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Infant Computing with no help

Discussion in 'Primary' started by tortuga, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. tortuga

    tortuga New commenter

    I took on a long term supply job teaching computing in an infant school in October. I've had various issues with the lessons, but the main one is the lack of support. In year 2 especially, we have oversubscribed classes, fifteen laptops, a TA who sits and glues worksheets into books and doesn't help. I've been to the head several times about the lack of support, but I am close to quitting. Some of the children's behaviour is unacceptable and most can't sit and wait sensibly whilst I help others. I've tried worksheets on the floor relating to lessons, but it just isn't working. Has anyone got any good suggestions on how I can cope better on my own? The head just doesn't seem interested in sorting out support. I have even asked on social media locally if anyone needs any classroom experience for courses etc. subject to an interview with the head and DBS check.

  2. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    P2 children should be able to stick their own worksheets into their books. Once you've taught them to do this, the TA won't have any sheets to stick in. The TA can then be asked to actually support the children's learning.

    If you're looking for a suitable resource, this might be useful:

    You could try splitting the class into two groups with you and the TA each taking a group to work on an unplugged activity or one involving the laptops.

    15 laptops doesn't seem an awful lot unless you have a very small class. If you're pairing up pupils to work on one laptop together, both you and the TA can both be circulating and supporting.

    If the TA still refuses to help, talk to the HT again and ask them to observe lessons or pop in randomly for a minute or two just to see what is actually happening.

    You've probably tried all of the above but I thought I'd post them just in case you haven't. If you have tried the above and are still having problems, I can only suggest you look for a job elsewhere.:(
    tortuga likes this.
  3. tortuga

    tortuga New commenter

    Thanks so much for replying. For some reason at this school the TAs get 'PPA' when the teachers do? I have a meeting soon again with the head.
  4. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    It seems a bit strange that you are going into a school and telling SLT about a TA. I would have thought that the SLT would support the TA over a supply teacher.

    Computing is one of those subjects that most people do not feel comfortable teaching. It does not have to be taught using laptops. Just go over to the TA and ask them to support children. Children should be sticking in their own sheets.
  5. katrinahunt

    katrinahunt New commenter

    I used to teach computing without support and it's a sweaty nightmare! If you're really at a dead end with support from staff, I would look at trying to get the children to be more independent and efficient to help you out. Take a step backwards, plan some paper based activities for a couple of weeks. Then make it clear that you're only going to use the computers when they are able to follow the computing 'procedures/agreement'. Decide on what you think they can achieve and what would help them and you the most. Then work with a very small group, one on one if you have to. Go through the basics that you decide will help them be more independent, identifying those children that are the most independent and are therefore able to help out others with low level issues, you can even make these 'monitors/helpers' if you think it will help. I understand some will say you shouldn't use the kids as a TA, but kids sharing their knowledge is a great thing and at this rate no one will learn if they're not being independent, it will buy you some time to get more children a little more independent. Don't be afraid to end the session if it's getting manic and go to a back up plan. There's some good ideas on Barefoot Computing, as the person before has said, Code.org is great. When I taught computing in KS1 I would always write off the first term as a learning the absolute basics and becoming a little independent. How to handle a laptop; Esafety; rules for lessons; How to switch it on and off; opening, closing a program. I taught mine how to get on a touch typing program which they could all do at the beginning of a lesson or when I need to buy some time. This would be a VERY slow process, but worthwhile. At least some are then are ready to learn new concepts for the next two terms.
    Wotton likes this.

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