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Male Teaching Assistants

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Gratzia, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Gratzia

    Gratzia New commenter

    The reason I am starting this post is because someone I know is training to be a TA at the moment and he would certainly be an asset to any primary school due to his personality, commitment and caring attitude, however, he doesn't feel confident that there will be a job at the end of it due to his age. He is in his fifties. I wonder what the chances are of him even getting an interview. I would be interested to know if any headteachers would ever consider a male TA in their 50's to work in their primary school.
    I think he would be good role model. They're always going on about needing more male teachers in primary schools so why not older teaching assistants?

  2. mickeyforpresident

    mickeyforpresident New commenter

    I have enployed several male TAs.
  3. age no prob. He could easily have more energy and enthusiasm than someone
    much younger. gender no prob. We are desperate for more positive male role models for our young peopleto work alongside with.
  4. Looking at his position, I'd say he's got an excellent chance; won't get pregnant, (probably) less likely to move house for partner's job, (probably) won't want time off for young poorly kids at home, (probably)won't through a wobbly because his boyfriend dumped him, etc etc. I've usually found older staff to be much more reliable and down to earth than youngsters.
  5. (Probably) will be able to spell "throw" !
  6. In secondary schools most TAs seem to be ensuring that many students become totally reliant on them, do the kids work for them, or just sit there chewing gum and offering the teacher tea. So much could be achieved if the money that has been spent on many (NOT ALL) TAs was put into the wage packets of good teachers, raising the status of these teachers to that of Lawyers and Doctors and therefore encouraging future 'better' teachers to enter the profession.

    Why be a TA? Why not become a teacher?
  7. We have several male TA's in the school where I teach. All of them are excellent. Some will go on to train as teachers. It is a very good way of learning how to teach, watching the different styles of teaching employed by different members of staff.
  8. Jonha

    Jonha New commenter

    I agree with others that he should be a wonderful asset.
    But there is a potential dark side to outward appearances. Many junior staff (age and experience) will feel threatened having someone with so much life experience in their class.
    So a lot will depend on your friend's experience in dealing with inexperience!
    If he does want to get over involved and tell younger staff what to do or worse still, that they don't know what they are doing, then he will soon be frozen out. (To be fair, a large amount of TAs are like this whatever the gender).
    If he can make it clear (not least at the interview stage) that he is there to offer - offer- his experience but never to confuse his role, then ironically you may find all the insecure teachers fight to get him in the class.

  9. Professor Peter Blatchford wrote a report last year making exactly the same point.

  10. I forgot the quotation:
    Professor Peter Blatchford wrote a report last year making exactly the same point.

  11. Antinko

    Antinko New commenter

    I'm a 24 year old NQT of English and I just got a retired male TA in two of my KS3 classes after Christmas. I must say that the chap is an absolute hero and I feel lucky to have him. :)
    Even though the man's knowledge of literature isn't expansive, his worldly experience is and he brings a lot to the classroom. The kids really respect him too.

  12. I manage a key stage 3/4 PRU and have recenly taken on three male LSA's, two in their 40's and one in his 50's. They are all fab, non threatening. loads of life experience and I am sure that primary heads would be pleased to employ your friend.
  13. I'm a male TA. I was going for interviews for 3 months before I was successful - and in each case but one I lost out to a female TA. This is something that you cannot really complain about, but it does raise an eyebrow. For those 3 months I was volunteering in schools throughout London, and often entering classes with no male role-models.
    I wouldn't want to see a school entirely staffed with men, as again there'd be a huge gap, but schooling (in my case, primary) is offen followed by hours spent with a female nanny or au pair, and there must be some negative impact on children.
    Other than positive handling training and my own personal reading, and basic first aid skills, I have no special training for this role.
  14. and probably won't be sexist either
  15. Tell him not to worry. My old boss was quite high up in management when he retired mid to late 50s. He retrained as a TA in a primary school and absolutely loves it. He gets a hell of a lot more job satisfaction now than he did beforehand!
  16. There are 3 male TA's in our primary school and they are fantastic role models for the kids. We also have a 40 something volunteer who is planning on taking TA qualifications soon. I think most primary schools would be happy to have male TA's whatever their age.

  17. [
    That could be why you are losing out. In our local authority you HAVE to have NVQ 2 (or equivalent) Teaching Assistant or child care qualifications as a minimum requirement.
  18. I was a male TA in my 40s and I absolutely loved it. I think the pupils actually find it refreshing to have a male LSA for a change. I have subsequently gone on to become a teacher but if TAs were better paid I think I would have remained one. It is a thoroughly rewarding job and probably the best route into teaching.
  19. As a 56-year-old (57 in 21 days) NQT in my Induction Year I can only applaud another fiftysomething to the profession. You will be employed when you find a school where leadership values experience, maturity, imagination, creativity and determination. It took me from uni graduation in June to the start of Spring term but I landed on my feet in a fantastic, supportive school with an English faculty whose ages range from 22 to 63. Amen!

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