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In the good classrooms...

Discussion in 'Primary' started by xteachersarahx, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. ...you shouldn't be able to tell who is the teacher and who is the TA.

    Does anyone agree with this? I just want to know if I am doing something wrong here! I started my first teaching job in January (NQT year) and I have a full time TA. I absolutely love my class...but my TA is much harder work than them I find! I had some spare time over the weekend so decided to come into school and sort a few things out (we are able to get into school on a weekend). I changed a few drawers around, sorted our notice board out and sorted my reading groups out.
    I was so happy that the classroom looked nice and tidy BUT I had a big rant today at lunchtime from my TA. She said 'it would have much been better to sort out the reading groups together ', 'I'm upset you did all this without me' and 'in the good classrooms you can't tell who is the teacher and who is the teaching assistant'. I put up a lovely display and she moaned that her stamp wasn't on the classroom. I'm very young (well 22!) and she is old enough to be my mum. She has been overpowering, bossy and tries to criticise everything I do since I started. I really want to teach the children to the best of my ability but I now feel very consious of anything I do! When I first started I really felt like the class had two teaching assistants instead of a teacher and a teaching assistant. Now, I am really trying to show that I am the teacher but all she does is moans. This is her first job as a teaching assistant.

    I don't know what I'm expecting in terms of replies- Am I just being over sensitive or is she actually in the wrong?
     
  2. ...you shouldn't be able to tell who is the teacher and who is the TA.

    Does anyone agree with this? I just want to know if I am doing something wrong here! I started my first teaching job in January (NQT year) and I have a full time TA. I absolutely love my class...but my TA is much harder work than them I find! I had some spare time over the weekend so decided to come into school and sort a few things out (we are able to get into school on a weekend). I changed a few drawers around, sorted our notice board out and sorted my reading groups out.
    I was so happy that the classroom looked nice and tidy BUT I had a big rant today at lunchtime from my TA. She said 'it would have much been better to sort out the reading groups together ', 'I'm upset you did all this without me' and 'in the good classrooms you can't tell who is the teacher and who is the teaching assistant'. I put up a lovely display and she moaned that her stamp wasn't on the classroom. I'm very young (well 22!) and she is old enough to be my mum. She has been overpowering, bossy and tries to criticise everything I do since I started. I really want to teach the children to the best of my ability but I now feel very consious of anything I do! When I first started I really felt like the class had two teaching assistants instead of a teacher and a teaching assistant. Now, I am really trying to show that I am the teacher but all she does is moans. This is her first job as a teaching assistant.

    I don't know what I'm expecting in terms of replies- Am I just being over sensitive or is she actually in the wrong?
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You can definitely tell who is who in my classroom...I'm the one running around clueless and my TA is calmly sorting out the chaos I create!

    But more seriously, it is my classroom and they are my class. My TA is there to assist me (hence their job title) usually under my direction. And she definitely wouldn't expect to be involved with sorting out reading groups and the like. She does do some displays, but never minds if I do one instead.

    Try to take no notice of the moaning. she is probably someone, a bit like me, who likes to be in control. Being a TA would drive me nuts, but this is no excuse for her behaviour. Talk to your mentor about how you are feeling before it becomes a really big problem. It could be that things can be swapped about over Easter or that someone else can have a word with her.
     
  4. SleighBelle

    SleighBelle Occasional commenter

    You are in charge, accountable and a qualified teacher.
    While it's better when the teacher and TA work as a team, the overall responsibility for the class lies with the teacher. My TA has a number of tasks that she is responsible for. I have delegated these tasks to her. She has great ideas and I often ask for her input but tend to blend her thoughts and mine to create the best for the children.
    Ignore the whinging and moaning. No need to be rude, just calmly state 'I wanted it like this because...' if she questions anything. Give your TA specific tasks to complete, so she feels useful and fulfilled. Build in opportunity to talk about upcoming events or tasks so you can brainstorm ideas.
    The job title says it all, really. The TA assists teaching. The teacher teaches.
     
  5. If this is her first job as a TA she should be learning from you, not the other way round. I am a TA of 23 years and, as you can imagine have worked with a great many teachers. I have always said one of the hardest parts of our job is to get to know our teachers and what they expect of us. She will have been told on some course or other that you should not be able to tell the difference between TA and Teacher. Teachers and TAs are human beings and we are all different, a good working relationship is built on the TA supporting the teacher. If she was in this class before you arrived she could have helped by filling you in on the kids. Perhaps her previous teacher allowed her to take over, but she should be following your lead. You are responsible for what happens in your classroom. Perhaps you could tell her you appreciate her wanting to be involved in everything but that as a new teacher you want to be able to develop your own style of teaching and classroom management and you would really appreciate her support in this.
     
  6. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    Um, does she stand next to you when you are explaining the learning objective and the task to the children?! No? Then of course you can tell the difference between a teacher and a TA! Sorry - sarcasm aimed at her, not you. I could agree that if a stranger came in part way through a lesson and you were both running focus groups, then it would be great if they couldn't tell the difference - because it would mean you are both taking responsibility for behaviour for the whole class as well as running a successful focus group.



    TAs can of course be very useful in providing input on groups - but if there is a successful relationship, you would have her input on an ongoing basis (e.g. "I think x is struggling in this group" / "so and so seems to be far ahead of the rest of the group"). I am a TA, and I would be over the moon if the teacher did a display - as I personally don't like doing them! Maybe she saw it as a criticism - that you were saying you weren't happy with the way she did them (no excuse for her attitude to you though).



    I wonder if she is feeling insecure in her role (again - no excuse though)? Could you give her some positive feedback for something you feel she does well? Could you give her ownership of something? Is it worth setting aside some time to have a 1:1 chat with her, and asking her how you can create a positive working relationship? I wish you good luck anyway!
     

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