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Teacher becoming a teaching assistant

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by pedro1, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Hi, Just after peoples thoughts to be honest . . . I'm a male teacher, qualified in 2010 with a 1st class honours only to discover that teaching is not for me. I've now worked in two schools (first one I hated, present school is great). Every day is groundhog day for in terms of feelings of going to work. I still want to work with children and in an educational setting, however I am becoming increasingly unhappy with the everyday pressures of being a teacher. After lots of thought and discussion with my partner I am considering applying for a HLTA or TA3/4 position. What I'm after is people experiences, views, thoughts and advice. Are schools likely to take a qualified teacher? Has anyone been or in the same position? Any comments from HT or SLT members would also prove beneficial to me. Thanks.
     
  2. Hi, Just after peoples thoughts to be honest . . . I'm a male teacher, qualified in 2010 with a 1st class honours only to discover that teaching is not for me. I've now worked in two schools (first one I hated, present school is great). Every day is groundhog day for in terms of feelings of going to work. I still want to work with children and in an educational setting, however I am becoming increasingly unhappy with the everyday pressures of being a teacher. After lots of thought and discussion with my partner I am considering applying for a HLTA or TA3/4 position. What I'm after is people experiences, views, thoughts and advice. Are schools likely to take a qualified teacher? Has anyone been or in the same position? Any comments from HT or SLT members would also prove beneficial to me. Thanks.
     
  3. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    I work in a school where the HT would not consider a teacher for a TA position.
    However, at my local school the HT will ONLY employ teachers as TAs.----------------------------------------------
    So it depends on the HT of the school you're apply to.------------------------------------------------------------------
    Be aware that many schools may not consider you for HLTA or L3 TA until you've had TA experience, despite being a teacher. You may have to start at L1, with vast majority of vacancies are L1 and temporary, but this will vary over the country.
     
  4. glenn_xp

    glenn_xp New commenter

    Also consider career prospects. Teachers move up through threshold in far bigger increments than a TA. After 6 years a teacher in London fringe area will be earning around £32k , £10k more than they started on. A TA after 5 years service will be lucky to have increased their pay by more than a couple of thousand. This is were the big gaps appear. A TA in my school with 5 years service will earn 1/3 that of a teacher with the same length of service. Also apart from HLTA there aren't really any other higher level jobs to move onto. Teachers can progress to Leadership or AST's but there is no real career progression for a TA other than sideways moves into other support roles. But yes there is far less stress and paperwork and nothing to worry about preparing or marking over weekends or holidays.
     
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Also be prepared for lots of competition. Last year one level 2 TA post had 20 applications from unemployed teachers and this week the TA level 3 post had over 50 applications and quite a number of teachers applying again (no idea of just how many.)
     
  6. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Don't you have to do any planning or marking for your PPA time? My friend (who is a teacher, not a TA) has recently left our school and is doing a PPA cover job in another local school - she doesn't have to plan or mark either (and can't believe what it's like to have weekends completely free - she was in a very senior position before, so had a horrendous workload on top of her own planning and marking.)
    So perhaps people like the original poster do need an extra warning - some HLTA posts will indeed reduce your stress levels but, unfortunately, a read of some old threads on here will warn you that for others it is almost as hellish as teaching. I have to work most evenings and a large part of every weekend, as well as time in the holidays (there is no other way of achieving my Performance Management target this year than giving up a large part of the Easter holiday to completing the task set for me.)
    Some schools will employ a teacher as a TA but then expect them to do a teachers job - as they do with the TAs (and not just higher level ones, it is becoming more common for even TAs on the lowest levels to be expected to 'cover' classes) whilst there may be teaching jobs, like the one my friend has got, where stress levels are actually lower! Obviously these jobs are likely to be at the lower end of the teacher's pay scale, (my friend had to take quite a big jump back) or may be part-time, but it probably won't be as big a drop in income even on that basis as becoming a TA.
     
  7. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    I have to plan and mark for PPA time/cover and for all my intervention groups.
     
  8. I tend to work through lunch and stay a bit later than my contracted hours and along with my own PPA time this is usually enough if my time is organised effectively. Some nights I have some work to do but it's nothing compared to what I had as a teacher. It is definitely something worth thinking about with regards to career progression. I'm lucky in my role that I have other roles and responsibilities but I don't really have any higher to go now. I'm ok with that sacrifice (I can only speak for myself at this moment) but if career progression is a priority for you then this isn't the route to go.
     
  9. I am teacher qualified in a support role in a College and love it! My two colleagues and boss are all teacher qualified too. We contribute so much more in discipline, resourcing teaching, supporting teachers etc. etc. than we could possibly do without the training and knowlege.
    I hope you find a fully rewarding role (and are prepared for the pay cut.)
     
  10. cml62

    cml62 New commenter

    I am a part time TA and I do as much at home as I do at school. TAs have no PPA time but need to prepare resources, plan activities etc in our own time. On the whole, teachers don't differentiate sufficiently and TAs end up planning/preparing appropriate activities/materials for pupils, mostly with very little notice.
    I'm aware of the horrendous stress that teachers have to bear but don't think being a TA will be a complete end to that. I LOVE ny job, but can only do it because I have a partner who earns a reasonable salary - if I worked full-time I would only be earning around £10k (I don't live in London!). TAs don't get paid in the holidays and don't enjoy the healthy pensions or robust trade union representation that teachers have.
    Nevertheless....we get to do the lovely bits that teachers miss out on. We are lucky to get to know the pupils, play at break/lunchtimes, hear them talk about the things that matter to them.
    Good luck with your decision!
     
  11. Have you thought of looking for work in industry that could capitalise on your teaching? I had many rewarding IT teaching, training and coaching roles in a wide range of sectors before jumping back into mainstream teaching.
     
  12. Can I just ask, what did you decide to do in the end?
     
  13. deborah37

    deborah37 New commenter

     
  14. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Hi. I am a qualified teacher now working as a TA. I taught back when I was with my husband, but now that I am on my own with 3 children, I could not stand the thought of having work to do on evenings and weekends. Like you though, I knew that I still wanted to work with children. I now start at the same time as my kids - and at their school! - and we walk home together at the end. No childcare costs to worry about, and I can leave my job behind at the end of the day. It is perfect in that regard. I had taught at some very selective (high) schools and had no experience of children with additional support needs, but this job has definitely delivered on that front! And as a previous poster mentioned, you get to really know the kids, which is lovely.

    The downsides are the money is **** poor, for what we do. I am regularly attacked, due to the nature of the children I'm working with. And I sometimes find it slightly frustrating to take orders, due to the position I used to have. I do it with a smile on my face, and always to the best of my ability, but you do feel lower down the pecking order (this role isn't valued enough), which is sometimes difficult to take.

    Nevertheless, it is what it is, and although the job is extremely demanding (if you think it's all going to be pencil sharpening and reading groups, think again!), the convenience of it trumps all else.
     
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  15. sunshine247

    sunshine247 New commenter

    Hi
    I have been teaching 10+ years and find the whole teaching experience overwhelming. Now have a baby and another child and thinking the same thing. Not sure if Head would employ teacher. Secondly worried about doing teacher role but paid as hlta.
     
  16. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I think unfortunately, you may be taken advantage of. I’ve got a friend who’s an HLTA and left the school we both used to work at, because she didn’t like the amount of cover she was having to do, often last minute to cover sickness etc. She took up a regular TA role, at a lower salary, at a different school, the job offered was class based with intervention groups, which is what she wanted, and an agreement she would cover classes ‘occasionally’. She left less than a year later when she was being usd for cover most of the time, because they knew she could do it, but was being paid as a TA not an HLTA - so back where she was at the old school but for less pay!

    I wouldn’t be surprised if an HLTA who was qualified as a teacher was misused in this way too. Lots of HLTAs are brought in mainly for covering classes - often in emergencies such as illness - and end up planning and marking too, but with no PPA timetabled to allow them to do this. You may end up with a lot of the stress of being a teacher for far less pay.
     
  17. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    Modgepodge could be right … but it's not definite. I've been a HLTA for 10 years (primary) and work alongside our Y6 teacher. Sometimes I support in class; more often, we team teach or split the class and I cover PPA and management time. I do occasionally cover other classes in emergencies. I know I'm lucky. I also work with many HLTAs across our LA and further afield who spend their whole week covering classes - some with all planning and resourcing ready and no marking; others are given a post-it with a LO that morning and have to get on with it! There's no way I'd do that - it was never what the HLTA status was intended for and is not right on so many levels - for teachers or TAs.

    I've also frequently been involved in recruiting and interviewing TAs, and have employed two ex-teachers in the past. One was very successful; she was brilliant at the job, adapted to her new role and enjoyed it. The other wasn't so successful - always found it difficult to work 'under the direction of the class teacher'. But it's definitely possible and I think many schools would be very interested. I do think you'd have to move schools - I can't see it working to go from being a teacher to a TA in the same school. That's just asking to be taken advantage of! And you would need to be very clear about the JD and exactly what was expected. Best of luck.
     
  18. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    you certainly can, the only problem is that there are FAR more teachers competing for TA roles than for teaching roles.

    As to being taken advantage of, its up to you to make sure you are not.

    I've done it, and the pay per hour for TAing was more than the pay per hour for teaching, once you take all our overtime into account.
     

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