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Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by zuzupetal777, Jun 11, 2011.
Has anyone else had a dressing down from a TA in front of students? If so, what did you do about it?
i haven't but if it happened to me i would politely ask the TA to keep any criticism of me and my teaching to themselves until after the lesson. if they did it again i would complain to the person in charge of TAs.
I caught sight of this on the front page. It's TOTALLY unacceptable and the TA has NO authority in your class. Report the matter to the headteacher. I wouldn't lower myself to discuss the matter with the TA, btw.
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance as the TA in question walked out after the rant.
I was left to carry on with the lesson in front of a stunned class. I don't know how I kept my composure. I felt utterly humiliated.
All the more reason to report her.( I take it the TA in question is female?)
Type up your account of the encounter and take it to someone in authority. The TA is in a supportive role ONLY and you, as the class teacher/ trainee, is in charge. Report her. It's not on.
It would not have been acceptable even if she had done it privately because she lacks the authority - but to do so in front of the class is wholly out of order.
I agree that the TA shouldn't have interupted the lesson to give his/her opinions ... but to say that it's unacceptable outside of the lesson is, in my opinion, wrong and arrogant. Yes, the TA lacks the authority to make you do something differently ... but they don't need any authority to hold and to voice an opinion. Some TAs have 30+ years experience, and are ex-teachers who wanted a slightly easier life in their "twilight" years ... to dismiss their opinions out of hand is just rude!
In principle, I think that what the TA did is wrong ... but, we know very very little here based on what the OP has said. For instance, the TA may have been attached to a statemented pupil and the "telling off" may have been because the OP was behaving contrary to how that pupil needed to be handled/approached/spoken to/etc (before starting my GTP I made the mistake of saying "look at me when I'm talking to you" to a child with Aspergers and confidence issues!!!).
There are numerous reasons why the TA shouldn't have done what s/he did right there and there in front of everyone else - but equally, there may have been mitigating circumstances which we don't know about.
Were there any other teachers in the classroom? What was there take on it? Have you discussed it with your mentor?
Thanks for your advice. I was very shocked (still am) by the TA's behaviour - I just wanted to check if I was over reacting.
I'm dreading teaching that class again. I can't see how they are going to respect my authority after that.
Sorry, "their" (my skin crawls when I see other people making that mistake ... so thought I had better go back and correct it!!).
The TA wasn't even sitting next to any SEN students at the time.
But I have to ask, is there ever a good enough reason for a member of staff to tell another member of staff off in front of students? Is this professional? I didn't retaliate because I felt it would be unprofessional to do so.
The TA could clearly see I was very uncomfortable, but kept on going. It was awful.
99% of the time ... no, this is not professional, and shouldn't happen (the only exceptions, really, would be if the teacher was being even less profressional by, for example, swearing at a pupil or something worse!).
To me there are two things here: the message and the delivery. The delivery was, it would seem, totally wrong, unprofessional and unhelpful (regaining control afterwards would have been very difficult, I'm sure). However, that, in itself, doesn't mean the message was necessarily wrong. I would try to speak with the TA personally - perhaps with your mentor present as well - and try to address the "message" first. Once that has been handled (the TA might have some very useful, valid points), then you can voice you displeasure at the delivery. Going in all guns blazing won't help you.
Was there anyone else in the room? I know we're supposed to be supernumerary, but I give most of my lessons with nothing more than an open door so the class teacher can pop his/her head in if necessary.
No, there was nobody else in the room.
I have no intention of losing my cool with this person. I feel that I handled a very unprofessional situation professionally and I'm not going ruin that now. The fact that the rant lasted so long gave me the impression that the TA was trying to provoke a response, or it could be that they were enjoying the fact that I was compelled not to respond and therefore could continue to bully me in front of a class unimpeded.
I certainly didn't do any of those things.
The message lost its value as soon as the TA started bullying me. I really don't feel that this person has anything valid to say to me. I have lost all respect for them.
Thanks for all the advice and I hope you have a great last few weeks.
I would be interested to know more specifics of this - interesting how you deem this to be bullying. Sorry but this does bug me because people often scream bullying when it isn't bullying. We teach our kids that bullying is repeating the same behaviour over a period of time to make someone else feel inferior not a one off isolated incident that was caused because someone is having a bad day or they just lost their cool. The key here being <u>repeated</u> to make it bullying. Granted we would deal with a child in a one off sotuation like this but I certainly would not label it bullying - if it happenes more than once, then it becomes bullying <deep breath>.
Firstly, any adult in a school situation telling another adult off in front of children or where children can here them is wrong an inappropriate and says something perhaps about their people skills.
However, having handled several different TAs suring my GTP and NQT year and having been a TA myself, I know TAs can be an odd breed who fall into several different categories. There are some wonderful, fantastic TAs who are there for the children and who anticipate everything you want, but often this has to be nurtured by both parties and it generally only occurs when the teacher recognises that the teacher and TA are a team and when the teacher treats the TA with respect (I have seen the way some teacher treat TAs and been on the reciving end of some pretty poor attituides myself as a TA so can see this from both sides). During my NQT year I have had two like this and I will miss one and will miss the other terribly.
There are TAs who started as parent helpers many years ago and as the job has changed their job has had to change and sometimes these TAs, whilst brilliant with pastoral care can sometimes find themselves out of their depths with the academic or learning side of the job. These TAs are often very supportive and tend to be the ones who will offer to make you a cuppa when you have been on break duty but they often don't know what a particularl level of writing looks like but they are fnatastic at things like reading support.
Then there are the dragons. They have often been in a school for years, perhaps even before the present SLT and have seen heads and teachers come and go. They are often very set in their ways and do not like change or being moved from a year group. They are the first to protest when asked to do something and the first to protest when not asked to do something. They are often offended when a decision is made for the greater good of the children or the school and cannot see beyond the end of their noses. These TAs are usually brilliant at displays and become display-zillas about 'their' staples and staplers and 'their' space in the classroom. God help the caretaker if he moves 'their' cupboard! These are the ones who are more likely to forget professionality and try and stake their own claim. This year I have been on the receiving end of two of these types and they both had to be handled in different ways. One I was able to praise certain things and give her 'projects' to do where she had some free reign but in the end I still got what I wanted. The other I have found impossible to work with as she is like a firework, going off here there and everywhere and she over reacts to everything and takes it personally. She thinks being asked to work with another year group is an insult, or when another TA is asked to do something she takes it totally personally. She also bawls kids out, includding the ones where this is just completely inappropriate. Other people in school give in to this type of TA because they don't want the firework - personally I let her get on with it and she look like a pratt not me These TAs always feel threatened by someone :-( Perhaps this is the case here.
In all fairness, this is part and parcel of learning to handle/manager your TAs. Some of your responses have been a little childish - particularly the allegation of bullying, which an isolated incident (and that is all you have told us about) certainly isn't. I apprecaite you have lost all respect for them but sometimes you have to be the bigger person and smooth over a situation and create a better working realtionship.
Don't call me childish. I came on here seeking advice, not for name calling. This incident has left me feeling humiliated and upset. Reducing these feelings to "childish" is not helpful.
If you have any advice on what you would do in such a situation, please feel free to give it. But nitpicking over the word "bully" is not the advice I need right now. But hey, if I'm ever stuck for an online dictionary/thesaurus, I know where to come .
Not in mine.
Not any in my experience. In any case, they have to accept they have a different role as a TA.
What the TA did - and I have no reason to doubt the OP's version of the incident - was wholly unacceptable. End of. I would not even think of there being "mitigating circumstances". How nampy pamby can you get? IMO, the TA needs to be reprimanded for losing it. They have to learn to KNOW what their supportive role involves.
Of course not. But some just cannot resist.
Report the incident, zuzupetal.
Good luck. You deserve to be able to work with a supportive TA.
Keeping your posts pertinent and to the point is helpful. Your paragraphing also requires some work.
Thanks for being supportive sea_pink. I will discuss the incident with my TM.
Just for the record, I've worked with lots of TAs and the majority are gems. I'm not going to let this one colour my view of how valuable these people are.
But you were the one who said she was bullying you! I merely stated one incident is not bullying and I will stand by that - no wonder our kids have so many problems with the definition of bullying when some teachers don't know the difference. Bullying is repeated and sustained attacks - not one isolated incident. Your TA was wrong, I said that, but that does not make it bullying and personally I get fed up of people who can't handle what someone else says or does calling it bullying when it is not. An adult response would be to sit down at talk it through with your TA or with your mentor or your mentor and TA.
You asked for advice. Not everyone will agree with you all the time and you might get advice that you don't like. The great thing about advice, is you don't have to take it
The point I was trying to make (probably very badly) was that we only have one side of this. Yes, your TA was wrong to reprimand you in front of the kids but none of us know why she felt the need to do that - their could be a million reasons. I was trying to be sympathetic because sometimes dealing with TAs is tough but clearly you took this as yet another personal attack on yourself when it was not. Speak volumes to be perfectly honest.
Absolutely! Everyone deserves to work with a supportive TA just as every TA deserves a supportive teacher. But you have to learn to manage the difficult TAs too and there are some out there just as there are teachers who don't value TAs or who treat them like dirt. It can be a steep learning curve and suggesting it is bullying after one incident really won't help the OPs cause imho.