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TA & Teaching when Staff absent

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Crowbob, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Policy on what exactly? Your question is not very specific. Support staff are allowed, under circumstances defined in Regulations, to undertake certain specified work (that looks a lot like teaching).
  2. It's a bit naughty, but I don't mind doing it until the supply teacher turns up. If I do cover, then I'm afraid it's strictly PE and more specifically football, tennis or cricket.
  3. Is there a reason you are asking? Are you being asked to do cover?
    I would say that no TA should be asked to cover a class unless they feel competent with what they are being asked to do. There is a difference between being asked to supervise a class which has been assigned work and actually teaching a lesson.
    A sensible Head wouldn't want anyone regularly in the classroom who is not providing an excellent learning environment for children. Many TA's are prepared to cover short term absence, holding the fort until supply arrives etc.
    I don't know if there is a definitive answer. I would say teaching Literacy/Numeracy on the hoof is a definite no for TAs. Some experienced TAs might be prepared to cover in primary/foundation with the support of other adults or in topic lessons. For Secondary I do not have a clue.
  4. I was asked to cover an entire week of classes for one group of pupils while the teacher was absent. The cover teacher would sit back and take a secondary role as I taught the class. I was quite familiar with the material and subject matter and had no problem at all in taking the class. However, I was just interested to know if this is in line with current teaching protocols / practice?

  5. I would say it depends on a lot of things.
    Are you saying that you taught a whole week of lessons to a whole class?
    Were you supported by a cover teacher or a cover supervisor?
    Who decided that you were to take the class?
    What level TA are you?
    I would say that covering teacher absence for a week is unacceptable unless you are an experienced HLTA and you are comfortable doing it.
    There is a lot of debate as to how much whole class cover TAs should provide and at the moment it appears to be up to individual head teachers.
    TAs are not qualified to teach and whilst many of us feel as though we know a subject back to front teaching is not just about curriculum content it is also about assessment, classroom management and curriculum knowledge.

  6. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    se7 - if you are a TA then I'd imagine you are paid at a lower rate than the cover teacher and obviously saving the school money as a result? All the schools I know of would not do this. Surely you need to be a qualified teacher to teach, no matter how familiar you are with the material? I'm not meaning to disrespect you but they shouldn't take advantage of you. If you are a student teacher doing a TA post, then likewise - school is taking advantage and should not be doing this.
    Would you be happy for a TA to teach your child when you pay taxes to pay for teachers to do that job?

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