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Swap of class mid way through the year

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by shoesies, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. Hi,

    Sorry to post on here but I am just looking for advice and perhaps an insight into anyone's past experience.

    I am going back to school after half term with a new TA. The school have had a move around (without giving us any notice) and moved various TAs. I am gutted to be fair on having my lovely, fantastic TA being taken away from me to be given an equally lovely TA but one who has had no experience working within or near the year group.
    I know she is upset at being moved and quite frankly I am too, my cohort is extremely poor and getting input 2 years below their actual year group. She doesn't want to leave her class teacher and I don't want my TA to leave.

    With her being so upset I am struggling at the thought of coming back to work with her and it is not giving me much confidence. I met with her to discuss with the aim of helping her feel more positive and it possibly helped but she feels massively out of her depth dropping 4 year groups with no prior experience. I feel sorry for her, I truely do, but my job is so jam packed working with Yr4 P-level children I can only see my workload increasing (just when I don't think it possibly could).

    I don't mean to sound negative but I feel my kids have not been put first in this decision and I don't know how I can help her feel any better about what is going to happen.

    Has anything like this happened to you- mid way through a year etc?

    S xx
  2. Sorry about the lack of paragraphs- chrome clearly does not like this
  3. On the face of it, this situation sounds both infuriating and confusing. I suppose we can only wonder what the Powers-That-Be had in mind when they decided to swap staff around.
    Yes, it's going to be difficult. Yes, there is a lack of experience with the TA. It is good that you have had a chat with TA to discuss the situation.
    Instead of looking at the negative, look at the positive (otherwise we might as well all give up hope now!). You have a TA with a fresh eye to cast upon the classroom - she may have worked in a different year group previously, but loads of skills are transferable. Most of us TAs are great at picking up what our new teachers want us to do - we follow your lead. You may have to overlap some sessions with children initially so that new skills are learnt, but once that's done, the TA can do some group/inidividual sessions.
    What exactly do you want your TA to be able to do? Obviously, TA roles differ from school to school. Any admin duties can still be done, regardless, and can help ease any other burden on you.
    I started in Year 6 this year, after previously working with Years 1 & 2. It was a huge jump on paper, but actually is wasn't nearly so made in reality. Children are still children, and we still have expectations for them, and let them know what the boundaries are. I worked very closely with my teacher and the other Year 6 TAs for the first half term, observing their methods. Then after that, I was away!
    Some people like change, and others hate it. Unfortunately, change had been forced upon you. I know it can seem like you have a 'dead weight' to organise now, as well as a class of children, but together you can sort it out. Start by using your TA to do the stuff that you both know she/he can do, then look at getting them to obsserve those skills you want them to learn.
  4. Yeah- displays and admin are not really an issue, firstly because I do most of it myself, and she assures me she will do the individual reading but not the guided reading.

    I would not mind change but I was new to the school in September and now this.... its the fact she has been assured that this is only going to be until June or September and she will be back in Year 6. This is to aid her professional development. I don't know.... time will tell I am sure. Just looking at my planning and really extending it to help with questioning etc just feel really frustrated by it. I was not in during the final week of school and so officially I have not been told by the headteacher. He has not phoned me to tell me or anything, I have heard this news from various staff members who phoned me when it was announced in the staffmeeting. Just very grumpy at the moment but trying my best not to let her get this impression as I want us to work well together. Even though it is only for 4/5 months! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr
  5. Oh dear...... a prime example of bad management. You should have been consulted before any announcement in a staff meeting!
    Okay, from an outsider's perspective (and as such not privy to all the minutae of the problem) it seems there is still much to be made here.
    Your first comment that displays and admin aren't an issue because you do it. The link below takes you to a page with a list of things teachers should no longer be doing (as you should be teaching). One of these things is display work. STOP DOING IT NOW!!!! [​IMG] Get your TA to handle these things for you, and you've a few less things to worry about.
    Okay, as for TA doing the individual reading but not the guided reading - why not? This is a basic skill that a TA should be able to do - If not, direct her to the National literacy Strategy on the internet.
    How is it to aid her professional development? If she is not willing to learn a new skill by something like guided reading, then there doesn't seem to be much hope for the lass! [​IMG]
    I'd contact the HT to let him know what you've been told and get an explanation from him. You know how people love to stir up a heap of gossip sometimes. he may be able to let you know his reason for the decision (there must be one!). Maybe he thinks you're the best teacher to train this TA?
    Either way, the TA should be ready and willing to learn new skills to best help you, and you need to look at some of the tasks you can pass to her to ease your heavy work burden.

  6. I am a HLTA, and used to be placed with one year group for the whole year, that is since recently, due to redundancies of TA's in my school, we have to be placed where we are most needed at the time.
    Since September, I have had 4 moves, from y3 to y5,
    In y4 i was needed to work intensely with a target group for a few weeks, then to y3 to cover whilst the CT was off for a while due to bereheavement, then up tp y5 to support a NQT who was having problems with behaviour, I am now in y2, delivering ELS to a large group of children, and to support SATS.
    I have got used to it now and no doubt will be moved elsewhere before the end of the school year...The same goes for the other 2 HLTA's in my school.
  7. xDJ


    it's quite interesting to read that you are moved around a lot.
    I am also a HLTA and often asked to work with different groups. It is unsettling when I was given the impression that I will be working with the same children all year but have realised that is not going to be the case anymore.
    Of course it does make sense, as the year goes on the needs change, so working where I can be most effective will only benefit the children.
  8. R13

    R13 New commenter

    Hi as a Head here I'd have to say I'd have to agree with the poster who said it was poor management because of a lack of consultation. It is just that - it's not necessarily a poor decision (And certainly not one that isn't allowed as another poster asks.
    The original question comes from someone concerned it may not be in the best interests of her class . . . the Head should have made the decision in the best interests of the whole school and there may be good reasons why a move might not seem to be ideal for one class but in the scheme of things is still the best overall move. Why if that is the case they couldn't find the time to come and talk to you first I do not know. You could politely ask!
    Staff surely have to be deployed in the best intersts of the children - the person deploying them needs to do so in a way that shows some respect. Personally I have often had to move staff and sometimes colleagues are not happy because they don't want to be split up but if you are as honest as you can be with people they can at least usually see the validity in a decision and respect it even if they still may have preferred it didn't happen

    Good luck


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