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TA's teaching lessons

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lemoncheese, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Wondering if people can give me some guidance. My nephew's Year 3 class is being taught every morning by a TA, while the Y4 class has a fully qualified teacher. Afternoon's are then swapped, so the Y3's have the fully qualified teacher. While being taught by the TA, they are taught in the Hall. Is this situation reasonable? What are TA's allowed to be responsible for in Primary Schools? I hope I have posted this in the right place!
  2. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    Sorry. I do see so many posts on here implying that TAs are gum chewing,tattoo parading, monotone imbeciles and I just wanted to defend them! They do a fantastic job for a desperately low wage and some can teach( and plan etc) and some do it better than qualified teachers. I'm not saying it's right that they have resposibility for teaching but that they can and well,sometimes. Apologies to any that I have offended,it was and is not my intention.
  3. I didn't think that your comments were aggressive at all. Sometimes it is very difficult to word concerns, especially when not directly involved in teaching. I would hope that as teachers we would always be able to listen to concerns without taking them as a form of criticism and be able to offer constructive support if possible.
  4. My point is not that TAs are necessarily incapable of taking on a teacher role. My point is that school management should not use TAs to perform a teaching role. There's a subtle but important difference. Unfortunately there is an increasing acceptance of the practice of using TAs to cover classes. In effect this means that trained teacher unemployment increases and children are being taught by unqualified staff for longer periods of time. It is acceptable under government guidelines for TAs to cover for short periods of time, under the supervision of a trained teacher. But it is not acceptable for managers to rely on TAs to cover longer term absence. The TA cover thing is supposed to be a stopgap when it is unavoidable, and while a trained teacher is not available, but should not be a planned strategy to save money. That is not fair on teachers, children or TAs.
  5. Whatever the debate, as a TA I agree with most of the stuff on here with regards to TAs teaching classes. For the record I am not 'uneducated' neither are the majority of TAs. Some maybe, but to say 'the majority' is too much of a sweeping statement and, to be quite frank, an out and out insult.
    If anyone is going to create about TAs can I suggest the plank is taken out of your own eye first? maybe even a bit of proof reading in your own post. Then possibly, you are educated enough to take the moral high ground!!!!
    I do not in anyway, shape or form, pretend to be what I am not. I am an educated TA and love my job. I also happen to agree with the fact a TA is not a teacher although in some cases of course we do teach.
  6. How???
  7. Well, how nice for you!! And how lucky for the children!.
    Where I live, TA's generally come from parent stock. Parents who help in school, hearing reading, sorting paints out, accompanying classes to swimming, to the library and on trips, helping with coffee mornings and discos, doing sewing, etc. They then became employees as classroom assistants doing the same things, and then, later, got called TAs, sitting with and then helping SEN children - with no training or qualification!
    I despaired of their spoken English, never mind their written English, despite their good and caring intentions, I would not have wanted them to teach any of my children!!!
    We had NO doctors, no physicists, no unemployed teachers .... just the uneducated but good-hearted people who live in the town.
  8. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    It is nice.For the record our school is on a tough council estate. Some of the TAs are Moms from the estate,they speak with a good standard of English.Some did start off as volunteers but have trained to become qualified TAs. Yes, being a TA does mean sometimes you mix paint etc but then so do teachers who don't have a TA! Sitting helping with SEN children requires training, they do, afterall, have SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS. Not something a 'mom helper' (sorry,sorry,sorry to ALL TAs out there) can cope with. What branch of education do you work in? It seems, unfortunately, that you are quite sheltered from the reality of a modern education system.

  9. The real issue here isn't about TAs as individuals but the "creep" of evermore widespread use of those without QTS in the roles formerly staffed by qualified teachers. For most of my career, the unions had the aspiration of making teaching a profession, but now the future would seem to be the de-professionalising of teaching. When the national curriculum and all that went with it was introduced, past governments had the aspiration of bringing the UK up to number 1 in world league tables, but instead I believe it fell to below 20th. It looks like it could fall further decades to come. I think the future of UK education is "cheap", not "excellent". Governments would like academies, which are not required to employ qualified teachers, to be the future of schooling. Eventually quality has to be eroded. Sure there are good individuals, but across the board it has to degrade the quality of teaching.

    I believe that childrens' potential is much higher than governments believe, and the bureaucracy of government inhibits what experienced teachers with expertise to share, can achieve. I've worked with colleagues who over time built up great expertise in subjects, in teaching, and their pupils shone out-in the art, or the music, or the pe, or literacy or maths, beyond which I usually see around schools today. Yet the future would seem to be the ever increasing displacement of qualified teachers by those not qualified as teachers, and the displacement of authentic expertise with internet downloads. When schools rely on downloads etc, it would then appear that you don't have to be very qualified to hand out the worksheet or deliver prescribed lesson plans, imo, it creates a ceiling to achievement.

    The practice raised by this thread is widespread and growing.
  10. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    It's absurd that on the one hand the government is insisting that all teachers must have degrees but on the other allowing much less qualified people take the role of a teacher.
  11. I am a TA.I do not cover lessons. I work within the classroom as directed by my CT and also lead intervention groups. We are all, regardless of our role, working in a time of austerity. It should come as no surprise that schools are trying to cut costs. This does not mean that it is right for pupils to be denied access to a fully qualified teacher.

    There seems to be rising tension between teachers and TAs at a time when we should be banding together to fight for our employment rights. My meagre salary has been frozen for 3 years and any potential for professional development stymied by the scrapping of the TA training fund.Teachers and TAs alike are losing their jobs, or seeing their pay and working conditions eroded.

    TAs do an excellent job and provide invaluable support for both teachers and pupils. Many are educated to a high standard and make a significant contribution to raising standards. However, all pupils are entitled to be taught primarily by a qualified teacher.

    Maybe I am hopelessly naive, but instead of complaining and criticising wouldn't it be better to support each other and fight for our rights?
  12. I would say this thread is about rights: the rights of children to be taught as a class by a qualified teacher; the rights of someone who has qualified as a teacher to be able to work as a teacher; the right of a qualified teacher to be paid as a teacher and not told they must be a cover supervisor or ta or be paid the pay of a cs or ta when supplying; the rights of tas not to be forced into class teaching roles and paid less than a teacher would be paid for doing a teacher's job; and rights of parents to expect that unqualified staff covering classes to be as scrutinised by OFSTED and school management as a qualified teacher would be.
  13. ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!
  14. legoearth......

    I despaired of their spoken English, never mind their written English, and despite their good and caring intentions, I would not have wanted them to teach any of my children!!!

    Do you know what ... I am going to add that I feel exactly the same about many of the younger teachers I have seen recently. I am constantly having to correct spoken English .. ("we was" ... to "we were" and "I seen" to "I saw" etc. (or else ignore it .... )
    I despair ..... the children's written and spoken English, in general, will go from bad to worse ... or worse than that.
    Do not defend people being put in charge of teaching children when they are patently inadequate ... whether they are TAs or qulaified teachers!!!If your TAs are better than that - no one is criticising *them* . .... unless for their low aspirations!

    The OP was quite right in raising the fact that TAs are teaching children - with nostatus and qualification, when the act of gaining the QTS SHOULD have eliminated anyone unsuitable - as most of the TAs I have known would be!

    Their role is valuable ... and valued .... as SUPPORT!!!!!

  15. Well ... and honourably said !!!

    We all value our TA's .. but they should not replace us .Long training and many years of experience havbe taught us so much more than a TA will ever know, no matter what their gut feelings about children are!
    But when a TA shows exceptional ability, we all wish they would use that and get themselves qualified as teachers and we know they would be brilliant, with the knowledge WE have!
  16. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    Getting QTS is not always an option for many TAs with family and financial constraints. I undertand your message but feel you get a little mixed up about where knowledge is aquired. You only get many years experience after many years no matter how qualified. Brilliant TAs should be encouraged and supported to become qualified teachers but unfortunately this is not the case.Many brilliant TAs don't want to teach whole classes. We have to agree that a being a TA is a quite different and essential role to that of a class teacher.It should be rewarded finacially as such and given the status it deserves as that of a qualified teacher does. These days it is a case of the 'doctor/nurse syndrome'. Both essential,both totally different rolls but you can't really have one without the other. Educationalists should stick together,united we stand devided we fall.

  17. acquired
    (I totally agree with you Gertie. Enough said)
  18. legoearth, I agree it may be difficult for TAs to be able to train for QTS. But are you implying that they should therefore be allowed to teach without QTS?In my experience, TAs are not wannabe teachers. They enjoy their supporting role and are valued for their supporting role. I agree that it is similar in some ways to the doctor/nurse thing, and I don't think a nurse would be very impressed if told, "What a shame you didn't manage to become a doctor". In the same way that nurses are better at some things than doctors (in my experience, taking blood :)), the TA role gives a person skills and knowledge the teacher doesn't get a chance to develop.To see a TA as a failed teacher is a gross insult, and to use him/her as a teacher is to erode the TA role as much as the teacher role. I would not necessarily encourage a brilliant TA to become a teacher, because being brilliant as a TA is not the same thing as being great teacher material. The person I would encourage to become a teacher would be the TA wMho found the role frustrating, who aspired to standing there in front of the class, and who had to the academic skills needed. I would also warn that person that even though the pay is a lot better than TA pay, they would not get there without sacrifice (including financial sacrifice) and hard work, and once there, the sacrifice of time and energy outside of 'working hours' would continue.
  19. Excellent post, thumbie. [​IMG]

  20. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    I am now hanging my head in shame Gertie[​IMG]


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