It Is Essential to Make Learning Fun If We Want Motivated and Engaged Students
An interview with Ramona Boiangiu, TA at BSB.
Ramona Boiangiu works with children in Key Stage 1 (Year 1) at the British School of Bucharest, having joined in 2003. Ramona has a BA in English and Spanish from Spiru Haret University and has gained significant experience in teaching Primary School children since graduating.
What do you find most interesting about being involved in the process of teaching?
In my role as a Primary Teaching Assistant, I help children with their educational and social development, both in and outside the classroom. I work with children on a one-to-one basis, in small groups and occasionally with the whole class. I listen to children read, and I help children who need extra support to complete tasks, I supervise group activities, I support children across the curriculum with a particular focus on Phonics, Maths, Reading and Writing and Handwriting. I also give extra help to EAL children - those for whom English is not their first language. I provide detailed and regular feedback to the class teacher on a pupil’s progress. I enjoy every single minute of being in the class, surrounded by children and being fully engaged in the process of teaching.
What do you enjoy most about being a teaching assistant?
For me, the best part of being a teaching assistant is watching the progression of the children and building up a good rapport with them.
What is your perspective on life and teaching in an international environment?
As a Teaching Assistant, my primary role is to support the children with their learning in the classroom. I am very keen on improving my skills and knowledge, and I’m working hard to develop my CPD.
I started working here at BSB a long time ago, in 2003, right after I graduated from Spiru Haret University with a BA in English and Spanish.
At the beginning of my professional career, I had the chance to work mainly with children from Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4), and I also helped around the school and at the uniform shop.
In 2014, when I came back from maternity leave, I supported pupils with English as a second language by working in the EAL department for five months, planning and teaching EAL children in Key Stage 2. I helped Year 2 children in the class and also worked in the Resource Room with labelling and sorting out the Science inventory for Primary.
Do you make learning fun for students? How?
If we want our students to stay motivated and engaged, then it is essential to make learning fun. Incorporating group projects, where students have to work together to develop something related to the topic, works very well for the students. By making learning interactive, it actively engages students and raises their interest in the current subject or unit.
Challenging students by providing hands-on, dynamic activities that require critical thinking skills such as problem-solving, riddles, or reading comprehension questions sparks student interest and gets them thinking.
Sometimes allowing these activities to be performed in groups, creates more interaction between students and enforces the power of teamwork. These cooperative learning activities allow for more interaction between students, letting them learn through the process of listening and speaking or even trying to teach each other.
The integration of technology can help students learn. Digital photography, video recordings, and internet games and quizzes provide practical learning experiences delivered in a fun way.
Allowing students to use their imagination actively will always be fun. Role-playing activities and creating stories help students use their creativity while having fun learning and retaining important concepts.
As a teaching assistant, what do you think are the biggest challenges when working with younger children?
Dealing with students’ challenging behaviour can be testing. You have to be patient and consistent. In all situations, you need to treat children with respect and always remember that even bad behaviour can be a teachable moment when you address it in the right way.
To find out more about Ramona Boiangiu, Teaching Assistant at the British School of Bucharest, please click here.