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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. Here goes ... piece of advice - she has 'ownership' of HER community. You are new. M<font face="Times New Roman" size="3">ake no mistake you are a threat to her.</font>

    She hasn't done the training to qualify as a teacher because she FEELS she won't be good enough.
    So all in all she is in a very safe spot staying where she is.
    I have had the same battle time and time again. Got told once that all would be OK if I only realised how she (TA) ran the place.
    Your Headteacher knows what she's like and probably whinces at the thought of having to deal with her.
    My advice to you is carry on as you are but do make HT aware that you are feeling 'supervised' and not actually supported. HT will know EXACTLY what you mean!
    To make your EA feel good you could overpraise her and tell her she' s wonderful and you'll possibly get the support you'd prefer. I am actually hopeless at this and end up getting frustrated with EAs along the way!! But it does work whenever I've been magnanimous and EAs bend over backwards when they feel valued.
    Don't we all?
  2. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    I can't believe people are getting so offended over this. The OP is clearly talking about one individual and their personal issues with that one person. They aren't tarring all TAs with the same brush at all.
    I'd just like to say on behalf of (Most) of the teachers on here that actually we do value your contribution, i would be lost with out my assortment of TAs and I absolutely love having the companionship and often ask for advice and reassurance in certain situations. What you guys do for the kids is often nothing beyond excellent.
    However you should be aware that not everyone is as enthusiastic or dedicated as yourselves. One of my TAs freely admits she hates the job but just does it because of the convinient hours, but that gets reflected in her work because she won't do a sausage if she can avoid it, and she's renowned for it across the whole school. Sometimes you just fight an uphill battle as a teacher, because while she's happy to criticise my performance, she will also happily sit on her todd and do NOTHING to support those kids who need supporting. When you've tried giving someone personalised planning (Seperate to the rest of the classes) lists of jobs you'd appreciate doing, and you've actually asked her what you can do to make it easier for her, AND involved her in your planning, and she still does nothing, what are you meant to do? I'm about an inch from going to someone higher because it's not that i don't appreciate her, i'd just prefer to use her skills properly rather than feel battered by her day in day out.
    Again that is an individual case and is in no way reflective of all TAs. Be objective about it guys!
  3. I have been a TA for 25 years this coming January and I admit it is very difficult at times to know just how far to go without undermining the authority of the teacher. I myself do enjoy preparing worksheets for the pupils and would regard being a TA who is just there to mix paints and wipe noses as not utilising the hidden skills we all have. Whenever I work with a new teacher I always ask if it`s Ok to do these `extra` tasks and to date only one teacher has told me not to bother. This is fine, but the teacher does need to lay down classroom rules as regards the day-to-day management of how you want the class run. I have to say, though, that I`ve known teachers object to interference from the TA but don`t mind them doing so when it suits. Pupils with PMLD can often get overlooked by some teachers I`ve known in the past and who were then only too happy for the TA to prepare resources and work with the PMLD child. I enjoy my job and I`m happy to involve myself in all manner of things, but once the teacher says no then that`s it, I back off.
  4. It is really sad that you feel like this about TAs and you have obviously never had a good one. I am a child of the 70s and so also grew up in a time of no TAs and yes I did do OK but that doesn't mean it was the best thing. If we did have good TAs then, maybe we'd have been even better. I regard my TA as my best resource. She does exactly as I ask of her, uses her initiative and goes beyond the call of duty. She works in the class supporting groups and runs her own groups e.g. self esteem, anger management and social skills, following training and support. I feel really lucky that I have this working relationship. Perhaps you have just not found your TA's strength - have you ever asked them what they would like to do or learn to do? I presume they have some kind of Performance Management?
  5. My previous post is in response to post 42 - the TA abolisher. Wasn't sure that was clear!
  6. This is a subject very close to my heart!! I lost a tempory job once as the TA disagreed with the method I wanted to use with a child with ODD. When I tried to alter patterns of behaviour which I felt reinforced negative behaviour, it was taken personally and the TA sat in class refusing to interact and deliberately wound up the child into his extremely difficult tantrums. The TA took great delight in telling me the Heads door was always open to her and regularly went to complain about me. The Head made it clear the TA had to be kept happy as her relationship with the child meant so much to her. I could not teach the class effectively with the TA working against me and left
    I have worked in many, many schools and have regularly found TAs who are given great power by heads who use them for feedback on teachers. A friend who was a TA in a secondary school was regularly asked by the head / deputy to comment on teachers and their lessons. I have just done a days supply in a local school. When I was introduced to the TAs one joked that their job was to criticise!! Would TAs have less power if Heads only used professional means for assessing teachers?
    Since the new contract was introduced, in theory anyone can now teach if the Head thinks they're capable. Are we moving to a futury where TA's will become the teachers and fewer teachers take on a mangerial role?? The government would be delighted as this would more than halve teacher's salaries!!!!! Would TA's really want this demanding role on such little money?
    All this said, many TA's are fantastic and provide invaluable help and support - in my current school a brilliant TA tends to take chn out and work with them - some of it is timetabled by the Head others she sorts. All the chn she has make amazing progress.
  7. This is absolutely right. I finished my training in the summer and was lucky to find a placement in the school. The staff were awful, very unsupportive and set in their ways. Other teachers felt threatened, as the last member of staff had been employed 20 years previously - so for them it was a complete culture shock.
    I think, now, I'm making headway - but - it ain't easy!
    I came into teaching because I want to make a difference. I want to teach children and to see them develop.
    My job is HARD enough, whether it be as an NQT or otherwise, without needing to negotiate tactics with over-bearing members of staff who have a blatent disregard for anyone new.
    My advice would be to go to the headteacher and, as said above, to have her removed. She is there to ASSIST you. To help you teach those children. It is ridiculous to be in a situation where the children are going to suffer because your energy is channelled into forging a relationship with somebody who has complete disrespect for you.

  8. Wow, you really are an ass aren't you? Thank God you don't work in my school, with an attitude like that. You'd get forced out by teachers and TAs alike. What a nasty piece of work.

    By the way, I highly value my TA and couldn't succeed without her.
  9. I am a TA inspiring to be a teacher (if and when I finally finsh my OU degree!). A TA's job is to ASSIST in teaching and if your TA is not doing her job correctly then she should be told. For a start, a TA does not get paid enough to do the work of a teacher - perhaps this is worth pointing out to her! I think that sometimes, TA's are not given the credit they are due (we work hard!) but on the other hand, as a TA, she should know what her role is and it is definately NOT to try and make teachers lives any harder than they already are! I suggest that you have a private conversation with her and explain to her that although you are new to the job, you have had full training in how to cope with a class and you would appreciate it if she could act upon matters when asked (you never know, she may think she is being helpful). Be assertive with her but not condescending, make your intentions clear and then if any issues arise, at least you can say that you have broached the subject privately with her already.
    Good Luck
  10. I completely agree! Whilst I understand my role is to ASSIST in teaching, I am far from being uneducated! I am in my 3rd year of studying for a Molecular Science degree and feel that some of the comments on here are tarring ALL TA's with the same brush as being uneducated and unqualified to deal with children! Most TA's begin working in schools because they have children of their own and realise that they are damn good at understanding and teaching children. Sometimes, the only reliable, consistent, open and honest people that children meet are the ones they come across in school and whilst not all TA's may be as educated as teachers, each has their strengths at dealing with different situations. Teachers, I implore you not to be so judgemental! Alot of the work that your TA's do are far beyond what is expected of them and what they are trained for. Fair enough, you may get the odd TA that feels they are above their station and it is rightly so that they should be brought down a peg or two, but do not let that prejudice you towards the fact that all TA's are like this.
  11. hey red sorry to hear about your experience. its a shame really as a TA myself i have a very clear image of my job role and that is to ASSIST. i love being being a TA the difference between myself and your current nightmare is that im happy being a TA. if i wanted to be a teacher i would of trained as one. we are an extra pair eyes in the classroom that are there to let you know the things you may have missed so that YOU get the whole picture and deal with things that YOU have been trained to do. the only suggestion i could give you is to introduce a TEACHERS CONTRACT, this defines what pupils she will target and how, then signed by both. it is a working document which can be updated whenever you feel necessary. apart from that chin up.
  12. Remember it is her workplace too - how involved and welcome do you make her feel? You and the kids have places to put your stuff and spaces to work - does she? I have had several trainee TA's over the years (a real mixed bag). Most of the time they over stepped the mark because they didn't know where the mark was. Have you actually sat down and talked to your TA? If she was told she was there to support you she'll be looking for your weaknesses and of course she's going to jump in. Talk to her about how important the relationship is between teacher and
    children. Gently let her know that her interferring is undermining this
    relationship. Tell her how she can best support you - what do you need her to do? What are your expectations? Where can she be of most benefit to the children? We don't have TA's here on the other side of the world. Well, unless we have high
    needs children and can jump through 50 hoops. Even then, the TA is
    assigned to the child not the class. I have a class of 28 6year olds
    which include 2 children on the autistic spectrum, 3 with learning
    disorders and 10 who are working below expected levels and I'm on my
    own. I've spent almost two years filling in endless streams of paperwork and having "experts" in to observe to get just a few hours a week support for just 1 of my kids(unsuccessfully so far). Appreciate what you have and make the most of it - you have someone in
    your room who obviously knows the school and the kids and is keen to be
    involved. Sounds pretty good to me.
  13. I'm really sorry your TA is acting in this way. I have been a TA for 5 Years, aged 45 in a lovely school, with many teachers younger than me. Although when I started there was and there was and still is a TA who had been there 15 years previous, with whome there is a similar situation. (I let her enjoy her supremacy as others have confirmed what she is like). I support the teachers I work with, my priority is supporting the pupils I work with. Could you give your TA tasks within a restricted boundary, but emphasising that you know you can trust her to do her best at this task/display. Maybe you could encourage her further education or thank her for her help/support (even if she has only done what is expected rather than anything fantastic). You have to try to get her on your side, if not speak to a collegue your can trust for guidence. If all else fails confront her and say how you feel, get a mediator, or speak to someone higher. Remember you are the teacher, you have worked hard to get where you are, and you have my full respect for your chosen vocation. This will not be your only post, stand high, be proud and enjoy teaching YOUR pupils. You are the one that makes the difference to them.
    Sorry if my grammer is poor I have 2 boys fighting over the TV and can't find spell check, things don't get any better!!!!!!!
  14. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    I totally agree there are some TA's who bring the role of TA's in to a bad light, I speak as a qualified Teacher and also as a Qualified Classroom assistant. If I go into a primary school, the first person I speak to is the class TA, who can be a fountain of knowledge and advice. Thet can give teachers an insight to on the where to find the lesson plan, resources, infomation on children with issues. However I have been into schools, in which the TA resents you being there, seeks to provide no help and tries to undermine you, because they think they should be taking the class.
    I agree with the comments, if these people want to teach, go to university and train to become a teacher, I did and others TA's have done the same. I believe that only qualified teachers should be teaching and in charge of a class, yet at the same time every teacher in both primary and secondary should have a TA attached to them to assist them teaching 28+ children and to support supply teachers, when the normal teacher is absent.
    Good TA's deserve the credit, they don't often get and it is the bad (i want to a be teacher, but don't have the qualifications), who do the role of TA a bad service.
  15. That's a hideous waste of public money! You are very lucky to work in a school which can afford to prioritise pencils over children! Anyone facing issues with power hungry TA's needsto be a bit more professional and tackle the situation face on.....through dialogue!


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