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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Piscean1, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    In our school, TAs are observed. One of my TAs is currently under performing and her PM leader has asked to re-observe her. In fairness to my TA, (despite some serious problems in her practice), it wasn't a great lesson from me although I was and am very much struggling with morning sickness and fatigue.

    I'm really unhappy with this for several reasons. In the past, other members of SLT with more than 1 TA to observe in my class have done it as a joint observation to reduce pressure on teachers. This SLT member insists on doing them separately so I had 2 times in the last week of term where she was in my classroom for an hour at a time. Observations by other members of SLT have also been significantly shorter. Some of her feedback was also very unrealistic and, I felt, unfair to my TA. There are definitely areas to work on but there were some things that are just impractical.

    I feel very much that I am also being scrutinised and it is stressing me out despite the fact that my planning has been graded outstanding, my observations are good/outstanding and the rest of SLT have made it clear there are no concerns with my teaching.

    This SLT member has demanded to see her in a specific subject with a specific group of children. I've had to change my routine and time table to accommodate the observation. I have a large number of children in my class with SEND who rely on routine and structure.

    Feeling like I'm being watched all the time really increases my anxiety. I do have a diagnosed mental illness and my school are aware of this. I am no longer taking medication because I am pregnant. I am really stressed about this, at a time when I'm dealing with pregnancy hormones/sickness/fatigue and managing anxiety and depression without medication.

    I have raised my concerns with the SLT member and they have fallen on deaf ears. I don't want to rock the boat by going higher. What are the general rules on this? Are there any? Am I being ridiculous?
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Lead commenter

    If one of your TAs is under performing - and I used the word "if", before this is jumped on- SLT will need to observe to identify areas where she can be supported to improve.

    This SLT member - does she have a specific responsibility as to why she wants to observe with certain children?

    You say you don't want to rock the boat. If this is stressing you to the point where you become Ill with stress and causing problems with your pregnancy, then it will go higher, for the wrong reasons. Speak to the HT. It is important the TA is offered support, but also essential that appropriate support is given to a pregnant member of staff, especially as you have a diagnosed illness.
  3. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    The subject is the one she leads but I feel for the TA because, due to her hours being split between me and another class, it is the only day in the week that she actually supports in that subject. She is not with me at that time during the rest of the week.

    As for the specific children, they have made very limited progress since starting school and are now in lower key stage 2.
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    When I think of the salary of a TA, the fact of that TA being observed in relation to some children making little progress makes me want to weep a little.
    And if I think of the likely salary of the person doing the observing instead of helping children progress, it does not make me stop weeping.

    Sorry, not helpful to you I know, but sometimes something just needs saying, that's all.
  5. hisir

    hisir New commenter

    I've had TAs in my lessons being observed and I didn't worry at all about what was being thought of the lesson I was teaching; that's not the point of the observation after all.

    You should never be asked to teach anything different or out of context just to accommodate someone else's observation. If your lesson's not suitable for the person observing the TA, they can find another teacher whose lesson IS appropriate for what they're after.
    agathamorse likes this.

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