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Am I overworked?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by FredWelsh34, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. FredWelsh34

    FredWelsh34 New commenter

    I work as a classroom assistant for 8.20 pounds per hour at primary level,
    I work 20 hours per week.
    Last week I was literally worked into the ground, and ended up doing my back in.
    The class teacher literally keeps me on my toes with requests and does not even allow 5 minutes to spare. If she is doing delivery I have to get up a ladder and put the display on, or do some other arduous task rather than sit and listen.
    If she is doing PE she makes me teach the difficult students art and speaking. I am having to laminate clean, help with work, tutor the special needs, mark the books, supervise boys changing for PE on my own, do cleaning, lifting, photocopying, cleaning and although I get my break times, I am flat out the rest of the time.
    I am literally exhausted and have never worked so hard in my life for so little pay.
    Note I am a qualified teacher who does supply on days off, and I am never so demanding of my classroom assistants.
    I am never thanked for the tasks I do, although the class teacher is not unpolite as such, she never once has recognised how hard I work or said any niceties like "well done on your first week" or whatever.
    Does it sound as if I am being overworked?
    I have never worked as a teaching assistant before but frankly it seems full on considering how little I am paid. Opinions?
     
  2. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    Over-worked, under-appreciated and under-paid...

    You chose to work in education so you may as well get used to it. Or get out!
     
    FredWelsh34 likes this.
  3. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    You are employed to work certain hours. Being expected to do stuff during those working hours is not being overworked. You presumably knew the hours and pay before you took the job?
     
  4. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    Sounds like the way my TA works and she's fine. Even if she isn't doing any jobs, she is always engaged with a child on the carpet, it's the expectation. Time is too short and precious to sit and listen!

    If I observe other teachers who let their TA's sit and watch them and do nothing, I always suggest that the TA should come to my classroom and do an intervention if they have nothing else to do during that time. That usually stops people complaining!
     
    grumpydogwoman and FredWelsh34 like this.
  5. FredWelsh34

    FredWelsh34 New commenter

    Thanks for the honesty.
    I'm probably winging a bit to be fair, and it's just teething problems.
    I'm sure it will be fine
    Many thanks
     
  6. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    It's full on work for rubbish pay and it was ever thus. Only you can decide whether the job satisfaction is worth the hard work and poor remuneration.
     
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Sitting and listening? What's the use of that? Nope.

    TA. The clue is in the name. A for assistant.
     
  8. Brunettegirl

    Brunettegirl Occasional commenter

    Comments like this make people really wary of posting. I think this is really unnecessary.
     
  9. Brunettegirl

    Brunettegirl Occasional commenter

    I didn't think you were whinging. You asked a question. You certainly got some full and frank replies though. Good luck anyway.
     
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Yes, this is clearly not acceptable

    Being left to teach special needs children, teaching difficult students art etc.

    I wonder about the veracity of the OP though...
     
  11. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

     
  12. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I have rarely seen a TA be responsible for boards. The teacher is expected to do that. I think she is taking advantage of you in that she is passing off her own responsibilities (e.g. photocopying etc) to you. She using YOU as HER assistant not in supporting the pupils. If I were you, I would ask the senior person in your department to discuss your responsibilities without making a big issue. The fact that you are unhappy tells me that there is a problem. a TA and a teacher are meant to be working closely for the benefit of the pupil/s and have a good strong and open relationship. I think definitely you need to follow this up. I think the way she is treating you is not the norm. As far as I know a TA should work closely with the teacher (with a pre-discussed strategy/plan) how to support the pupils. They may be asked to occasionally photocopy or prepare specific resources for individual pupils or get relevant materials from the SEN department. Wish you all the best.
     
  13. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    PS (I think this teacher is taking advantage a bit and thinks she can get away with continuing all this). She is seeking to "look good" and take credit for all you are helping her with. Being too quiet isn't always a good thing!! stand up for yourself, in positive and professional way.
     
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Five minutes to spare for what?
     
    notsonorthernlass likes this.
  15. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    I don't know if sebedina has experience of primary schools but I think doing display boards is often done by TAs or at least helping to do it with the teacher. I thought displays were one of the 25 or so things teachers were no longer supposed to do. Some choose to do them as they like to do them, but it is certainly not unusual for a TA to do them. Likewise photocopying and preparing resources.
    Being a TA is a tiring job and no you wouldn't expect any down time during the day. Primary School is full on for all members of staff these days and many TAs I know work many hours extra unpaid preparing things at home and at lunch time. They shouldn't do this but I know many do.
    We know they are underpaid and expected to work harder all the time but unfortunately it still seems a popular role and no shortage of applicants for any jobs in my area.
     
    Landofla and chelsea2 like this.
  16. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    This is true and usually stands in secondary. In some schools we've had curriculum support admin to do displays, bulk copying etc. Others, it's been a TA who did. Sadly due to budget cuts curriculum support staff are very in demand people in schools because schools are cutting back on the support element of staffing.

    For the OP, it doesn't sound unlike my experience as a TA a before teaching. I certainly didn't think the classroom teachers were asking too much. Now I'm a teacher, I try to help my TAs out so if students are independent working, they do some of their admin as long as they keep an eye out.
     
  17. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The OP is having to teach special needs and difficult children.

    Do others think this is normal and acceptable?
     
  18. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Depends what you mean by 'teach'? Surely TAs work with children, under the teacher's direction. The OP's school sounds like a primary. My TA was given the planning for maths & English each Monday. She did all the photocopying necessary & collected science & maths equipment.. She worked with a group or individuals in every lesson - which may have been the SEN children, or a child with behaviour problems - equally, it may have been the 'top' group, using the planning she had been given. She did role-play with me in lessons. She marked the 'easy' stuff like tables tests & spelling tests. She mounted work & displayed it. She made costumes & props. And no - she never stopped, either! She was wonderful - as are so many TAs.
     
    Scintillant likes this.
  19. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The OP is a TA. They say they are having to "teach" difficult children and children with special needs. They are uncomfortable with that.

    As it stands, I find that wholly unacceptable. Perhaps the OP will return and clarify what "teach" means. If it doesn't mean what it usually means, of course...
     
  20. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    They may be delivering material to groups of challenging children, or preparing an activity for a group but that is part of being a TA. Maybe it's because in secondary, but delivering small group sessions is part of our TAs' role and all our TAs are there because we have SEND students- including SEBD.

    Unless the TA is planning from scratch (as in looking at medium term planning for a subject, designing the objectives, then planning), assessing the lesson, doing data entry for the subject. and being held accountable for the group's progress then I wouldn't say they are teaching.

    I agree when you said the OP needs to clarify what they mean.

    Now if the OP is doing all of the duties of a teacher, then they can say they're teaching. And would have every right to kick off about doing a teaching job for less pay.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
    notsonorthernlass and chelsea2 like this.

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