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Problem with my TA! Help!

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by fabteacher26, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. I'm an NQT in a difficult inner city school. I also have a new TA who began the same time as me. I have been expected to train this person but am unable to find the time as the class require all my attention, all the time! I have tried to explain certain things to him but he doesn't take it onboard. He has never worked with kids before and treats the outdoor classroom as a free for all and is not directing activities. He struggles to change books even though he has been shown often how to do this. He moved a band 1 child onto a band 3 without my knowledge and this is reflecting badly on me when parents complain. I have to tell him everyday to do readers and change books. He used my computer halfway through me teaching a lesson and I was on the IWB - bringing up pictures as I was talking for display things that needed doing! I asked him to leave it and he didn't, I asked him to help a child change their wet clothes and he carried on, I then ordered him to get up and sort this child out coz I needed the computer and he just continued. He doesn't get now means now...he doesn't see that jobs have to be left and come back to - often he wants to see things through to the end which can't be done. He will sit and respond with conversation when a disruptive child speaks to him on the carpet instead of focusing the child back to the lesson and then tonight I found in a child's tray, my cut up science plans he had put in the scrap paper tray because he thought I had finished using it because I had taught one lesson! arrghhhhhhhhhh!!
    I have asked for him to shadow another TA and sometimes he has had the opportunity but he still doesn't get it! I give him clearer directions than I do the children and he still does not know what to do or if the kids seems disruptive he just joins in - like instead of using positional language today he was building guns with the children. We also had an incident when the children were put at risk when a large dog came into the yard of a breed that is known to be aggressive, I was ushering the children away as I recognised the risk to them if the dog turned nasty but he just thought it was a game and chased it round the yard, laughing and joking and encouraged the children to follow suit. He didn't see that the dog could possibly maul the children if it became scared and that then our job would be to step in and take the brunt to protect the children. He seems very immature young man and I am at a loss at what to do! HELP!!!!!!!
  2. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    I think your expectation of somebody new to the role are quite high. You complain about his lack of training and yet say that you don't have time to give it to him. How do you expect him to know?
    You need to address this with your line manager. To find a way forward. I would also avoid words like "ordering".
  3. He does sound very immature and it must be very difficult for you to train him at the same time as finding your feet as a newcomer to the school yourself.
    It sounds like he has no idea of what his role as a TA is - but you cannot expect him to just know when he has received no training. I would have expected him to be given some intital training, but that sounds like it has not happened.
    So what can you do? Firstly, you need to set aside some time to discuss your plans with him so that he understands the lesson objectives/outcomes, which children you want him to work with etc. You should not be directing him in an ad hoc way during the lesson. You will need to be very specific: tell him what you want him to do during the input (e.g. sit with child X and make sure they understand), then which group to work with, how much support to give, what to do during the plenary, when to change the reading books etc. Make sure he has a daily plan, lesson plans, instructions etc. I know this is time-consuming, but it will pay off in the long run. When you've got a more experienced TA, you don't need to do all this, but in this case, you do.
    Secondly, I would speak to the SENCo or whoever his line manager is, and ask for suggestions. As suggested by previous poster, an observation could be useful - ask in a positive way though! Perhaps ask for courses or training he could go on.
    I would also mention the situation to your NQT mentor and ask them for suggestions for how you can manage the situation and use your TA most effectively.

  4. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    To be honest as an NQT it isn't really your job to 'train' a TA but it is your job to direct their tasks.
    Ask your NQT mentor if it is possible for your TA to observe some of the other TAs around the school. When he sees how they direct learning activities he might be able to understand the importance of it. Can he change reading books alongside another TA for a week or so?
    I always write a letter to my TA every morning to say exactly what I want her to do every day and at what times. Things sometimes change but at least there is something for her to fall back on when I am busy and she isn't sure what is next.
    e.g. 9am change reading books while I do the register. After this listen to the dinosaur group read make notes in their home school reading log. 9.30 maths. Sit with little Johnny during the input and make sure he understands what partitioning means. Bring out the cubes to show him physically if he needs this. During the main task please work with the African animals group. They are choosing a number sentence to answer, using the cubes to answer it and then writing down the number sentence and the answer. The children miss a line between each sum and make sure they write the date and check their answers. If they get an answer wrong please help them correct it and put the correct answer next to to the wrong answer. During the plenary please work with the children in your group who found this task most difficult and write a note on a post it about what they were struggling with. Leave the note on my desk so I can follow up any difficulties.
    I know this sounds really detailed but it has helped my relationship with my TA immeasurably because she knows exactly what is expected and feels like she's doing a good job (she is!). Also try to get to know him on a personal level and he'll want to work hard. What did you do this weekend, kind of things. It's worth putting the time and effort in because he'll be worth his weight in gold if he starts to understand what is needed. It takes experience for most people before they feel comfortable thinking on their feet. Until then it's worth spending time writing him a letter for what you need him to do and also time to go through the letter before lessons start.
  5. veritytrue

    veritytrue New commenter

    From your description the guy sounds clueless and a poor choice for this role. Quite a bit of the work in primary is just common sense which he seems to lack. It sounds as though you've bent over backwards to explain the glaringly obvious to him - with little understanding or inclination to make a bit more of an effort on his part. Your first responsibility is to the children you teach & your efforts with your new TA are taking you away from this priority with little or no return for the investment of your time and effort. I suggest you raise this issue with those who in their wisdom appointed this person.

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