50 Making the Most of Teaching Assistants: the complete guide to working with the teaching assistants in your school By Lynn Cousins, Martin Higgs and Julie Leader PfP Publishing pound;15 Becoming a Teaching Assistant By Pat Drake, Angela Jacklin, Carol Robinson and Jo Thorpe Paul Chapman Publishing pound;14.99 (pbk) pound;15.99 (hbk) A Teaching Assistant's Guide to Child Development and Psychology in the Classroom By Susan Bentham RoutledgeFalmer pound;13.99 Understanding Children's Learning: a text for teaching assistants Edited by Claire Alfrey David Fulton pound;17

Anyone involved in the training of teaching assistants will tell you that here is a group of people united by a thirst for learning. For many this is a new, accessible route into demanding and satisfying work, and the desire to do well engenders an eagerness that's often humbling. The emergence of a cadre of qualified assistants is also a challenge for heads and teachers, many of whom are unsure how to use them. One quoted by Ann Watkinson in Managing Teaching Assistants explains her love and enthusiasm for her job, but goes on to say: "Unfortunately this is frowned upon by some members of staff who, I feel, think TAs should be there to sharpen pencils and wash paintbrushes." Read more in this week's TES Friday magazine

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