Explain the Principles of Relationship Building with Children, Young People and Adults.

As Teaching Assistants (TAs) we need to build effective relationships in order to do our job well. There are several generic principles that underpin building a strong relationship with children, young people and adults. There are also differences which apply to each type of relationship.

Effective communication - One of the most important aspects of building a relationship is to find ways of communicating effectively. This issue was discussed in detail in my answer to criterion 1.1. If we think that our relationship with a child, young adult or adult is not as good as it could be, it is important to adapt our style of communication. For TAs a good starting point is to watch another adult and take note of the communication skills being used. It might be that the other adult is calmer, shows more facial expression or praises more. Smiling is particularly important when it comes to relationships. Smiling, being positive and acknowledging a child are all clear signs to the child that we are enjoying being with them. When we are less confident and comfortable we smile less   .

Identifying and sorting out conflicts and disagreement - Groups of children and adults have disagreements. As children become older these can move from mild squabbles to become more serious. In order for children, young people and adults to trust us, it is important that we can identify difficulties and help them wherever possible to find ways through them as quickly as possible.

Being consistent and fair - “It’s not fair!” is a phrase often heard in my school; it is essential that our actions are seen as fair and getting a child to understand why something that seems unfair is in fact fair is a vital part of child’s development.   In my school TAs and all staff ensure children are aware of our “Golden Rules” and the rewards available for following them, ranging from stickers to golden raffle tickets awarded by the Head. We are also just as clear about what happen if the rules are broken,...