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Teaching assistant in class

Discussion in 'Primary' started by getrichquick, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. I work overseas, teaching 3 & 4 year olds & my TA is full time but the kids only stay until 11.30. I expect her to be 100% with children, especially part of Circle Time, so she knows the literacy objectives etc that I am focussing on when reading stories or carrying out a discussion. However I give her preparation tasks in the afternoon. I tend to do my own displays as I am a control freak & hate it not to be the way I want it!!! With many afternoon meetings i need help but I still work all weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The difference between my TA & me is that I do not stick to "school hours"...leaving at 3pm is just not an option if I want to plan, prepare the best resources etc. After over 20 years of teaching I still try to get better. With all the changes it never gets boring!!
    I teach in an International school which follows US curriculum but the Creative Curriculum is very similar to the UK Early Years curriculum.
     
  2. First up would be to get one of them to help you with decent sentence construction. Shocking!
     
  3. My TA & I discuss things to be done the following day the previous evening, so all P.Copies / cutting / etc are taken care of. She helps around with the discipilne in the class as well.
    We work as a team and I make sure the kids respect her as much as they respect me and there s no difference.
     
  4. I have to say I am shocked with the disrepect that many of the teachers are showing on here for TA's. Whilst I appreciate there are different levels of TA, and different abilities within those, from my experience good TA's DO have an impact on results. I am a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, I do not work for an individual teacher but the whole Maths department, and I am responsible for ensuring that focused lessons are given to my group of students, whether that is Higher achieving students, or the bottom end, or even the middle D/C to ensure they get a C. I can also say that the exam results recently announced did show that several of my students that were predicted to get a low grade actually achieved much higher, and although I cannot say it was completely my doing, I do feel that I had a big impact on many of them, and had managed to get them to a much deeper mathematical thinking, particularly using Kinaesthetic and tactile resources, whereas the main class functions had been targeted to visual and auditory learners. You have to appreciate that you have a capable person within your midst, and that if you push them too in the right way, they can be far more focused on the childrens needs and what the aims are. I very often see teachers who do not brief their LSA's or TA's, this needs to be done, and in fact if you look at the HMIE performance standards, it is an Ofsted requirement that TA's and LSA's are briefed and are given specific tasks and targets. If you just have your TA wandering around helping children here and there, yes it will do something but it will not have the impact that a focused TA will give.
     
  5. I agree with Kit909. TAs in our school only help with displays and admin jobs during the first and last weeks of each big term. On a daily basis their time is spent wholly with the pupils: with set groups or individuals to work with and plan for. They don't do little jobs around the classroom!

     
  6. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    Really?
     
  7. I do hope the majority of teachers don't feel this way. I have seen many TA's making a huge impact on a child's learning.
     
  8. I do hope not all teachers feel like this? I have witnessed many TA's making a huge impact on a child's learning. They are much more than photocopiers.
     
  9. I have to say I am shocked with the disrepect that many of the teachers are showing on here for TA's. Whilst I appreciate there are different levels of TA, and different abilities within those, from my experience good TA's DO have an impact on results. I am a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, I do not work for an individual teacher but the whole Maths department, and I am responsible for ensuring that focused lessons are given to my group of students, whether that is Higher achieving students, or the bottom end, or even the middle D/C to ensure they get a C. I can also say that the exam results recently announced did show that several of my students that were predicted to get a low grade actually achieved much higher, and although I cannot say it was completely my doing, I do feel that I had a big impact on many of them, and had managed to get them to a much deeper mathematical thinking, particularly using Kinaesthetic and tactile resources, whereas the main class functions had been targeted to visual and auditory learners. You have to appreciate that you have a capable person within your midst, and that if you push them too in the right way, they can be far more focused on the childrens needs and what the aims are. I very often see teachers who do not brief their LSA's or TA's, this needs to be done, and in fact if you look at the HMIE performance standards, it is an Ofsted requirement that TA's and LSA's are briefed and are given specific tasks and targets. If you just have your TA wandering around helping children here and there, yes it will do something but it will not have the impact that a focused TA will give.
     
  10. As a qualified N.N.E.B, with many additional qualifications and years of experience, i wish to point out that I am an individual and i do not belong to any teacher. I am employed by the school just like the teachers. They have no right to call me 'their' T.A. I have always believed I'm there to support the children with their learning. In my working life i have worked with many brilliant teachers, however i have worked with just as many poor teachers and i am so pleased i'm on my way out of education. It's been a tough decision. I am choosing to enter a career where i'm valued as an individual, i will be rewarded for my attainment and i will not be referred to as 'MY T.A'. I will also be paid for my overtime!!!!!!
    Your T.A. seems to wander off a great deal. I can't help wondering why? Maybe it's because she doesn't feel part of the team.


     
  11. I don't agree with this at all. It entirely depends on the role of the TA and their skill base and experience. There is also just as much eveidence to support the impact that TA's do have. However as a proportion of that impact is unquantifiable , for example helping to boost childrens confidence on the carpet say, in order that they might engage better with the learning and answer more questions.I believe that many TAs contribute to the social and emotional well being of children. However if you take an antiquated view of education and don't see the need for this well -being then you won't see the value of the TA.
    That said many TAS also take on a role that is much closer to a teachers. In the school where I work the TAS take guided reading sessions, support during literacy and numeracy and then spend their afternoon administering maths and literacy interventions, facilitating spelling and handwriting groups and more. This type of work requires planning and expertise.
    I am a TA with a degree in teaching and learning and my fellow colleagues are all very well qualified (in some cases to a higher level than many of the teachers).
    schools and or teachers need to decided what kind of TAS they want then have clear expectations and an understanding of their role. I believe most of the problems on both sides come from a lack of understanding in an environmnet that is traditionbaly very heirachical.
    Nobody is above menial tasks whether you are a Ta or a teacher and all jobs require you to do a certain amount of them.
    Finally I would just like to remind all teachers of how little the majority of TAS get paid (without annual rises - at least not worth mentioning!!).
     
  12. I don't know what your TA is like, but mine is an asset. Who makes a massive contribution to my children's education. The results of those she spends time with increase, allowing me to work with groups that might not get any time if she was not present.
    My children flourish not only academically but emotinally with two adults present and I could not do without her.
     
  13. You are wonderful, my sentiments exactly.
    Liz
     
  14. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    Welcome to all the new posters who have joined just to post on this thread.
     
  15. Surely you just need to meet with the teaching assistant and arrange a partnership agreement form so you are both aware of what their role is in your class and of the specific needs of the students. I've said it before - they're a teachING assistant and not a teachER'S assistant so although they may be responsible for creating resources, that doesn't include doing your photocopying.
     
  16. The teachers and TA's must work as a team, because it only will reinforce a positive learning in the classroom. As far as I am concern, as TA my role is to support the teachers work and I do that by planing the lessons with the teacher (mostly for special needs students or children with learning difficulties). The part of taking photocopies is mutual help in the classroom, helping with the display and other sort of things as long as it does not became the only thing to do. The TA's have or they should have their own schedule of things they should be doing during a day in class, so there is no spare time as everything must be planned.
     
  17. I cannot see any reason why TAs should not be asked to do photocopying or displays, as long as that is not all they do. In our school we have a timetable for each TA (one is assigned per year group). This includes time with certain classes, and with specific groups which can include gifted and talented, or reading groups, while the teacher might focus on another with specific difficulties. They have admin time as part of that, and this is when they do those types of jobs.

    Surely it makes sense to have them do these tasks, as they are much less expensive than teachers, especially if it is work for a whole year group? We would be told off if we were to do all our own copying (we all do some), as that would not be considered organising their time well. They are after all making use of equipment that might not be being used at this time, eg photocopiers, laminators, etc. Also, some of our TAs have particular talents such as display art etc. TAs specifically assigned to children do all of their hours with them, and only do admin outside of that time.

    Don't get me wrong, they have most of their time with the children, but it seems to me they can be sensibly used more widely than that if the school is organised properly.
     
  18. I am a TA and I am paid for my breaks (lucky me). However, just like the students and the teaching staff I need my breaks and expect to be accorded the same rest periods as them. Personally I find that a little respect goes a long way, and don't mind doing the occasional bit of photocopying so long as it isn't assumed.
     
  19. This is a fascinating discussion about the wide and varied roles that TAs have.
    I am a former Classroom Assistant working in Scotland. I say 'former' because a couple of years ago our council changed the names of the three different types support staff who work in schools from classroom assistant, supervisory assistant (special needs), and supervisory assistant (admin), to just one Support For Learning Assistant (SFLA) - either core (admin) or advanced rate.
    This change, together with a sizeable reduction in (mostly admin) support staff in our school, had changed my remit considerably.
    I now do dinner money in the morning, going to classes to collect orders and money, and count it and take to the bank two afternoons a week. I organise all school trips and have time out to do this. I do other admin tasks and have time out of class to do these duties.
    When not doing these jobs, I am shared with two classes and am utilised well in each.
    I am sad that my job has changed so much from when I first worked as a CA, however there is little to be done about it, I realise that some work I am now doing was previously carried out by admin assistants (and I am paid the advanced rate to do it) but we have lost four staff to budget cuts and this has had a major impact on the day to day running to the school. All support staff are having to do some admin duties that are new to them, it's they way things are.
    Although I get into work about 15 minutes early each morning (to check emails, chat with teachers I am working with that day) I try not to stay beyond my finishing time, and always try to have my (unpaid) breaks. Experience has taught me that the more I do the more I am expected to do. Not any more.
     

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