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Making the switch from teaching to teaching assistant

Discussion in 'Primary' started by beesknees71, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. My friend from church has switched in the last year from full time teacher to part time special needs assistant. She loves it because she now has time for her children and husband as well. I can see how much happier she is. It's absolutely visible. So I hope this might help you decide. Life is too short to go around feeling guilty. Personally I believe family come first, especially children. After all, once they've grown up you can't get the years back again. I know that first hand as mine are grown up now. Don't waste your life being unhappy when you can change it by choice. I hope this helps.
  2. rouseau22

    rouseau22 New commenter

    As Yoda said "Do or do not, there is no try."
    If you stick to something that you really really don't like, THAT shows lack of back bone. I just quit teaching for all the reasons we see every day on these boards. Even though the holidays are great ect ect I just don't like it Following children around with a camera and clipboard isn't my idea of giving a quality education anyway.
    I worked hard to become a teacher and there are aspects that I love, but 90% of the things that eat into your time are so pointless it's laughable.
    My head asked me if I thought I should be a TA. But for that much of a drop in money, you sure would have to be dedicated to looking after someone else's children. I don't think TA's are paid enough, but then you would have your evenings and weekends back. However it's a full time job for less than full time money. Part time teaching might be the way forward. I was offered part time and I would have accpted that but for the fact that I want to try something different now.
    Don't listen to people who have never been a teacher, they all think we go home at 4 and that's it. Maybe if we had less initiatives and less pointless staff meetings about intiatives we could put more effort into the bits we like like actually TEACHING.
    As for 'coping' in the 'real' world, hmm, been there, funnily enough no one ever gave me a job to do ( or several at once) minus the equipment with which to do it and no time to do it in and then asked for results whislt pencilling in time to come and watch me...

  3. quite right too - part time teaching pay will be equivalent to full-time TA pay. I've been teaching for 26 years and wish I'd got out sooner - i love what I do but the loss of self-esteem and personal life just to prove I'm fantastic really isn't worth it - wish I'd got out sooner!!!
  4. It;s taken me a long time to realise back bone actually means having the strength to walk away!

  5. If you feel that becoming a TA would be an easier option then it may be that your TA is not doing as much as she should be doing. I appreciate that young teachers can find it difficult to delegate stuff to older or more experienced TAs but we don't bite and most of us are happy to help.
    I work as a TA because the hours and holidays fit around my childcare needs but the money is dire, the work demanding and the lack of respect and status dispiriting. I have a 1st class honours degree but can't get HLTA pay and status as the small primary schools in this area can't afford to pay the extra - but I am still expected to cover PPA and teacher absence, plan lessons, differentiate for children with ALN and teach catch-up programmes in maths and literacy. The only way I can earn more as a TA (as we are only paid between 9am and 3.30pm) would be to cover breakfast and home work clubs which would make a working day of 8am-6pm and would defeat the object of being there for my children.
    If your husband's job is secure and he earns a good wage so you don't need a large second income then being a TA may be an option for you but if you need to earn good money then stay as a teacher!
    Good luck
  6. Hi, I can understand your frustration at your inability to get the work/family balance. I found it impossible whilst I was a full time teacher so I decided to work part-time when I had my children and it was the best thing I ever did. I also considered working as a TA but luckily my deputy talked me out of it. Working 2-3 days a week would be financially better than working full-time as a TA. You also get to stay in the job you trained so hard to do as well as having a healthy work/family relationship. However, if you decide to work part-time, make sure you have a cut off point or you will end up putting in full-time hours for part-time pay!! Good luck with whatever you decide.
  7. I just think this thread is so sad. Its sad that teachers are pushed to the point of resignation after all their hard work to become a teacher in the first place just because of constant government interference and policy change. And that, as in my school, good teachers are constantly penalised for the actions of poor ones as SLT have to monitor to the lowest common denominator for fear of allegations of discrimination.Something has to change in education and soon - this system cannot continue. Professionals should not be treated this way. Good teachers should not have to choose between thier careers and their families in order to do a good job.

    Good luck to all of us!
  8. rouseau22

    rouseau22 New commenter

    Exactly. Courage to say, actually guys, dont think I like this, ta ta!
    Ive had quite a few sneaky 'good on you's'. I think the whole thing is just so so sad. Lots of really nice, really creative teachers chucking it in. Putting it down to 'backbone' is really missing the point and rather indicative of the mentality in the education system at the moment.
    Being told to 'Cowboy up' all the time is getting on my nerves. I was an artist ( amongst other thing) before I was a teacher and I was TOLD how the display needed to look. I had no say in it. none. And that's the fun part of teaching!
    I'm sick of going on courses about how to make writing interesting for boys- not something ive ever had a problem with actually ( Ive had them writing letters to dragons, pirates, ect ect. We none of need the LEA to tell us this stuff. except we aren't allowed to change the plans to reflect this stuff), I get TOLD to follow the plans. I get TOLD to follw their interests. Whilst following the plans to the letter.
    We are doing farms. In an inner city school. We haven't been to a farm yet. Unsurprisingly the children are not as interested as they were in Chinese New Year- Tigers, Dragons, Cooking, Chinese writing , lanterns ect ad nauseum. We got told we could devote one day to it.
    It's all so counter intuitive. Your'e not allowed to use your common sense. I HAD to put out water play despite the fact that it was minus temperatures outside. Like, DUUUUUDES its gonna FREEEEZE! Every Child a Talker, quick or you've FAILED! But please little Jimmy, run around the playground with your fruit and semi frozen tangerine that you can't open in mittens, speaking to no one, you need continuous provision or we've FAILED.
    All the stupid double think and double speak, I cannot wait to be shot of it all. So maybe you should run for the hills instead!
  9. I think you are being too hard on yourself. You are relatively new to teaching and are still adapting your techniques and style. You are a good teacher and you are probably doing everything properly. Make sure you have at least 3 nights off each week and a whole day at the weekend free from school work. I too am in my second year of teaching and trained to be a teacher after being a TA, I would never go back. Soon you will look back and see how far you have come. :)) Teaching is demanding, just proritise the tasks. Good luck.
  10. Yes, just made a move. Teacher with loads of responsibility - via some incredibly well paid supply teaching, to TA3. 4 day post, one day to continue doing the supply work if I feel financially in need of it occasionally, and the rest with my three children. Fantastic hours, no contest :)
  11. After reading some of the replys I would definitely go along with the ones that suggest part-time. I worked full time for 8 years before my children came along and then I did 0.4 and now do 0.5. It is by no means stress free and does bring along with it some stresses of its own. I am very lucky and have a wonderful job-share partner but we still sometimes stress each other out!

    It's definitely worth considering first and then if that doesn't work out you could look at a TA/classroom assistant's job. It seems madness to throw it all away without trying some alternatives.

    I think working full time as a teacher when you have children (even teenagers!) is highly stressful and if you don't HAVE to work full time (ie financially it isn't a necessity) then go for reducing your hours. Remember even as a TA are you going to be able to take your children to school, pick them up at the end of the day? At least this way you'd have days when you could do this. it's not just great for your kids it's great for their mum too!

    Hope you find a happy solution.
  12. Suggest one option you consider if you can is a jobshare-my wife did this for a few years & with a young family it seemed to work well. Be careful who you do the jobshare with though.
  13. They are 2 very different kinds of jobs--both worthy and useful. Which are you best suited for, never mind the training etc--perhaps you will be the worlds happiest EA! That takes talent, and is a godsend to a classroom teacher
  14. Hi, I have done both full and part time and have two young children too. I did a bit of TA work a while back and depending on where you are, I think you might get bored. Currently, I do part time in two schools and a bit of supply too. It is not just the hours in the school when you are doing full time but all the responsibility that goes with them. Being part time/supply means you get to leave that behind. However, it also means that you can go back to it when your children get older. That way you will also have kept up to date with things. Good luck. I know what it is like to be in that position especially when you have lots of things to do at home which just don't do themselves.
  15. I think proving you can 'cope' and pushing yourself in a job that you don't feel you can manage is unhealthy. I have been qualified 7 years and think to myself everyday that it is supposed to be a job, not a lifestyle. I think if someone has the confidence to hold up their hands and say they want to enjoy their family then credit to them.Missing their childhoods would be a terrible thing to regret and you can always return to teaching later.

  16. Hi there
    teaching is very stressful, there is no doubt. I'm 41 and have been teaching since I was almost 22. I now have 2 boys, age 1 and 2 and took a year's Mat leave with my second (accrued a lot of debt as a result but didn't/don't care as I knew I wouldn't be having any more and wanted to spend that time with them).
    My hubby works at the weekend and we only have every 2nd Sunday togeher so I decided to reduce my hours and now I don't work on a Wednesday. It is BLISS!!!! Really breaks up the week and when I take the children somewhere, it's nice and quiet.
    I'm down £400 per month which would have really helped in clearing my debt but the difference to my quality of life is worth it. A lot of colleagues have said they wished they'd done the same when they had their children and one who will be retiring in a couple of years has now dropped a Monday.
    I'd definitely consider reducing your hours rather than becoming a TA, they get paid peanuts and in my experience, have to work really really hard and long hours! You'll still earn a good salary and have the option of going back full-time or whatever when your children are over.
    I think the demands and expectations on teachers now are very high, and especially new teachers who are still trying to "prove" themselves. The probationers in my school are expected to do an after school club unpaid. This is because, in the past, some of them volunteered to do football/netball or whatever, obviously to create a good impression and no harm to them for it.
    I think it's outrageous that now ours are told they have to do it. I do tell them that I'll speak to the union but of course, they don't want to rock the boat. I suppose I wouldn't either.
    Anyway, only YOU can decide what's right for you and your family. We've had a TA who has just become a tecaher at the age of 40, her children a re a bit older but she is finding it really intense.
    Good luck, love Cubbie
  17. With about as much experience as Beesknees, I went looking for a part-time job. I had two boys aged 10 and 13 at the time and I just completed the teacher returners course. After a lot of searching I started work in a temporary two term job (0.7). It expanded into all the hours that I could give it (which is a danger which she needs to watch out for).
    Since then I started to work for a supply agency but I really want a permanent part time position. I have had two long term part-time supply positions which have each been about a year long. At the end of each I have been offered either a full-time position or 0.8.and declined both.Admittedly I am a secondary school subject teacher, but I would say there are very few part-time or job share positions out there.
    I haven't gone down the TA route but I am not working at the moment, still looking four years later!

  18. rach1968

    rach1968 New commenter

    Part-time may be the way to go - although I did it for 6 months last year and found I was working nearly as much. I also work with someone who is only part-time and she seems to be in work as much as I am.
    I also know that - certainly in my school - our HLTAs have almost as stressful a time as we do! It's hard covering a class in the afternoons - as they often do - as the class are much more inclined to do nothing! Our HLTAs also suggest that you would have to do some training - even though you are a teacher - to enable you to have HLTA status. It's worth looking into that before you make your mind up.
    Can I also say - this is my second year of teaching and I'm finding things easier and am working less at the weekends than I was last year. Perhaps you could stick with it and see what it's like after this year. It does seem that teaching can be a very all consuming job - as others have said - but you have to make sure you prioritise and do what is necessary to tick the right boxes and make sure you are doing the right thing by the children in your class, not easy I know!
  19. I'm in total agreement with you - being part time does not mean that you don't have any responsibilities - I am the SENCo and part of the Management team - it helps that my school OH and I have the same aims and philosophy and that we have a fabulous relationship (we are both in and out of the classroom everyday and I don't think the children notice who is supposed to be there!) My point is I think that being part time doesn't put you 'below' others or mean that you are taking a back seat professionally.
  20. A lot of primary schools just can't afford HLTA's even though they are earning peanuts. Lots seem to get the qualification and then can't earn any extra at all. If it were me, I'd be taking a part time teaching job and keeping up to date with everything that's going on. At our school we have teachers who just work one or two days covering PPA etc.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.

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