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Is being a TA the right move for me?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by nick_smith0900, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. nick_smith0900

    nick_smith0900 New commenter

    Hi I am currently a Police Officer who will be retiring in the next two years and I will be looking for a new job. My children think I would be a good TA especially working with young children. I will be 52 so is that too old to start looking. Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Certainly not too old, but have you any idea of what a TA does?
    It does involve working 'under the instruction of the teacher, would you find that difficult, if the 'teacher' was quite young?
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  3. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    You’ll probably need to do some volunteering to get some experience in the classroom. Otherwise it can be very difficult to get interviews.
    phlogiston, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I’m currently recruiting some of these retiring police officers at the age of 50. Do you not have a degree? What they are doing is getting their degree through the Open Uni in the last few years before retirement and that springboards them into a very well paid training year upon their retirement from the police. You are certainly not too old, far from it.
  5. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    You are definitely not too old! I've been a TA then an HLTA for close to 30 years - the role has changed beyond recognition, but it's still a great job. There are things to consider; mainly the very low salary! But, if that doesn't worry you, why not enquire about voluntary work at your local primary school? You could offer general help in the classroom, or something specific like hearing readers. Good luck!
  6. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    No mate. Not too old at all. But I don’t think TA. I feel non classroom based may suit. And maybe In secondary.

    I tell you what may suit you, and I’m going to generalise a bit as you’re a PO. Google behaviour managers or attendance officers. Your experience would lead you well into these.

    TA: do you know what they do? Because without a concept of education and pedagogy- even at TA level- I’m not sure you yet have the skills. TAs don’t belong to the ‘mothers army’ of simply classroom helpers these days. You may be expected to lead intervention for example. Can you do this?
    Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  7. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I totally disagree, ex police and ex army have no advantage in behaviour management at all, largely because of their experience of situations in which compliance is forced, not coerced.

    Nothing wrong with looking into being a TA. You could be brilliant! you do have 15 years of working life left though, and that is a long time to be sitting on those tiny primary school chairs.

    Look into "Now teach" - retired people becoming teachers. We have a couple in our school, and they are fantastic.

    Then you would get to sit in an adult chair.....

    seriously, you would then have far more options, TA, private tutor, teacher, behaviour management, pastoral care. etc.
    1970devon, MrLW1, Pomza and 2 others like this.
  8. krakowiak6

    krakowiak6 Occasional commenter

    Didn't think you need a degree to be a TA. Why are police officers allowed to retire at 50 and everyone else has to plod on till 65? Not fair.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Age is not an issue, and your background in theory is great.

    In practice I have known two TAs who were former police officers, and both are terrible TAs. They find it difficult to be flexible to needs (they need to learn etc), respond badly to teachers telling them what to do (they don't appreciate me, I'm not a dog's body etc), and routinely talk about how they used to be police officers.

    Obviously these are just two out of hundreds, you may well have no problem with any of these things!

    What I would say is that I could imagine both of these TAs being excellent in a youth program run outside of schools but perhaps supporting children who are having difficulties in school. This would give them a degree of autonomy, flexibility on their terms and a good environment to share some of their experience in a more appropriate setting.
    Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  10. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    because of the devastating impact that night shifts have on your health. Because of the devastating impact that bullets have on your health.

    Come on, there is no comparison. Teaching can be hell, but we are rarely shot at or expecting to be on duty at 3am
    1970devon, MrLW1, LPC3 and 3 others like this.
  11. krakowiak6

    krakowiak6 Occasional commenter

    I wasn't talking about American police officers. UK police officers are hardly shot at and any armed villains would be intercepted by armed police.

    Anyway, the best TAs in my opinion are young, flexible and easy-going people such as A level students who left school a few years ago or single mums.
  12. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I’m not saying they have any unique advantage, I’m saying that without significant training they wouldn’t get an interview for a TA. Whereas this is a Job that wouldn’t require significant training.

    And I think you’re wrong anyway

    1) deescalation techniques.
    2) calmness and ability to work under pressure
    3) experience of working with multiple agencies
    4) experience in having difficult conversations with parents

    All important attributes in non teaching roles.

    The OP doesn’t intimate the have a degree. They clearly don’t want another career either it seems- hence looking at a TA role
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
    Lara mfl 05 and phlogiston like this.
  13. tigerswin

    tigerswin New commenter

    In the last couple of years I have worked with both an NQT and a TA who were former police officers. My cousin, who was a police officer, became a registrar so I don’t think the education sector is the only option for you. Whatever you decide, you are not too old!
    Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  14. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I'm not "wrong" as I am saying what I have seen, that ex army and ex police are disasters in the classroom, and I imagine that is becasue of their expectation of compliance and back up , and stuff that teachers don't get.

    Doesn't mean they all are, just the few that I have met. Hopefully the OP will be fine
  15. krakowiak6

    krakowiak6 Occasional commenter

    Yes police officers like to dictate to people, don't listen very carefully, are impatient and not very polite. There may be some who could be a good TA, but there are many candidates out there who are better suited, eg ex sixth formers and single mums.
    bajan likes this.
  16. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I’m Intrigued about the obsession of single mums? Why not a man? Or a partnered mum?

    It’s way too simplistic to say that a certain subgroup are suited... its down to the individual.
  17. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    Police who retire at 50 will have joined at a young age and would have completed 30 years.

    30 years of:
    Threatening situations;
    Risky situations;
    Dealing with trauma;
    Shift work.

    These will all impact on the body- health conditions and mental health issues such as PTSD. The role can be very physical.

    The shift is not shift work with set hours- sometimes shifts are longer due to dealing with emergencies. Yes, it would be paid overtime however it would impact on rest time.

    There is a requirement for physical fitness.

    The job of being police officer has become even more challenging over the years. The respect for the police is low- demonstrated in cases recently. It is no longer ‘Heartbeat’ in any area and likely never has been in the big cities.

    When each day could be a life or death situation for you or others, that can take a toll.

    Retired police officers typically keep working in alternative jobs or careers, often beyond standard retirement age. They offer a wealth of skills and experience to many roles.
  18. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I’ve known school staff email at 3am during impending OFSTED although suppose that counts as ‘rarely.’

    Don’t see why not if you want to do it. Downsides might be low salary (although with police pension etc imagine that keeping busy and in work might be a bigger factor) and whether you can accept seeing higher paid teachers who could be your son/daughter age wise. Dealing with the public in challenging circumstances will be valuable experience.

    For the record, a teacher who was an ex manager in industry was one of the best ‘career change’ teachers I’ve ever known whose behaviour management in a tough school was legendary.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I have known TAs who were doctors asd solicitors in previous careers and have also known TAs who never went to university or trained in a profession. In 10 years of supply work I have never met a TA that wasnt good at their job and they deserve a lot more money than the receive.

    No, 52 isnt too old, but you need some experience to see if working with children is for you since that has to be your passion as otherwise you will not enjoy it.
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    Teachers can retire at 50 should they so choose. So can others.

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