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!