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Annoying TA

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by skills324, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. skills324

    skills324 New commenter

    Shouted at the children as they walked in the room, explaining how they wouldn't behave like this if Miss ? was here. Gave the children warnings and yellow cards which should have been down to me.
    Checking the lesson plan and pointing out if I wasn't sticking to it 100%, made a comment to me as I was working with the LA group when the plan said I had to work with the HA group.

    These type of people really annoy me and get to me (even though I try to not let it). I'm a reuglar supply at this school so have the same class every week for an hour (I teach else where across the school the rest of the day).

    Rant over :)
    Rajindamum likes this.
  2. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    Ha! Glad you posted this, I was going to post (again) today about the syndrome of the 'Missing TA' as I had 2 today ( same lesson) disappear with their charges saying it was 'too noisy' for them to work with the kids.
    I think I have now seen every passive-aggressive-TA behaviour and I have only supplying for a year (anniversary this week :) )
    They are like this because they are normally the bottom od the pile, and resent you coming in with your massive pay (!) and being the teacher in charge.
  3. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    You can choose either of these courses of action:

    i) just let them get on with their 'I don't know why they hired you because I am more than capable of teaching this class today' attitude and just annotate plans with notes about what the TA did: good and bad.

    ii) assert yourself in a discreet manner (some people might call this 'passive/aggressive) that conveys the message that you value their input, but you are in charge and every lesson will be delivered in the way that you see fit.

    Unfortunately, a few TAs feel that it is their role to undermine supply teachers because they perceive them to be inferior to permanent teachers.

    I always make a point of being very grateful for anything the TA does in the classroom which usually makes the day go a little more smoothly.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    In the six years I have worked on supply, I have never had any major problems with TAs. Most of the TAs I have met and worked with made the difference between whether I got through some classes unscath ed or not when working with challenging students.

    Although ultimately I am in charge of a class, I always tell the class that they have to follow instructions from the TA fast just as if Imgive them an instruction. I don't think,however, the TA should have yelled at the class and said what she did. Unless it gets too out of hand Imwouldmignore it since you need to keepmher on side. Imagree with snowy that it is important to always thank the people who help in a lesson. Most of the time it is great having another adult in the room since two is better than one and can help and support each other.
  5. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    I have encountered TA's who think if Miss or Sir is missing then they should be teaching the class and they hate the fact the school prefers to use a supply teacher. When you encounter a TA like this, they make you life hell by seeking to undermine your role and status in front of the kids, it as been said that some have complained to the HT that the supply teacher is not up the job. I remember some years ago a TA state that 'they were a teacher because the government had not stopped them teaching' and some TA's operate with this mindset.

    In truth if I am working in a primary school, I prefer to work without a TA, unless I know the TA and that she is good at their job. In truth there are many more good TA's, then bad power mad TA's, but the bad TA's, damage the image of the vast number of good TA's.

    In the case of 'Skills324', I would say you was unfortunate to encounter a bad power crazed TA, who thinks that she should be a teacher, but lacks the ability to be one.
  6. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Actually I don't mind if the TAs help discpline any unruly students. Often they know the kids and the school's policy better and I think that maintaining good order is the responsibility of all the adults in the school and not just down to the teachers.

    If a student complains to me that a TA has given them a warning I tell the student that the TA has every right to do so.

    I suppose its how its done though and there is a difference between a TA helping keep an eye on trouble makers and a TA who is trying to take over.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. Abadie

    Abadie New commenter

    I want to add that TAs can become a real power in the land within a school. Teachers come and go, but often TAs can remain at a school for years.

    It is well known that many head teachers like to use TAs to be their eyes and ears in the classroom. This situation really stinks as you have someone with no teaching qualification (the TA) making a judgement on your performance in the classroom and deciding whether or not you can come back.

    I always try to ask the TA's opinion on any decisions I make such as how the children's work should be set out or whether the classroom is in an acceptable state at the end of the day to reduce the chances of them running to the head teacher after I have gone home, although this has still happened a few times.

    Also it is common practice for schools to use unqualified staff (TAs) to teach small and often lower ability groups on a regular basis. I wonder what parents' reactions would be if they knew their children were being denied a qualified teacher or whether they would even care.
  8. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    If it's any consolation this is also the case with Cover Supervisors (who after all are TAs in a slightly different job role). The only substantial difference is the length of time (several years in my case) you have to play such power battles. I do agree that buttering up the TA is still the best approach as the alternative is an unseemly battle in front of the kids. Also you need the TA onside to help against the common enemies (kids and SMT). Such approaches do work and I seem to have got round the 2 awkward ones at my school.

    The root of the problem is that the TA holds nearly all the cards, (who sits where, school polices, location of books and other resources, which teachers to ask for guidance, knowledge of progress made to date...etc) and it's very easy for them to take over from that position of strength. You need to be well established yourself to fight off such an attempted coup and as supply how many days/weeks do you need to be there to be 'well established'?

    Jack Cazorla
    Author of 'How to be a Cover Supervisor'
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Imteach secondary and perhaps it is slightly different compared to primary when TAs are involved. When I have a TA I am always grateful since it is an extra pair of hands to help. I can honestly say Only once or twice in six years has a TA annoyed me and I am extremely grateful for all their help.
  10. emmalcm

    emmalcm New commenter

    I don't mind TAs helping with discipline, especially if it's a new school and I'm not as familiar with the discipline policy, but there are ways and ways of helping aren't there? Someone can help without trying to take over.At the same time, it really bugs me when they sit there and do nothing at all useful (I actually had one the other day sitting there messing with her phone in lesson?!).

    There are definitely some who actively seem to cause disruption though. Yesterday a TA caught up with me in the staff room, told me I was covering the lesson she would be in and about how disgustingly behaved the class are. It was a pretty rough school and I've had some BAD classes there so I was expecting the worst after she'd said that. It turned out that the vast majority worked fine no problem, with just two kids trying to wind each other up. She seemed to go in there with a bit of an attitude that was winding them up further-not helping and in fact making things worse. I sat with the two causing the problem and asked them about what they were doing, helped them with what to write next etc, thereby distracting them from the behaviour and they were actually on task until the TA started shouting at them saying they weren't doing enough. As if by magic, they stopped working and went right back to arguing! Thanks for undoing everything I just did!

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