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TA being treated like a dogsbody/volunteer. Help?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Kakle69, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. I'm good friends with another T.A at my school and it breaks my heart to see what is happening to her. There is a teacher in our school (primary) that we have all had to work with at some stage and so we can all understand what she is currently going through.
    This teacher is a strange woman, very nice outside the classroom but when in a classroom working with them is the most frustrating person in the world. No idea of manners of other peoples feelings and will simply not let you get on with the job you are perfectly capable of doing.
    My friend is a fantastic T.A, the kids adore her, she is endlessly patient, especially with the 'undesirables' and has a good rapport with all ages. This means she tends to have good results when working with small groups etc. But this teacher will not let you outside the classroom, so there is no opportunity for small support groups as the rest of us in the school would take. In previous years I know she has done endless research and resource making in her own time and stayed 'til all hours at the school but this year she leaves as soon as she can and is very quiet.
    She feels like a dogsbody, covering jobs it would be perfectly possible for the volunteers (Mum's) to undertake. She is rarely thanked for anything above and beyond her duties she might do.
    Frankly she is losing heart in the job and I know will be starting to look elsewhere for next year. I can't think how to help her?
  2. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    I think your friend needs to speak to the HT about this awful (and very undesirable) teacher. I know of teachers who believe that TAs are there to help THEM - that's not true - the budget is for the pupils. I'm sure that this undesirable teacher will have upset many, many other TAs so the HT should have a record of this unacceptable treatment.
    You say she will be looking elsewhere next year - is it possible for her to ask for a transfer of classes? Surely this is a reasonable request?
    Good luck - please keep us informed as to what happens next.
  3. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    Sorry if my post offended you - it was meant as a serious point and not a personal dig and it is unfortunate it couldn't be taken as such.
    I work in special education and frequently we are picking up children from mainstream school who have zero self esteem and feel completely worthless (whether their SEN is to do with behaviour or with a learning difficulty).
    The children we work with have some terrible behaviour which I am in no way condoning but it still seems completly unfair to label a group of children as undesireables - even if their behaviour is unacceptable. Although it's going out of fashion 'every child matters' and every child deserves the best from all staff and condeming a group with such a negative label is in my view unacceptable
  4. Your post didn't offend me and I understand that it was meant as a serious point. You obviously have very different experiences to me, associated with our different roles.
    I, too, believe that every child matters, but I also believe that every child must reach an age where they take responsibility for their own actions/behaviour. Many of the children with whom I have worked over the past nineteen years in Secondary have, in my experience, had vast amounts of "the best from all staff" lavished upon them, sometimes to the detriment of those below average achievers who would often really benefit from the extra support but aren't entitled to it.
    Working in Special Needs must be a two-way operation - the child must be willing to meet you - not necessarily half way, but perhaps eventually thereabouts, otherwise it is a waste of everyone's time, effort and money.
    And if I hear a group of Year 10s, who have the privilege of support in their class, saying "let's wind miss up again today - see if some of us can get ourselves sent out", especially when there are those in the class who want to work and learn, then I reserve the right to call them "undesirables" or anything else if I want to, although not to their faces of course!
    I think we might have hijacked this thread, which is naughty, so I will stop there!
  5. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    you state you believe every child matters but go on to say
    Working in Special Needs must be a two-way operation - the child must be willing to meet you - not necessarily half way, but perhaps eventually thereabouts, otherwise it is a waste of everyone's time, effort and money.
    Which implies that every child matters except those who have had lots of opportunities and still failed to show willingness to behave or co-operate.
    I think that's perhaps a valid stance for you as an individual or even as a tax payer but it isn't one that you can fairly demonstrate in a school as an employee. There you are with children where you are paid to do your best all the time with all children - and I fear (Back to my original point) that to describe a group of pupils as 'undesireable' would indicate you might find it difficult to hide your feelings in dealing with them.
  6. I think you might be reading a bit too much into this undesireable comment.
  7. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    I'll leave it alone from now on - I didn't want to detract from an interesting thread - I just worry about some of our kids

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