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teaching assistants-useful asset or a bit of a pain...? any views?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by hexenkueche, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. To 'coolascucumber' and others who said TA's talking to students they support was a problem. I have a TA who has to literally talk her our student through everything that is happening as her disability requires it. I have a stock rule though. I always say, 'The only voice I want to hear while I am talking is Mrs So and so speaking to X. Absolute quiet otherwise please. ' Then the students know that indiscriminate chatting because of Mrs So and so's murmur is not going to be allowed.

    Alternatively if a TA is nattering just because they want to,I tend to glare around the classroom and ask crossly 'WHO is talking? ' The TA generally then grinds to a halt sheepishly.

    Hope this helps!
  2. Post 51 - Possible discussion with CoG? Whilst I appreciate that the running of the school is up to the HT, if the situation is such that the child cannot come to school, further action must be taken. What input does the SENCo have in all this?
    If the IEPs are out of date and not being followed, then the school could be in trouble. These are legal documents and must be followed. If the SEMCo and HT can't help, then the LEA must be involved.
    When was their last OFSTED?
  3. Hey,

    I am a TA and have worked with some really nasty teacher's, so I guess it works both ways. There are good and bad everywhere. My opinion is that this job is hard enough without us moaning about each other. We need to be supporting each other and trying to work as a team.

    It's not easy......!!!!!!
  4. "Post 51 - Possible discussion with CoG? Whilst I appreciate that the running of the school is up to the HT, if the situation is such that the child cannot come to school, further action must be taken. What input does the SENCo have in all this?
    If the IEPs are out of date and not being followed, then the school could be in trouble. These are legal documents and must be followed. If the SEMCo and HT can't help, then the LEA must be involved.
    When was their last OFSTED?"

    Thanks Wilma. I always look for your posts as they are always sane, always measured, always reasoned.

    We have put in a formal complaint to the governors as a first step, and copied it in to the LEA, IPSEA and others. 22 others.

    Currently everyone's running around like headless chickens, but not doing anything. They've agreed the school has to have a risk assessment, they've agreed the IEPs are rubbish, and are trying to repair the damage, but Battleship Potemkin, the ex-military TA behind many of the problems, is safe inside the HT's harbour, and he'll look after her. He's physically attacked the child, too, and Child Protection is looking at him.

    It may come to litigation. I'm trying to avoid that. I just want mediation.

  5. maj


    | Posted by: bjay at 22 Sep 2006 01:25

    "Mum has four other children.

    Mum is ADHD/AS.

    Can we start from basics, please?

    Love your ideas but they don't compute in this scenario.

    How about Dad or Grandparents?
    Would they be willing to take charge?
    How about yourself, you obviously care a great deal about this family.
    How would mum feel about someone other than herself taking control?
    Once you have a person in mind who will be at the helm, you can get the ball rolling.

    Mum needs to clear one room in the house, any room of anything electronic or battery operated and have a lock on it to keep the others out while the person is working on these things for a set amount of time.

  6. "
    How about Dad or Grandparents?
    Would they be willing to take charge?"

    maj - read my lips. Single parent, ADHD, well-educated (privately), SRN. 4 boys at home, all on the spectrum.

    Fathers (2) both on the spectrum.

    Mum's mum on the spectrum (ADD). Her mum (great grandma - bipolar). Mum's dad American/Jewish doctor, Asperger's, never had input or seen daughter since birth.

    Your solution?

    Bated breath.........
  7. maj


    Bjay, how about you, would you be willing to take the helm?
  8. We have 3 TAs in our infant school and I must say they are a complete pain. They strut around like they own the place and know better than all the teachers. We are a very experienced staff and are respectful and courteous to them. I think they are resentful that we get paid more then them. They are in their element when a teacher is ill and they can take over a class- they are all too tough on the children and playtime is miserable for them as they have banned balls and dozens of other games in the playground. Unfortunately they have too much authority and our HOD is happy for them to let them have it. (I have also worked with good ones in the past)
  9. Purplefizz I'm not upset by the asking, I get upset by the timing. I find it offputting to have just settled a group, ready to go...then to be interrupted about a totally different group, I'll be teaching a week on Weds!
  10. purplefizz

    purplefizz New commenter

    Fair enough-organise a time when you are both free lunch/breaktime and sort it out then. She won't know unless you tell her. We are not all mind readers you know!
  11. angelface...

    The problem might be that TAs time is so limited - they are paid usually from start of classes until the classes stop. This means that this is the only time they have to liase about the students they are to support.

    Generally they are not paid for lunchtimes so this is not a good time to offer liason although some TAs are perfectly accepting of the idea that they use part of their own time to discuss work matters.

    If you don't like being asked about students during lesson times why not offer an alternative time? I think you will find that the questions are a fair indication that the TA is trying to do her job professionally.
  12. Hi all! Why is it that some teachers find it necessary to 'slate' TA's? If they honestly feel that they can teach without them, then all well and good, but no need to suggest that they would be useful to do 'filing'! I have worked as a TA for 3 years now and am yet to find a teacher that has not been grateful for the help given. With the huge demands put upon teachers these day's I can't believe that there is anyone out there who still feels that they are better off without help.
    Have a great term!
  13. Most TA's work very hard indeed.
    None of us get paid for our breaks, but lots of us find ourselves doing this and that for school in them.
    I work 5 mornings a week, yet it doesn;rt stop school expecting me to go on all day school trips, and do they pay us? Do they heck.

    And then they go and stretch our annual pay out over the year, to make it look like we get holiday pay when in truth, we get bug*er all.

    And as for us annoying teachers by asking what we're supposed to be doing in there lessons,well what are we supposed to do, we're TA's, not bloody mindreaders!
    If we do something that irritates you teachers, TELL US,and maybe we can do something about it, instead of bitching about us, and writing us all off in one fell swoop on here....

    Some teachers are so up themselves!
  14. their, not there.
  15. "Some teachers are so up themselves!"

    Some, no most, teachers, trained for five years. That's three years for a degree, one year for a PGCE (all unpaid) and a probationary year.

    What did you do for that five years of your life? What did you earn? What exams did you have to pass? What did you give up? How much did it cost you or your parents?

    My friend left school at 17 to go into the IR. I worked out that I would be 41 by the time I'd caught up with her earnings, and she'd never had to put herself through mindscrews.

    TAs can be wonderful and amazing and just brill. Many of them know their stuff and love kids. But some are mums with kids in the school, literacy and numeracy problems, no awareness of Piaget, loads of dysfunction, and a heap of attitude - and they're CHEAP.

    Would you like to be a professional? Do you want to live on nothing for four years, and pay out for your tuition in top ups? Go ahead. Prove how committed you really are.

    I'm sure you are a great TA. Teachers made sacrifices for their vocation. That's ultimately the difference.
  16. 71: I am sure some teachers (myself included last year) would love to opt out of having a TA but were not allowed. The TA was allocated and we had to put up with her. It didn't matter that is was proven that she was a disruptive influence on the class who needed routine and boundaries, I was an NQT, she had plans for what we were doing every half term in advance (and quite frankly I was the only teacher to do this) but would STILL take up 10 minutes of every lesson asking what we were doing.

    I begged and begged the SENCo to use her somewhere else where she would be useful but no, I asked for extra observations to be made on days when she was there and wasn't there and those observations reflected what I had been saying all along.

    The truth is if you are stuck with a (thankfully thery are in a minority) terrible TA there is little you can do.

    I spoke to my TA countless times about lateness (this was after I caught her in the staffroom chatting when she should have been in my lesson 10 minutes ago), speaking over the top of me and her complete lack behaviour management, these were NOT bad kids, just needed settling from time to time. I then made a formal complaint. She is still in the school but is on a training plan and is regularly observed in lessons. I really hope it works.
  17. Oh dear Bjay, that was a raw nerve, wasn't it? It's not nice being rubbished and written off in one fell swoop is it (see how it feels?).

    Firstly, no-one made you go into teaching, it was YOUR choice.

    So you want to know what I did for that 5 years of my life?

    I left school with 10 o'level's. I completed Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship, during which I gained an ONC and HNC in MEchanical Engineering.
    I qualified as a PROFESSIONAL engineer after 4 years

    I worked in engineering for 17 years before we relocated due to my husbands job, and I gave up my work (I was pregnant at the time).

    Now I work as a TA.
    I retrained and completed and achived a pass in a level 3 TA qualification (paid for by me).
    If you saw me in school, you would no doubt assume that I was just "a mum with kids in the school."

    You would be quick to judge because you wouldn't know my background, or that I DO have professional qualifications, and that because I am "cheap", I am also "not good".
    You wouldn't realise that because you don't know my history and qualifications, that I bring with me to the classroom, many other skills and experiences, that benefit the school, yet which is not reflected in my £6.60 an hour salary. For example, I am qualified up to degree standard in both Maths and Science, for which the school benefits hugely.

    Why don't you ask the TA's in your school what they did before they were a TA? You might get a surprise (or a shock depending on your viewpoint).
    If they genuinely are as you put it "just mums with kids" then I think someone needs to give your head and chair of governors a swift kick up the backside for being so sloppy about who they choose to appoint.

    Teaching is not the only profession for which you have to make sacrifices. There are many others. If you don't want to make them, then don't. Follow your friend into IR.
    You may be 41 before you catch up with her earnings, but is that before or after you have adjusted it to account for having over a quarter of the year off in paid leave?

  18. Oh how I wish I got a 1/4 of the year off :) What with planning and naking resources I am lucky if I end up with half of my holidays and during term time I ork late most days and at least one weekend day, my choice I know but I still do it.
  19. I know that, but my point was that there are many other professionals, who HAVE to take their work home with them, who ALSO spend hours and hours in their own time at home etc working. This is on top of having to work long hours too eg 8.00 till 6pm. Its the norm!

    Even HALF a teachers holiday is shed loads more than everyone else.

    I only said it in response to the "oh woe is me, I;m a poor teacher" posting earlier. I know you all work damn hard and put in loads of extra hours, I'm just saying that you're not the only ones, and its not such a bad deal, is it?
  20. And "the norm" is 25 days holiday if you're lucky. Some people get 20 days a year.

    And TA's get a quarter of the year off - UNPAID.

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