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Progressing TA role

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by SueOldfield, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. SueOldfield

    SueOldfield New commenter

    Hi. I’ve been a TA in a Special School (secondary school) for coming up to 4 years. For my first year I supported a class of sixth formers with severe learning disabilities, and since then I have provided general support in different subjects with students with moderate learning difficulties (all ages), and more specialist support in art and English. Since September I have been working 1:1 focusing on behaviour and emotional regulation and encouraging early writing capabilities. I have been asked what I would like to do next year and I have said I would like more responsibility. My school does not have HLTAs although some TAs have additional roles. We have cover supervisors, but I feel the unpredictability and difficulty in forming relationships with students you only work with occasionally mean this is not for me. However, I do enjoy delivering a lesson (I have a non-QTS teaching degree). I’m not sure what I can offer. I’m very interested in being involved in developing practical handwriting skills. I haven’t put this forward yet, but I was told that the English department is top heavy with TAs with additional responsibilities. There used to be a Writing across the curriculum scheme, but this was teacher- led. Please suggest any way I could expand my role.
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Hi Sue, I don't have any experience of Special Schools, having been in mainstream for 30 years plus. However, you sound to have a great deal of knowledge and experience - have you looked into how you can work towards QTS? If you have a degree, would the Teach First programme or similar work for you? Would your school support you? Worth looking in to.
  3. SueOldfield

    SueOldfield New commenter

    Thank you, Sunshine Needed. I have considered going for QTS but I’m now 56 and don’t want all the extra paperwork which teaching involves, although I don’t mind a lesser amount to go with a smaller amount of teaching within my TA role - so long as I have some non-contact PPA time for it.
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I can totally understand that - I'm a few years older than you and have been a HLTA for about 12 years now. I've thought about teaching many times over the years but never gone for it, for exactly the reasons you give. As a HLTA, the paperwork and accountability are more than a TA, and I have to attend all staff meetings - but it's manageable.

    The only thing I can suggest is maybe moving schools - look for a HLTA or aspiring HLTA role. You never know - the prospect of losing you might kick start a change at your current school - if they think you would move to secure a HLTA role, they might decide to support you. Best of luck.

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