19 September 2023

Provide flexible professional learning​ options

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Developing systems and processes for teacher aide recruitment, induction, and ongoing professional learning’

Offer options staff can personalise

Offer options staff can personalise

Match the learning preferences of support staff with the professional learning options you offer.

Be creative and partner with local networks.

Provide regular time to teacher/TA planning

Provide regular time to teacher/TA planning

For the teacher and TA partnership to be most effective, they need regular time for liaison and planning.


  • freeing up the teacher when the TA is available – have someone cover the class once a week to give the teacher and teacher aide time to meet
  • enabling the TA to spend 15–30 minutes less time in the class to allow time to meet after or before school with the teacher
  • supporting teachers and TAs on a rotation basis to meet during combined class activities (for example, during assembly).

Source: Adapted from The paraprofessional’s handbook for effective support in inclusive classrooms (opens in a new tab/window)

Encourage teachers to model effective approaches

Encourage teachers to model effective approaches

Support teachers to create opportunities for in-depth learning within the context of the classroom.

Utilise the skills of your learning community

Utilise the skills of your learning community

Take a community building approach to supporting professional learning.

Consider how you can:

  • invite skilled staff to run workshops for their colleagues
  • support attendance at cluster meetings at neighbouring schools
  • support participation in networks related to their area of work
  • set up buddying systems to share skills
  • support visits to othe classrooms or schools to observe practice.

Build knowledge across the curriculum

Build knowledge across the curriculum

Create opportunities for teacher aides to learn more about:

  • the New Zealand Curriculum
  • subject areas and cross-curricular approaches
  • understanding the needs/characteristics of students
  • scaffolding and questioning approaches
  • facilitating interaction with peers
  • behaviour management strategies
  • detailed understanding of lesson plans and learning objectives
  • detailed understanding of teaching approaches needed for specific programmes such as literacy or numeracy support programmes
  • how to ensure their presence or proximity to a student does not stigmatise the student with peers
  • providing physical and personal care.

Useful resources

Useful resources


Planning for changes to practice

This template form includes prompts to support teacher aides to identify the support required to facilitate changes in practice. It is from Maximising the impact of teaching assistants (2nd edition), a UK resource.

Publisher: Centre for Inclusive Education

Download PDF


Teachers and teachers' aides working together: Module 7 – Understanding the New Zealand Curriculum

This resource includes a workbook and presentation for teachers and teacher aides to work through together to develop a shared understanding of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Develop effective recruitment, induction, and PLD processes”:

Return to the guide “Supporting effective teacher aide practice ”