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Interested in your views on this...

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by feebeela, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Hello,
    I am interested in your views on this. My TA next year is well known for starting 10-15 mins late every morning. I said to my phase leader that this was unacceptable as she is getting paid for approx an hour each week where she is not actually working, not to mention starting a lesson without sitting in on the starter etc. I said that she should be ready to start work at 9AM which means she should be in school about 8:50AM so she is ready to go at 9AM. My phase leader said that as she was getting paid from 9AM to 3PM, we can't force her to be in school any earlier than 9AM!
    I think this is wrong. If you start work at 9AM, you are ready to go, not taking your coat off, getting a cup of tea, going to the loo etc. If this takes 10 mins, then you need to be in 10 mins earlier.
    What do other TAs think? Last year my TA was absolutely brilliant at taking the initiative and very self sufficient and I worry I have been spoilt and have too high expectations.
    What do you all think?
     
  2. Hello,
    I am interested in your views on this. My TA next year is well known for starting 10-15 mins late every morning. I said to my phase leader that this was unacceptable as she is getting paid for approx an hour each week where she is not actually working, not to mention starting a lesson without sitting in on the starter etc. I said that she should be ready to start work at 9AM which means she should be in school about 8:50AM so she is ready to go at 9AM. My phase leader said that as she was getting paid from 9AM to 3PM, we can't force her to be in school any earlier than 9AM!
    I think this is wrong. If you start work at 9AM, you are ready to go, not taking your coat off, getting a cup of tea, going to the loo etc. If this takes 10 mins, then you need to be in 10 mins earlier.
    What do other TAs think? Last year my TA was absolutely brilliant at taking the initiative and very self sufficient and I worry I have been spoilt and have too high expectations.
    What do you all think?
     
  3. stopwatch

    stopwatch Occasional commenter

    Regardless of what the 'rules' are, your phase leader has not given good advice or supported you.
    The TA in question should be ready to start at 9.00 am. Like you say, this means she should be in at least 10 minutes early to get herself prepared both physically and mantally.
    Have you approached her about this? is she aware of what she should be doing?
    I would take a 'softly softly' direct approach wit her first. Tell her how much you appreciate her hard work, but that you feel she would be supporting you if she were able to come in at 10 to 9 so that you can brief her on the day.
     
  4. angelface22

    angelface22 New commenter

    Your phase leader is right but I agree with you. I'm a teacher and my contracted hours are from 8.45 but I'm usually in school by 8. Hence I usually end up doing tasks that are meant to be done by a TA.
    You didn't say why this particular TA comes in late. If she is well known for this, your phase leader needs to tackle her about it.
    I would find it far more useful if TA's were contracted to start work at 8.30 and maybe finish at 3, but this is a SLT issue.
     
  5. Whilst I agree that she should be ready to start work at 9.00, please remember that, unlike teachers, TAs are paid term time only and at a much lower hourly rate.
     
  6. stopwatch

    stopwatch Occasional commenter

    This may be the case, but I still think it would be more professional if the TA were ready to work by 9.00 which it sounds like she isn't.
    I wonder what the situation is in other jobs? if I am contracted to work at ASDA on the tills from 9.00 am I am sure I would have to have taken off my coat etc and be ready at my till by 9.00 am, not merely arrive at 9.00 and spend the first 15 minutes getting ready to work on the till.
     
  7. She should be in class at 9am ready to work.
     
  8. I agree, your TA should be in the classroom ready to work at 9am.
    This is made clear to all TAs in our school by the Head.
    One of our TAs had a similar issue and the Head simply spoke to her and asked why she was consistently late. Childcare issues were offered as a reason so the Head offered her the option of starting later at 9.15, thus losing hours. In the end this TA admitted that she was struggling to organise herself in the mornings and would prefer to keep the 9 o' clock start. The lateness issue has now been resolved.

     
  9. Hourly wage and lower pay isn't any reason for arriving late at all [​IMG] I've worked in many restaurant jobs over the years and anyone who consistently arrived on the floor 10minutes late would have been fired pretty sharpish!
    Does your school have any kind of policy on when TAs should arrive? Has the TA been spoken to about their punctuality before?
     
  10. There may be reasons for her lateness. Ask her if mornings are problem for her because you have noticed that she is late every morning. I agree though she should be ready to go at 9.
     
  11. Thank you for your comments everyone! I will put some of your ideas into action in September.

     
  12. There is another issue of 'preparedness' here. How can she be prepared for the demands of the day of she has not allowed herself any time to see plans or communicate with the class teacher ahead of the day?
    How is she being deployed between 9 and 9.15 because surely this is not happening? If she had a clear task directed from 9am, then it is easy to speak to her about performance if the task is incomplete.
     
  13. Your TA should be ready to start promptly at 9.00am. I wonder, is she one of those who is out of the door bang on 3.00pm? Most TAs are in a little earlier and are often late out but this should not be expected. I would think that the majority are like me who prefer to know whats what for the day before it actually begins.
    Perhaps you could start a book with notes for her as regards your plans and suggest she spends from 9.00-9.10 reading them so she is ready to start work with the children then. I realise it makes more work for you initially but it might work in the long run.
    If she had to 'clock on' in the classroom I bet she'd be there on time!! Good luck!
     
  14. I've just finished working in a school where TAs started at 8.00 and finished at 3.30, giving us time to prepare everything for the day, discuss the plans with the teacher and do anything else that needed doing before the children arrived at 8.50. And even with those hours I still arrived at 7.45 as we were expected to start work at 8.
    Surely it makes it more difficult for your TA if she arrives late as she won't know what's going on or what she needs to do.
    You could try giving her a task to do that means she has to be there on time. For example, working with a small group that have to have completed the activity by the time the rest of the class is ready to start the main activity. You can explain to her the importance of it starting on time to fit in with the rest of the lesson. And if she's late and it doesn't get done, you can go back to your phase leader and explain she's not doing her job properly.
     
  15. glenn_xp

    glenn_xp New commenter

    I think maybe the problem here is it sounds that the TA is only paid for contact time in the classroom and not paid to start earlier to plan/go through the days agenda with the teacher. While it's reasonable and right to expect her to be in the classroom and be working at 9 on the dot it&rsquo;s not reasonable to expect her to arrive 15 mins early to meet with the teacher if she's not paid to do that.<font size="2">I know one school where TAs are paid 5 hours a day which is the 5 hours they are physically in the classroom working with the kids. This is also why they are never involved in staff meetings or the like because it would mean the school having to fork for out overtime. Which they won't. Sadly it just leads to bad feeling all round. TAs think the school doesn&rsquo;t value them and school thinks the TA's are always watching the clock and out the door at 3pm. Well why shouldn't they be?</font>
     
  16. I am an LSA, paid from 8.55 to 15.25 excl. break and lunch. I arrive 8.30 to liaise with class teacher, administer first aid break and lunch times as well as supervise bus children after school. Apparently I am valued. Sadly I am taken advantage of. Fortunately, I have a job.
     
  17. Our day used to start at 5 to 9 when the children come in. This did cause a lot of problems as we were arriving the same time as the children. CTs found it impossible to communicate with TAs. We are now paid to start at 1/4 to 9. This gives us the time to go through the day with CT and also to get some photocopying done. It has made all the difference to the running of the day.
    Funny thing is we have a TA with similar problems to OP. Some teachers have refused to work with her. She occasionally gets told off but that is it. problem has been going on for years. She is also late back after lunch. We get fed up too as someone have to 'take up the slack' on occasions.
    CTs have written her jobs in a book for her and all sorts have been tried, but nothing changes. Grrrr She does at least an hour a week less than the rest of us, yet still gets paid the same.
    Oh her excuse. She needs a new clock!!!! This has been used for as mant years as she has been doing the job! In industry if you are over 3 mins late you loose a half hours pay. bet she wouldnt be doing this that often if that were the case.
     
  18. this really annoys me .....................
    why doesnt HT do something about it.
    I am contracted to work 8.45 / 3.45
    I arrive 8.30sh but do not leave until at least 5.oclock to meet with CT ( no overtime given.
    it also gives myself and CT feedback time ( 2 way partnership......

     
  19. Do you claim the time back Newsky? Some of the TAs where I work stay longer but then bank the time so they can have an extra week off.
     
  20. In most jobs an employee that arrived late every day would be verbally warned, get a written warning and then sacked. Why are schools so different?
     

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