Teaching Assistants: the complete handbook
By Lyn Hryniewicz
Adamson Publishing pound;17.95; www.adamsonbooks.com; tel: 01353 649238
This does what it says on the tin. It's all here in 16 packed chapters (so packed that the small font size can be a trial), covering everything from professional relationships and responsibilities through the national curriculum and inclusion to learning styles and professional development.
This book is particularly good at emphasising that there is more than one way of being a teaching assistant; schools and individual teachers work in many ways, and an important part of a TA's preparation is to learn how to adapt and find the best way forward. There's a section on working with supply teachers, for example, that encourages ("a confident and expert teaching assistant... is a real asset in such a situation") and cautions ("it is easy to take on too much responsibility and then feel resentful because the supply teacher is earning so much more").
This sort of empathy displays the author's understanding of what the job is really like.