A common feature of contemporary primary classrooms is the presence of other adults employed to work alongside the teacher. Such adults are known by different names; we will generally use the phrase teaching assistant (TA) here. They present a considerable opportunity for both teachers and pupils, but making the most of them is not straightforward. Current and recent guidance for initial teacher education stresses that teachers need to communicate and work effectively with others, recognising their contributions and showing a commitment to collaborative working. These themes also occur throughout the literature and in our research data, which we draw on here.