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Male Teaching Assistants

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

  1. As a 51yr old PGCE student in Lifelong skills I read with interest the various comments on employment of mature NQTs. Yes, we are out there and well done those of you who have made it into the profession. How rewarding..hard work...but well up on the job satisfaction ratings!!
    I would imagine there is scope for adult educators in Community schools for lifelong (numeracy) and functional skills...hopefully will be in amongst it sometime...somewhere!

  2. I have a friend also who is a PGCE trainee age 61. Older people will have to be welcomed in the workplace, as the pension age rises, and the population of older people blossoms.
    He had to endure hearing the University Careers Officer bragging at the start of the year that he had 'almost found a job' for a student over 50.
    A big mindset shift is needed here.

  3. I have been a SENCO for 12 years +. I have employed male LSAs but not nearly enough as there is always a shortage - mainly due to the pay on offer. I wish more men would apply as I feel that an all female group of support staff does not give pupils enough balance - particulary the many boys who have no male role model at home. I generally find older staff are more reliable and have more to offer the pupils and so have never descriminated against an applicant for this reason - even when it was legal to do so!
  4. What the Government and TDA "go on about" and what the profession and gatekeepers will accept are 2 completely different things.
    I have been bombarded by the TDA since expressing an interest in training for KS2 Primary. Fantastic news. I am a mid forties male, with a career full of achievement starting at the bottom and ending in senior management. I am not naive and I am aware I would be embarking on a completely new path, and whilst bringing a wealth of skills to the party, I am well aware I would be a new boy; a starter with a big "L plate" around my neck - and surprise surprise that is part of the attraction.
    Then I began to engage with the old school in the profession.
    - "Mid forties males are the highest risk group for dropping out - not prepared to be told what to do by someone half their age (and implied........a female! shock, horror!!)
    - "It's not easy you know!"
    I honestly cant be bothered to go on with the other oft repeated barriers put in my way. I have come to the conclusion the old school who currently preside over training in the profession are simply running scared of the wave of second career high achievers bringing huge amounts of skills and professionalism into teaching at a time when the trend is towards taking schools and education more towards a business model, and the management and performance methods anyone in that sector is so used to.
    So, depsite all the goodly **** spouted by the TDA, I have given up and decided to continue earning >£100k and retire 15 years earlier.
    Your friend hasnt got a hope in hell of finding a job in a school anyone else wants to work in.
  5. My husband is a TA in a pupil referral unit.He changed careers last year at 47.Coming from industry he has alot to offer as well as being a well needed role model for the boys!
  6. There is hope out there. I started as a TA after retiring from my desk job at 55. I was in the process of undertaking a course which would lead me to being qualified to teach Lit and Num to adults. After a few weeks on a work-based placement at a drop in study centre, I concluded that I did not want to teach adults, but children.
    I was fortunate enough to know someone who worked as an Admin Ass't in a Merseyside local authority primary school, just at the time when "proper" Teaching Assistants were being introduced, some nine years ago now. The acting head actually offered me a job without even meeting me - thanks to an introduction - but I persuaded her that it might be better for both of us if we at least me before the start date. I was offered and accepted a trial until the Easter to see if we suited each other ...
    T C A L S S .... I have been in the job for nine years next week. I "teach" Literacy and Numeracy to small intervention groups of Y5 / Y6 pupils away from the classrooms. I follow the Springboard programme for Maths and a guided approach to Literacy loosely following the programmes that the LA pupils are following. Activity has varied over the years, depending upon cohort needs - some years I have been totally classroom support. In addition, I look after the Y5/6 home reader scheme weekly book changing as well as some of the multifarious other clerical and admin tasks which arise from time to time. I even do marking of Maths and Science termly assessments and produce the results in tabulated report form for Teachers' ease of understanding. My latest specialism appears to be Health and Safety risk assessments for school visits and trips.
    I do get to go on many of the trips - museums, cinema, zoo, swimming and even the end of year school camps to N Wales. I work mornings only, so I can get my afternoon nap (!!!) - not. But one thing is certain - I feel younger now than when I started the job.
    There are jobs out there if you can find the right school and the right Headteacher.

  7. At my secondary school we have a Maths TA in, I would guess, his late-forties and he really brings a lot to the job. I expect in Primary Schools where they want more men, he would be even more in demand.
    Steve1964 is dead wrong in saying there is no way this man will get a job, as others in this thread have proven, and my own experience shows. Whether it is an advantage or disadvantage to be a middle aged male, I can't say, but it does not make it impossible.
    Of course, if a man applying for such jobs came across as domineering and unable to follow the leadershipof younger people and/or women, that might be different, but such an attitude woud be problematic in anyone, regardless of age or gender.
    Of course, some interview panels WILL be biased against you, but that can be true for many reasons. You just need to try somewhere else, as you probably would not want to work for someone with that attitude anyway!
  8. As a teacher who works with Ray (see previous message), I can only confirm and, to a small extent, develop his remarks. Being a mature male in a primary school, Ray provides an excellent role model for both boys and girls, demonstrating both a caring approach and bringing a range of experience and attitudes informed by his family life, previous career and extensive travels.
    The three teachers who work with Ray are (just about) in their 20s and 30s, and this has provided no barrier to our working relationship whatsoever. We know that we can rely on him to take initiative and rely on his resourcefulness and intuitiveness when necessary.
    I am sure that there are many excellent younger TAs out there, but for the purposes of this forum, I can highly recommend more experienced TAs to work with our children.
  9. He should go for it. I was taken on as a teaching assistant at 55 after 29 years as a police officer. I worked in a middle school for two years and have now been working in a local primary school for nearly two years. Age is of absolutely no concern at all. My experience as a cop and before that in engineering gives the pupils an insight into the whole point of education. I have brought up my own children and now have three grandchildren. I absolutely love the job and it gives me huge satisfaction. As an aside I now appreciate how hard our teachers work. Any manager, who discounts taking on an older man, is denying a great opportunity to all in a school.
  10. Quite agree.
  11. Totally agree! Have had all the above and more!!!
  12. Gratzia

    Gratzia New commenter

    I know it's a long time since the last post but he did get a job - a learning mentor. He is an asset to the schools he works. His life experience and dedication makes me feel ashamed!
  13. violingirl

    violingirl New commenter

    What an incredibly sexist and ageist post!
  14. ......but factual..........

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