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Patronised by teacher

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Rachellen, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. Hi, this is my 3rd year as a TA at primary level. I have NVQ 2 & 3, a past life as a professional with a degree, and I believe I'm quite proactive in looking for what needs doing. However the teacher I'm now working with treats me like an idiot, even tho' she knows my background. She tells me to do the most basic things, like changing reading books. She also makes up work that doesn't need doing. How have other TAs coped with this sort of teacher? Or have I been given too much freedom by my previous teachers?
    Her last TA left after 2 terms because of how she is.
     
  2. PS I didn't mean I shouldn't be changing books, I meant I don't need to be told to do so!
     
  3. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    Hi
    Is this a new school to you or have you been there for the 3 years, Do you feel she is approacable to explain how you are feeling, or is there another TA you could ask for advice from, failing that I think you need to speak with your head of year or the Headteacher.

     
  4. It's the same school. I have mentioned something, but I'm not good at confrontation. It doesn't help that I don't like the way she is with the children; you don't expect to hear today's teachers say "that's a stupid question", for example. I just find myself doing what she asks & then leaving at the end of the day, with other teachers I have happily taken menial tasks home to do in front of the telly. I will have to give it a bit more time, but the head thinks she is wonderful.
     
  5. Hi Rachellen
    Perhaps this teachers feels you are a threat. You may have higher qualifications than her and she might feel inadequate because of this. Good luck. I hope that in time you will have a better relationship with her.
     
  6. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    I think you can read to much into her register which sounds like it is aimed at an audience rather than a fellow professional. This happens alot in training enviroments.
     
  7. Not knowing you or the teacher, there needs to be a balance. For example, in my classroom, I have the opposite. My TA has a very different view of things to me and will often do things without asking me, even going as far as give the children extra homework without even letting me know, then I have parents coming up to me saying 'Ty struggled with ...' and when I ask Ty who gave it to him, it's the TA. I'd at least like to have been asked! In addition to this, I have another TA who doesn't do things when I asked and therefore I have to prompt her and say things like 'I need you to sort out the reading books' and ten minutes later she still hasn't started.
    You need to work out a balance between you and your teacher but she definitely shouldn't be treating you like you're stupid.
     
  8. Hi there

    Hopefully this article may help:

    http://www.teaching-strategies-for-classroom-discipline.com/special-education-teaching.html
     
  9. Is she a fairly new teacher? When I first started I had no idea how to manage a TA so wrote everything down to the nth degree...I soon realised that the TA I was working with only needed direction for who I wanted her to work with/assess etc during lesson times and that she would get everything else done with very little direction from me! It was far better for me that way as it meant less work having to write down jobs every single day.
    It did take us a while to establish a good routine that works for us, half way through our second year together she tells me that she has never been happier at work! So these things do take time...for both of you to get used to eachother!
    I hope you too manage to strike a balance with eachother. I think it is most important to get on well with the person who you work with most! Perhaps she will realise that you don't need telling once you have worked together for a while.
    Ps. I hope she gets overheard speaking to the children like that by SMT and that they do something about it!
     
  10. I have to say that I think the Teacher should be giving you instructions on what to do because it is her class, her planning and her head on the block (so to speak) if the children don't meet their targets. I understand that you don't need to be told to change reading books, as this is something you will be doing naturally, however she may be trying to check what books the kids are on, or checking that they are on target. I would approach it by being proactive. For example saying to her "I was going to change the reading books' or 'I have changed the reading books'. Maybe she is stressed and is 'flapping' slightly. I think the main thing is - chin up, you are there for the children. Whenever you are feeling 'flat' about it, just think of the children and why you are there. I hope it gets better. Maybe you will get a different teacher to work with next year! :)
     
  11. Talk to your teacher, I would want my TA to tell me...
     
  12. Thatsmyloaf

    Thatsmyloaf New commenter

    I get this too, I have an NQT and I'm not saying I dont know what I'm doing but taking me out of a intervention session to clean the recyling bin - ay carrumba!
     
  13. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    Difficult one. Have you got a remit from her ...... eg what she expects on a daily, weekly etc basis. If not then perhaps you .....
    .....could both have a meeting, During which you could suggest ...
    a) whether she would like to delegate certain tasks to you to give her more quality time doing what she does best........... plan, teach and mark pupils work. That way she is still in control and calling the shots but it leaves you free to keep up to date with those tasks as an when is required or set by her.
    or
    b) Ask her to list some of the menial jobs to be done early in the morning and then it gives you all day to get them done in between the more important tasks you have. That way she does not need to fill her head with trivial remarks about trivial jobs not done by a time she has in her head.
    I do feel that you have a right to have a say about how you are managing to fit in the tasks that are the most important and that you are capable of prioritising them to get them done by a certain time or day.
    If she squirms at this then say to her that it will enable you to concentrate and work more efficiently with the children if you can infill with the menial jobs when you have a lull in your priority task after all its the children you are there to support more than support the teacher doing menial other tasks she cannot be lowered to do.
    Good Luck
     
  14. I agree with you too, BOOOO definitely to this teacher and to a hell of a lot of teachers out there who get a kick out of treating TAs as if they are idiots. I think that by treating TAs as idiots strokes their egos.
     
  15. Hi, I have a friend, who is in, almost the exact position as you are, a very experienced HTLA, who now feels very under-valued and totally worthless, please don't let it get to that point, you are worth more than that, there is some very good advise on here, infact I have printed it off to show my friend.

    Good luck
     
  16. I don't think she was saying she should not be doing the menial tasks, just that she does not need telling to do them. It can be very irritating to have someone treating you like you don't know how to do your job!

    I have had the opposite situation, where a teacher expected me to read her mind to know what she wanted and then moaned at me when I couldn't! I was only there on supply but ended up having a very poor relationship with her!!

    There is a fine line between communicating what you want, and treating a highly trained and experienced adult like a child, some teachers seem to struggle with this. Do any other TA's work with her, and if so, do they feel the same?
     
  17. I don't think anyone has the right to treat anyone else like an 'idiot, no matter whar their rank or number!
    We all know that if you feel respected and valued then you will feel happy, motivated and work to your utmost best.
    And surely not only is that better for the children it also makes for a happier work place?
    What happened to teamwork?
     
  18. I'm sorry but I have to differ on this: in the case when the person is an idiot. I once had a TA whose only and immediate previous job was McDonald's, she needed help to spell CVC words and came in with a hangover 3/4 times a week. But you bet she complained about not being treated "as equal" by the teacher (me).
    As for the OP, I basically agree with Timberwolf: if you have a degree and want your way in a classroom, be a teacher. If you decide to remain a TA, well, part of that is putting up with whatever style your actual teacher has.
     
  19. The qualification is irrelevant. Just imagine staff being treated according to their class of degree. Yes, unworkable, isn't it. As the professional responsible for the class, the teacher has to manage any attached support staff. This demands common professional courtesy and respect, but it is a hierarchical organisation. Teachers, yes even those with firsts from Cambridge, have to work with the head and SMT, reminders and all. A mature, professional attitude means you are able to see beyond any personal niggles, and realise the person in charge is accountable. Even if you qualify as a teacher, you will be receive reminders from the head, the SMT, administrators etc. etc. That's life in a school.
     
  20. The qualification is irrelevant. Just imagine staff being treated according to their class of degree. Yes, unworkable, isn't it. As the professional responsible for the class, the teacher has to manage any attached support staff. This demands common professional courtesy and respect, but it is a hierarchical organisation. Teachers, yes even those with firsts from Cambridge, have to work with the head and SMT, reminders and all. A mature, professional attitude means you are able to see beyond any personal niggles, and realise the person in charge is accountable. Even if you qualify as a teacher, you will receive reminders from the head, the SMT, administrators etc. etc. That's life in a school.
     

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