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Feeling Undermined

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by EALUpsideDown17, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. EALUpsideDown17

    EALUpsideDown17 New commenter

    I'm a specific EAL teaching assistant in my early 20s and go to all different settings across the local authority supporting particularly vulnerable learners. In secondary settings I have positive relations with all staff and students and am respected however I have noticed when I have been going into primary schools I have repeatedly been referred to as a student. Teachers and inclusion staff are given my name prior to my arrival, I wear an identification badge showing I am a member of staff but yet I am still referred to and often treated like a student on work experience despite this not being case - although I do have a bit of a baby face! This has made me feel a little uncomfortable and undermined as I am often planning my own sessions and creating resources. I'm probably over reacting and maybe should take it as a compliment that I still look so young but it is making me feel quite under appreciated. Has anyone else experienced this?
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    It's certainly never going to happen to me!

    Primary schools are very different from secondary. I've always worked in primary but have spent quite a lot of time in local secondary schools, so have some experience of both. Secondary schools work in departments and staff seem to be very much 'within that department'. Primary schools are smaller and all staff tend to know everyone quite well. Class teachers teach all subjects and are with their children the whole time. It's very common for visiting staff to be asked, 'Can I help you? Are you OK working in this space? Do you need anything? Can we have a chat before/after your session? Would you be able to cover x while you're working with child y?' It's not that we don't have faith in outside staff, most primary schools are very holistic in their approach and want to know all they can about the children in their care - that includes knowing exactly what staff from outside agencies are doing.
    Not sure if I've explained that very well at all - I'm sure your input is appreciated by the primary schools you visit!
  3. stargirl81

    stargirl81 New commenter

    My best friend used to look like a teenager while she was in her 20's.. In one school she got shown to the special room that the work experience kids went to.

    She was a training teacher.... :D
  4. ElizaMorrell

    ElizaMorrell Occasional commenter

    I'm approaching 30 and I still regularly get asked for ID when buying alcohol. No matter how many times people tell me it's a compliment, I struggle to see it as that. It absolutely impacts on work as well. I've started at a new school this year and I've been asked a fair few times how my NQT year is going. The only advice I can give you is to correct them when they introduce you as a student, or specifically introduce yourself to the class teacher/support staff using your job title. Just reinforce it every chance you get!

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