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TA's being graded as part of CPD

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by NeilBishopp, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. I am a male TA in a First School, in my second year of the job having come from Industry. The TA's in my school have just been told that at the beginning of May we will be observed at work as part of our CPD and marked against the Ofsted criteria used for teachers ( inadequate,satis,good,oustanding). Any comments please ??
  2. At our school all TA's are observed once a year by the headteacher.
    We are marked against Ofsted criteria and are told that our observation ranges from inadequate to Outstanding. However there is not an expectation that our observations will be 'teacher standard' just that we are using good strategies to support the teaching and learning.
    I am guessing from your post that this is a new thing and if your school is anything like ours the TA's found themselves in a bit of a tizzy when observations were introduced!
    I think TA observations seem to becoming more of a feature within schools and just like those for teachers, not something to be looked forward to.
    Four years on I still HATE my yearly observation. The feedback session is always positive and supportive but having someone sat at my shoulder for a whole lesson gets me all of a dither!
    How are you feeling about your new observations? Has being industry given you more self confidence and less apprehension regarding these observations.
  3. The teachers in our school cannot get a Good in their Performance Management observations if their TA actions only warrent a Satisfactory. Teacher's management of TA's time and the TA's performance is an integral part of the teacher's observations by the head AND they have individual observations from their line manager (not the Head), with feedback.
  4. I am a TA and have been for the last 15 years, whenever the teachers are observed the TA is observed along side them. We are not graded but how the teacher uses us to support pupils effects their grade. The observer will often make informal comments about how the TA performed both to the teacher and the TA. I am also a HLTA and as part of this role I am observed in these sessions and graded using the OFSTED grading system for teachers. I also have to do observations of teachers and grade them according to the OFSTED gradings. My observing teachers and grading them has only been introduced this year but both HLTAs in the school take part. I encouraged the Head to introduce observations of the HLTAs as I wanted to know if what I was doing when teaching the whole class was any good.
  5. Is this pay related? To some extent TA's are only as good as teachers will allow them to be. If you work as a team and there is good communication and shared planning, you have a sound understanding of objectives and outcomes then observations are nothing to be feared. Remember, TA's are a school resource.
  6. Yes - a new thing and it hasn't gone down too well - a definate tizzy !! We have had obs before with feedback to help us develop any " weak " areas and to praise the good ones. They have been positive and supportive but this just seems a step up and , at the end of , we aren't teachers. And I wouldn't want to be !
    Previous industry career assessment were done by obs over a much longer period which gives a better overall picture of performance rather than a 20 minute snapshot. And evidence of success is seeing those children progress in their achievements not by me producing photocopied sheets of handwriting practise or by a photograph of an lesson activity.
    Maybe I just feel unsettled because of my newness to the job. Having said that , I was proactive and had a chat with the Assis Head about it all and felt a little more at ease afterwards. But no - will still hate the obs !!

  7. Hmmm... I wonder how the teachers feel about this? I'm a teacher who was a TA and HLTA and I know that when I was a HLTA, I didn't know nearly enough about pedagogy or excellent classroom pratice to be able to grade qualified teachers. As far as I'm aware, only people who have been fully trained in using OFSTED criteria should assess people against them.
    As a HLTA I would have felt extremely uncomfortable doing this, and as a teacher now, I'd question the logic and purpose of it.
    Sounds like you have a lot of power in your school!

  8. alison, that seems wierd in the extreme. personally I would refude to do this. Our teachers would be up in arms!! How do you feel personally doing this?
  9. Why does everyone get in such a tizz about being observed. If you are doing your job well you have nothing to worry about except constructive feedback for areas of improvement and we all always have these. How else are you going to know?
    I would much rather have observations as part of my annual "performance management" than the 1/2 hour meeting filling out a form about whether or not I feel valued. My feeling valued is not the issue...does what I do make a diffference to the children's learning and if not what can I do to make it so?
    I also agree that the CT's assessment should have an aspect that deals with their deployment etc of their TA.
  10. I think the "tizz" is because an unqualified support staff member is observing a qualified teacher, grading them and giving them feedback.

  11. Why does everyone get in such a tizz about being observed. If you are
    doing your job well you have nothing to worry about except constructive
    feedback for areas of improvement and we all always have these. How else
    are you going to know?
    People get in a tizz because they are human beings for whom the thought of someone sitting watching them with pen and assessment sheet in hand is intimidating and stressful. It is a little like stage fright- that fear of making a fool of yourself or being humiliated.
    In life some of us are confident and happy to be watched and others are shyer and less comfortable being centre stage. I understand the logic behind observations. I am not sure that they are the best way of assessing individual performance as people always plan 'super dooper' sessions and observers rarely see the everyday lessons.
  12. I don't get in a "tizz" when I'm being observed by a qualified teacher or inspector.
    As a qualified teacher, however, I would be very unhappy about being observed by a member of the support staff - since when was it OK for HLTAs to observe, grade and give feedback on teaching and learning led by qualified teachers? I'd be up in arms.
  13. Absolutely- I can see no reason why a TA would be observing teachers unless it is to learn some tips on taching and learning.
    I would think that teaching unions would not be happy with unqualified staff observing qualified teachers.

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