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Me and My TA

Discussion in 'Primary' started by xbhappy4evax, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. xbhappy4evax, Waterfin, Lizziebett and the rest. Do you not know the recent history of education in UK? (In my day, we went back to the 19th century.) You originally got TAs, on the same pay as floor staff in Tesco, when government finally saw the sense of teachers' complaints about wasting their expensive time doing the kind of jobs other professionals would have typists and filing clerks to do. Your incompetent Unions didn't make sure they were legally denied any role that every other country I have worked in would require a teaching qualification for, so now you have TAs, on a third of teachers' pay, doing exactly the same kind of teaching - whole classes, regularly or supplying for absent teacher colleagues, special needs - that was done by QTs. Hence the difficulties in finding job vacancies I see voiced in these columns. Why would a Head pay a teacher 3 times as much to get a job done when TAs are eager to jump in to do it at least to the low level acceptable here, but often better (since you now have TAs who are QTs, as well as TAs who are more competent than some teachers, esp NQTs)? You ought to be very glad to have somebody do all that work for you on a third of the pay you are getting (as Ucan2 recognises), in effect less than a third as apparently they're doing unpaid overtime, something your higher salary is supposed to allow for. Have you actually calculated your effective hourly rate for the number of hours you find essential to do the job? Probably not. But it's the only way of measuring how your job is valued by those who pay you - government or tax-payers - and that may disappoint you. Someone has already pointed out that the TU official was also a dumbo, but your post implies the same about his audience since, apparently, no-one asked him for chapter and verse, as one might have expected a class of postgrads to do. I had an enjoyable career in teaching, though mainly in Tertiary, but when I browse the Forums now my main reaction is "Why did they go into or why do they stay in teaching?"
  2. Why on earth do you think "she and I" should read "my TA and I"? "She" has a perfectly unambiguous antecedent, and the purpose of a PROnoun is to avoid repetition of a noun.
  3. My TAs quite openly say that they are glad to be able to leave 10 minutes after the children and accept the rate of pay for the family friendly hours it gives them. They are all terrific at their job whether it is working directly with children or doing all the other jobs. (no TAs teaching classes inour school) As someone who started teaching many years before TAs in classrooms was the norm I am quite willing to get in early and do my own photocopying for the day and also to laminate/mount work etc if I want it done. I have also cleaned up mess of various kinds (!) and will wipe tables and clean the sink at the end of the day. I like a tidy classroom and don't expect my TA to stay and do this after her hours.
    Pay for hours worked is an interesting idea. I once counted up the hours worked in a typical week- at home and at school including planning, preparation, marking, meetings, clubs etc and found that my 'hourly rate' was much lower than I expected- not much more than an HLTA. polygossy- if you have worked 'mainly in tertiary' as you say I think you would be astonished at the hours put in by the average concientious primary school teacher. I have done some adult ed college teaching where I was able to roll up 20 minutes before the first session and leave straight after the last one- very different to full time primary teaching!
  4. Yes, Anedd, and thanks. I know how much work Primary teachers put in and am amazed at how many go into the job, apparently without realizing what's involved, as they start complaining here almost immediately. When I started (and I have ex-Primary teacher relations of my age), they spent the day teaching children, inc the different "care" needs of the younger children, but had little in the way of formal marking to do, offset by all the classroom decoration, etc that secondary teachers don't have, and of course none of the all-important form-filling now required. I went into tertiary when I realised that it was the only way to ensure that I could teach (no social work) my subjects to students who were there by choice. I posted the following in a different Forum: - I was an MFL teacher and colleagues were always surprised about the system that pertains in most of mainland Europe. Continental colleagues with high confidence in their abilities liked the "freedom of movement" of our system (at least as it was in the 60s-80s) but were put off by this possibility of personal bias, and the lack of the virtual guarantee of tenure they had. I would now prefer that system, in the form I know best, the French, since A) your teaching hours are defined and B) are your only real duty; and C) you can only be asked to teach the subject/s you are qualified in - as you've probably found, teachers over there are amazed at the idea of being "qualified" as a generic teacher of any age and any subject a head sees fit to assign you to.
  5. Sorry, Jannedd, I miss-typed you.
  6. My experienced level 2 TA was on more pay than me during my NQT year. Some level 3 TAs in school were on more than me last year too. TAs that are unhappy with their wage do have the potential to train and go up a level for a better wage.
    In our school, L1/2 TAs do not take whole classes. The only TAs that do cover are Level 3 TAs and they are paid well for it.
  7. Impulse, in answer to your question, you would not be right in thinking that I feel "patronised" having jobs delegated to me by somebody who is less experienced and my junior in terms of age.
    In my school the teachers wouldn't dream of asking a TA to do classroom displays as they see it as part of their role in maintaining a vibrant, interesting environment. As TAs, we have our own rooms and areas where we also take great pride in our displays. If any member of staff was having difficulty we would support each other.
    I have worked with many student teachers and NQTs extremely successfullythank you!
    TAs are contracted (in my school at least) to work from 8.45 to 4.00. However, I arrive at 8am and finish between 5 and 6 most evenings.
    I disagree with your statement "You're there to help the teacher". As a staff, we are there to improve and enrich the lives of each and every child in our school. We achieve this by working together with mutual support and respect for each other.

  8. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    What does TA stand for again . . . . ?
    No I don't mean that TAs aren't vital to the smooth running of a school. The TA in my class and I get on very well with each other. You just seem to have got your back up about something.
  9. My thoughts exactly. Teachers wouldn't dream of asking TAs to do a display?! They have a right to do that though.
    What goes on in the TA rooms and areas that you mention?
  10. TA stands for TEACHING ASSISTANT (ie, we are assisting the child with their learning) not Teacher's Assistant!
    The TA room is used for children that have been targeted for Wave 3 interventions, IEP groups, SULP groups, guided reading, (Social Use language Programmes) ect. We have an interactive whiteboard, 2 PCs and 5 laptops and a resourse room.
  11. Do you ever work with Wave 1 children in Literacy and Numeracy sessions or is you role to remove the SEN children each session? Just interested...
  12. Yes, we do work with Wave 1 children within the classroom. SEN children are not removed during the maths and literacy sessions, unless it is necessary to spend more time on a specific activity or to consolidate their learning.
  13. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Umm, surely TEACHING ASSISSTANT would mean to assist the teaching? How that happens is up to the teacher in charge. That might mean freeing up some of the teacher's time by laminating and doing displays (which are tasks a teacher is not meant to be doing).
    If you have a good relationship with the teacher then you can work out the balance together, much like I do in my class.
    The type of role you are talking about is very specific and doesn't apply to most TAs.
  14. So whilst a TA is "freeing up your time by laminating and doing your displays", how can she possibly be assisting the teaching of a child or children? This also begs the question, who is doing my displays and laminating?
    As a staff we work colaboratively.
  15. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Which is what I and most people here have been saying. You just seem to think a TA shouldn't do some of the tasks for which they are employed.
    The freeing up time comment related to the fact that if a teacher didn't have as much laminating/displays to do they would be able to concentrate fully on their teaching/planning/assessment.
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    As a TA I am happy to do whatever the teacher I am working with thinks is the best use of my time.
    If that is laminating and displays - so be it.
    I will give mey opinion, but it is theit decision at the end of the day. That makes me happy - I hate thinking.
  17. I can only speak for myself and the TAs in my school and putting up teacher's displays is not one of my roles, nor is it in my job description. However, we all play a part in making the school a lively interesting environment and put up displays in our TA room and some delegated parts of the school.
    Perhaps you could delegate laminating / cutting out / and display stuff to parent helpers or work experience students. To enable highly skilled, in our case,TAs to get on with the job of working with the children.
  18. We have a reprographics person to do it all, thankgod

  19. At my school, we are not expected to attend inset days as we are not paid for them. We do however put in plenty of unpaid time during the course of the year as it is, every week in fact. We don't get any planning/preparation time e.g. letters and sounds, ELS group work, we are just expected to do it as and when, which is sometimes an impossible task with the rest of the task we are expected to do. Personally I am always at school early to go through the lesson plans for the day/week with the teacher and I stay behind much later than I am contracted to every day. So, unless I am paid for inset days I will not be volunteering my services for free - I do enough as it is!
  20. You are entitled to planning time! We get 2 hours planning time per week as do many other TAs I have spoken to at conferences. We are fully involved in inset days as we are seen as part of the staff and we are paid for them. I can understand that you have an impossible task and I don't blame you for not volunteering any more of your time to Inset days. Have you spoken to your SENCO / Head about being given some time for planning?

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