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Relationship with TA's. Urgent help needed.

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by amyliv88, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. amyliv88

    amyliv88 New commenter

    I'm currently reaching the end of my placement and only have 1 observation left. For the last few weeks a recurring theme has been running throughmy feedback- use of TA. I have improved but todays observation was dire. TA walked into class halfway through input (this couldn't be helped) and sat right at the back of the class, well away from the children sat on the carpet.I didn't say anything during lesson and continued, I talked to the TA to ensure understanding (I'd talked to her previously) and she did come over to ask a few questions which the observer liked however I was severely down graded in this area because of lack of use of TA during input- a wasted asset and because its been a recurring theme.
    I now only have one observation to turn this around. I've been really struggling with TA's I'm very young and they've been doing this job for a few years. They generally only come into the lesson during the activities unless I'm been observed in which case they do come in earlier.
    Anyway my question is: how do you/would you use the TA? I need to show interaction with them but just all round improvement with TA's.
    In the past I have: given them a sheet describing the lesson and key questions to ask.
    Given them paper with children's names on for assessment purposes. This only received basic useless information back e.g. so and so understands. so and so did this easily. So the next time I did this I asked them to write down what they say to show understanding. Didn't work. Next time I wrote 3 questions to ask and for them to write responses- didn't work. Same sentences as last time.

    Any thoughts/ideas would be greatly received. Just want it to be known I do think the TA is lovely and really good working, interacting with the children and other adults. The fault mostly lies with me.

  2. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    If the problem is during the input, then make sure the TA knows which children to work with. It sounds as though the TA in your observation today was unaware she should sit with one or two particular children while you were doing your teaching. If you did tell her, but she came in late and forgot, don't be afraid to say quietly, "Oh, Mrs Bungle, would you come and work with Zippy and George, please?" It is possible (and I wasn't there, so could have this wrong) that because you left the TA at the back during your input you were marked down for use of TA.
    If your TA works with lower ability children, make up a little whiteboard with some differentiated activities for the TA and the children to do while you are doing some similar with the rest of the class. As an example, most children might be naming 2D shapes like hexagon, octagon, pentagon by writing the names on their individual whiteboards in pairs. The children with the TA might have square, triangle, rectangle and diamond on their little whiteboard, to name orally with her. This shows both preparation and interaction.
    Or, if the TA is there for a statemented but able child (or even if not!), why not get them involved in the lesson directly? As an example, ask the TA to hold up some 3D shaps while your back is turned and choose one and show the children. Then you ask yes/no questions relating to the properties of the shape, trying to guess which 3D shape they have chosen. This shows that you have discussed the lesson with the TA and they have interaction with both you and the children.
    Just some ideas. It can be hard, especially if you don't gel with your TA, no matter how much you like each other. In my NQT year my TA and I worked so well together; she knew instinctively which children I needed her to work with, what to do with them during input and where to seat herself. This year, my TA is great, but we don't have that "click"! She does a lot of watching, unless I actually give her something to do. So it's very important I do direct her more than I might another TA, especially during whole class teaching.
    If you send me your lesson plan for your next observation I can always give you some ideas about how to use your TA. Just if you need another pair of eyes!
  3. I agree that if the problem is the engagement of the TA is during the initial session I would ask them to come and join in. You could get some of the children they are there to support to recap what you have covered to that point, which will help both you and the TA to understand where the pupils are with their understanding. [​IMG]


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