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TAs who tread on your toes

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by caroharo, May 20, 2010.

  1. Sorry to be 'that guy' but why is nearly everyone putting an apostrophe in TAs? 'Not all TA's are like that...' etc.
    That includes the teachers and the TA who claims to be more educated and qualified than teachers.
    I had something to say on the topic, but I forgot what it was now! [​IMG]
  2. Quite clearly I should not be a qualified teacher because I put an apostrophe in where I should not have - you really must have some time on your hands to actually sit there and write that message! Who cares?!
  3. Well it only took a minute to type it actually, no longer than your reply :)
    The reason I wondered was that there was a particular individual who was making out they were so educated and qualified, moreso than some of the teachers they support and yet they can't use an apostrophe. Makes you wonder if the children under their care make similar errors as a result.

    I wasn't pointing out just one error, even I'm not that pedantic. It was the fact that nearly everyone did it that baffles me.
  4. Perhaps they did it because it's acceptable?
    See under Plurals; may be used, though not recommended.....
  5. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    It isn't a plural, though!
  6. Eek! I am sorry justme and I know I will get flamed for this but please learn how to use an apostrophe.
    I am not one to usually comment on obvious typos and one off spelling mistakes, infact those kinds of posts really annoy me but I can't sit on my hands any longer!

  7. Sorry, I thought this thread ended on page four and commented after reading to that point.

    I vote TAs not TA's even though it may fall under one of those 'common usage' apostrophes.
  8. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    I still fail to see why it falls under a 'common usage' apostrophe, though??
  9. I believe that that the rather tortured reasoning behind putting an apostrophe in CD's etc. is that the use of the initial letter means that the rest of the letters in the word have been omitted and thus the apostrophe is an apostrophe indicating omission.
    I think this is total bollo cks. If that were indeed the case then, logically, it should be written C'D's and for 70+ years public broadcasting has been carried on by the B'B'C'.
    I suspect that this explanation was promulgated by some arsey young teacher who couldn't bear to admit that they were wrong[​IMG]
    Plurals, whether of whole words or acronyms, don't need an apostrophe.
  10. Jammy-Dodger

    Jammy-Dodger New commenter

    Obviously I don't know the circumstances of what happened, but I'm sure the teachers wouldn't have meant it personally. I've just finished my PGCE, and was really careful to develop a good relationship with the TA (prior to the start of my training I did a job in which I felt undervalued and didn't want to make someone else feel that way).

    In my last observation, the only thing I was pulled up on was in the instructions I gave my TA. I gave her a copy of the lesson plan, with her activity during my main input clearly highlighted (scribing words onto a smaller whiteboard). I didn't want to seem patronising, so I just said before the lesson "does that make sense? Is that ok?". She replied that it was absolutely fine (it turned out later that she "hadn't wanted to add to my stress before an observation" - very well-meaning but not particularly helpful). However, during the lesson it became clear that she hadn't understood at all what I'd asked and simply sat there looking lost. If she'd said that she needed clarification I could have explained further. My tutor said afterwards that even though I'd checked that she understood, this wasn't enough and I should always explain everything in minute detail.

    Of course every TA and teacher is different, and I wouldn't be rude to anyone, but until I knew a TA really well I would, after this experience, make sure I didn't take their knowledge or understanding for granted.
  11. lucylu1988

    lucylu1988 New commenter

    I just wanted to reply and say that I am a TA and yes when instructions are given I usually have to ask the teacher again to explain it as I am usually dealing with my child or children so don't always hear all of the lesson. I can see your frustration but I also have a great deal of frustration in my role as there aren't clear guidelines available to both teachers and TA's on our roles.


  12. Communication is the key. If the TA is able to have the plans a few days or even hours before the lesson it allows time for preparation /chat as to what is expected from everyone in the classroom. I am a TA with many years of experience and I find some teachers want you to be their third eye when others prefer you to give them feedback on any behaviour issues after the lesson rather than chip in or interrupt them in full flow. Best solution i find is for the TA to ask before the lesson begins and then go along with the teacher`s decision.

    Happy days,

  13. This is the ideal solution but a lesson driven by AfL would be finalised only after the previous lesson so the option of a 'few days before' would not be possible.
    What works for us is clear direction on the plan as to what is expected at each stage of the lesson. If LSAs have questions, they ask before the lesson starts. It is expected that they access the plans and organise before the start of the lesson - preparedness.
  14. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    In an ideal world that would happen unfortunately we don't all have access to plans.The other problem is when you keep switching classes to support or have been on duty as there isn't time even if plans were available.
  15. Belle60_3

    Belle60_3 New commenter

    What a fascinating thread! I've been in the job getting on for 13 years and work with many different teachers in an average week. Have found them to all have their own ways and they all expect different things from you. I have never got much direction from any of them to be honest and it's been a case of getting to know how each of them operate and fitting in with what they want - this all comes with time and experience. It would be nice to have a copy of the lesson plan and to see where they have planned you in ( if they have at all) but this rarely happens except when OFSTED are inspecting or when the teacher is being observed by SLT. When a new teacher starts, I make sure I have a discussion with them when I can grab them (there's never much time!) and ask them how they'd like me to support them. As I said, teachers are all different. Some like you to discipline students in a lesson. Some don't and prefer to do that themselves. Some want you to work with specific students. Some want you to 'work the room' and keep an eye on everyone. Some love you to be there. Others don't want you there at all. Some want you to take over the lesson and I sometimes find myself babysitting a class once the work has been set while the teacher does an admin job they've not been able to get to. I think all teachers should read this thread as I think, as in many schools, the biggest failing is communication, but also it would give them some insight into what it's like to be a TA trying to be all things to everyone. It's a shame that time restrictions often prevent communication to take place and we find ourselves having rushed conversations between lessons or at the start of a lesson. I also have a generic TA persona which I use for when I don't know the teacher at all, like when I'm covering for another TA. I use my classroom etiquette. I would never interrupt a teacher when they're talking to the class and if I need to discipline a student I will do it in a discreet way so as not to distract or disrupt, using a very quiet voice or non verbal gestures. Sometimes I will take a student out of the room to talk to them for a few minutes if it looks as if they are going to be disruptive - rather that than stop the learning. I will often talk to the teacher afterwards at a convenient time to check they are OK with my actions. They then have the opportunity to tell me how they want me to support in their lessons.
  16. oh for goodness sake!
    As a TA, i work flipping hard! what you might not realise is that at the same time as listening to your input, i might be managing the behaviour of up the three EBD statements (because teachers love to leave 'those kids' to us), differentiating it, receiving some kind of disclosure and thinking about how i can feed a child because they haven't eaten for 24 hours. all for less than £8 p/h. so excuse me if i missed the page number we are on...
    we get a fraction of pay/respect/professional development you do, and do nothing but support you in your lessons (running to photocopy, collecting things you're missing or differentiating on the spot because you've 'forgotten'). Please have the courtesy to speak to us like people if their is a problem rather than whinging about it on the internet.
    as for keeping out of your behaviour management, you are obviously underestimating the impact other peoples behaviour will have on my students. they, more than most, feed off the atmosphere of a room, and for children that look to you to keep them safe and boundaries set around them, they will feel unsettled if i am not upholding the rules for other behaviours i see with others. and, to be honest, if its getting to the point when im interuppting my own teaching and learning with my student to speak to yours, then probably your tactical ignoring isnt working anymore...
  17. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    It is the teacher's responsibility to deploy additional adults. An emphasis on this as part of whole school training should ensure that everyone knows what is the practice in the classroom . Observations and performance management targets can inform CPD. ' Stepping on toes' ! - language which is neither helpful or professional .

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