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I have the world's most critical and power hungry TA

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by red30, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. Reading entries such as these in the TES forums makes me so sad. As a HLTA, I take a pride in the work that I do at school and hope that I am respected by my teaching and non-teaching colleagues. I have 'A' levels, have been to college, have worked in industry and (like many other TA's ) have come into this role via the "parent helper" route. I chose to be a "stay-at-home" mum and having volunteered as a parent helper in my daughter's school for several years was offered some paid hours. I am now "full-time". I do not consider myself to be a substitute teacher (although, when called in to cover classes at short notice, the children may think that I am!), but feel that my role in the school, although different from the teacher's, is in many ways, equally as important.
    I hope that you are able to resolve the difficulties you have, but please don't tar all TA's with the same brush!

  2. Dare I also say it...? There has been some very recent research which suggested kids who have TAs work with them do worse than those that don't..... That's controversial. So controversial that the government demanded the research be replicated and.... they found the same to be true. You can't say it but be happy and remember it when she is annoying beyond bu**erdom!

    I have a great set of TAs in my school by the way and a great class TA this year in particular. She is helpful and encouraging and is easily directed.
    YOu know what else...? Ask for a different one next year! Good luck and don't be put down by some comments which are more annoying that the problem - they are slightly biased no doubt! LOL.
  3. Totally agree with you!
  4. I used to be a TA in a large secondary comprehensive. I was paid £600 a month and worked every day from 8.50 AM till 4 PM doing the entire EAL support for the school and administering my work (during my unpaid lunch breaks). I did the Academic Tutoring for my EAL students, helped during parents' evenings (although I didn't have to) and made a point of being in assemblies and Awards Evenings. All my colleagues did as much or nearly as much.
    Later, as an unqualified classroom teacher, I had a TA who fitted the description which started this string of comments. Aware that I was in essence a glorified supply, and that I'd leave while she'd be staying, I did not want to rock the boat too much, all the more so as I didn't have much support from the top brass. I showed her instead how essential she was for my work in that class, and at least had some sort of a peace. But the situation described here is different.
    I now often work as supply TA in Special Schools and enjoy the way we all pull together as one big family -- the teachers and the TAs -- for the greater happiness of the kids. I've also started a part-time job as EAL Teacher (first day today) and, from what I've seen, the situation in the school I'm in now is much the same: joyful cooperation.
    Don't forget that all TAs in a school have a common line manager: the SENCO. That should be your first port of call in reporting a skiving or obnoxious TA.
    Good luck.
  5. A crucial missing piece of information perhaps being that a huge amount of TAs are employed to work 1 to 1 with children who are on statements for their behavioural difficulties or who have been referred from behavioural units as they have been excluded from many other schools? Or TAs are with them because they have complicated SEN and are therefore of a very low ability? Hmmm... highly surprising that these children perform worse than the others who get the teachers attention all the time.
    Why are we all trying to blame people for the nation's problems here? Goodness only knows that working in Education is a difficult and thankless task as it is without the people who work within it turning on one another too. What happened to professional support?
  6. I don't consider your complaints to be 'whinging' at all. You have every right to be frustrated and aggrieved by the totally unacceptable behaviour and attitude of your TA. As an NQT mentor in a primary school, I would suggest that you share your concerns with your mentor at your next meeting and ask that the focus of your next observation be planning for and using your TA. Make sure that your TA's instructions for working with a group are clearly noted in the planning you submit to your mentor, and ensure that the TA herself has brief but very clear written instructions so there can be no doubt about what she is expected to do and the anticipated outcome from the children. Request that your mentor watches closely all interaction between the TA and yourself, and the TA and her group. Ask for feedback on how to deal with her, and if she 'performs' for the observer and doesn't behave in the ways you mentioned in your letter, don't be afraid to speak out and clarify what it is you are dealing with on a daily basis.
    All the best!

  7. What I don't understand from all these posts is how these nightmare TA's have these jobs. To get my NVQ 2 TA I had to SHOW that I was able to work in the best way to support teaching staff, including being observed by an assessor,( much in the same way as a trainee teacher) as well as having to have signed evidence and statements from my teacher/mentor to go in my portfolio of work. This took 30+weeks of (in my case, unpaid) work in the classroom not to mention the hours spent doing study and attending night classes. These TA's should KNOW how to behave, unless they were taken on before such qualifications/standards existed. I wouldn't dream of undermining the teacher, because they are the boss, even if they are much ,much younger than me (I'm 45). I give feedback after lessons as to how learning objectives have been met,or not, as the case may be, and I might give my opinions then as to how something might have worked better,or if I have had to adapt anything on the spur of the moment.....but the class teacher is the one in charge and ultimately responsible for what I do and the way I do it.
    I think the NQT's should put their foot down and take charge, and let the Head know what's going on!
  8. I have a fantastic TA.....but she wasn't fantastic at the beginning of my NQT year!!! I feel your pain!!!
    When I first started she would constantly say how she wished she was working with other teachers, that we didn't do it like that in this school and generally acted as if I did not know what I was talking about!!
    After my first term she came to me (unprovoked...I hadn't said a word) and said that she was sorry for being a bit mean when I started and that she didn't react to change well!!
    Now we get on really well and the fact that we work together so well has been noted in most of my observations.
    So, it can get better and I hope it does for you! Maybe, like my TA, the TA just needs to get used to you a bit?
  9. Hi - sounds like you're having a tough time, but I'm glad to hear you're still being positive. The class is your responsibility and how you run it and how you "deploy" your support staff is based your professional judgement. Have you tried falttery to your advantage - eg I know that you're really good at x but today I need this.... Or, I'm trying out this theory that I've been reading about/researching - to see what results I can achieve. Remember, if you can survive your NQT year, anything and everything is possible...
  10. falttery - read flattery!!!
  11. Photocopy the word "auxillary" from the dictionary and hand it to her!

  12. As a TA, with 10 years experience, and working in an exceptionally good school, where team work is paramount I have to say your comment is extremely uncalled for. Such a sweeping statement regarding support staff is disgusting and if you were a teacher worth their salt and were able to utilise support staff in the way which they are supposed to be then you would think before you write!
  13. mn lkmm
  14. Oh, I'm so lucky!
    I'm working happily as a TA, supporting pupils who really need me there (and for the sceptics, they achieve well above their expected grades).
    It's not my job to teach the classes, it's not my job to get pupils to complete tasks - it is my job to assist the teacher in those classes and give specialised support when it is needed; so those pupils have every opportunity to succeed.
    For the pay that is offered, are schools likely to get the calibre of TA which teachers crave? I love the opportunity to work with NQTs - they deserve a positive and considerate TA who respects them as the one responsible for the class. Being a NQT is hard enough without having to take on the emotional strain of a difficult relationship with your TA.
    If you can't talk to the TA, then talk to the SENCo or the head - maybe you could have a different TA for part of the week under the guise of 'exploring how you work best with support staff'?
    I wouldn't object to attending parents' evenings; but the school wouldn't budget for my paltry hourly pay for out-of-hours events!
    My NQT year was a long time ago now - perhaps when there have been enough derogatory comments made about under-qualified TAs I'll choose to return to teaching!

  15. I totally agree. Team work is so important. You are the teacher and as such must act professionally and direct through discussion and planning what you would like your TA to do. You are both there to support the learning of the children but in separate roles.
  16. Obviously, there are poor TAs in schools.
    That's the Head's fault. Most of the replies on here are from the usual superior beings. Some of you need a self-esteem boost if you're threatened by those inferior helpers. Remember how much better we are than anyone who has not been to university. Remember to patronize the TAs whenever you can. Remember that you know everything. Believe research that backs up your own beliefs, but smile at the TAs while you curse them.
    In the last year, four pupils at my school would have achieved nothing but disruption had it not been for three excellent TAs. If your school employs low-skilled support staff, then blame the SMT. I realize you will not, and you will continue in your haze of brilliance. Tell the TAs what you think about them, you smug, pathetic cowards.
    Long live TAs!

  17. I agree.
    I was a TA for 9 yrs and have recently qualified as a teacher.
    I even have some of the TA's I worked along side with, working with me now!
    I do have 2 that were troublesome ( but they were before I qualified, to some)and so far I have achieved a good rapport with one. ( the other I am about to start working on)
    I know that she knows her job ( I told her, 'so glad its you to help me') and we work together for specific children. I tell her what I have planned and she can differentiate further if need be. I also refer pupils to her, if I am working with someone else. Pupile are aware that I support what she says and they can not 'play one against the other' On the other hand, I need her and knowing she knows what she is doing and we have discussed this, is a great help. Well done to my TA.
  18. This is such a sad comment, maybe if you respected the support staff for the work they do then you would have a much better relationship with the people involved.
    Why not try the approach of two members of staff working together to give the best from you both to the children, instead of being a 'Teacher' and 'T.A.'
    It's tough working on a one to one or small group as it's very draining mentally trying to get 100% out of the children as well as giving 100% during session time.
    Respect each others roles and I'm sure you'll get along. [​IMG]

  19. To me as a private sector worker ( I do guest teach and lecture, though, hence being on here) a real lot of this nonsense comes from the 'NQT' label.
    Ever seen how many people (not all, of course) treat a car with 'L' plates?
    Point being, we set the new kids on the block as exactly that - kids with heads on blocks. You are either a qualified teacher, or you are not. Period.
    Once you start making it almost official that a fresh teacher has no idea what they are doing, or that they are still being trained, all hell will break loose. Parents (normally those who have no idea at all) will question you and make demands.
    This is outrageous and such a shame on those new teachers who have talent.
    As to a solution, what we do is sit down and try to talk it through. If the TA here doesn't adapt, you then have her removed from your office/class without any further debate.
    That's it. You can't spend too much time on her. Your job is to teach children and the more she drains your energy, the less you will have for those who really matter.
    She wises up - or out. Do not give second chances.
  20. As an ex-TA and currently a trainee teacher, I disagree I think TAs can be invaluable. They can the take a share of the workload, such as typing letters, photocopying (all not very nice jobs but ones that still need doing at the end of day). In the classroom though they can be used to support children who may find it difficult in whole class or larger group situations, observe children during whole-class teaching or be used to provide intervention activities for LA children or more challenging activities for HA children. It can be difficult for a TA to know exactly what is expected from the class teacher and how much responsibility to take. I've worked with teachers in which I've been involved with the planning and assessing of the children and done whole class teaching and others in which I've had no input and been told what to do on a Monday morning. TAs are extra man power, support and resource in the classroom provided you work with them, value them and have respect for each other and each others roles. No treading on toes!

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