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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. I am happy when they help me with kids who cannot remember or do anything without having a stereo or a robot next to them, but I can't stand it when they talk to the kids over me, they disturb my lessons more than any other kids!!
     
  2. In my experiance i have found that TA's are an extremely hard working member of the school community. On the most part they are as committed and passionate about their role in the classroom as any other individual. In my opiion i think the key is communication and motivation, if they know what is expected of them they will be able to perform many extremely valuable tasks that the teacher doesn't have time for, they should be shown how vital they are to the running of the classroom an i think alot of teachers would be lost with out them.
     
  3. My friends just took a year out of uni for some work experience. She is going to be the most fantastic teacher! Shes a natural...makes me sick! ;-)

    So, she has become a teaching assistant. I was disguted to find that the TAs in her school are not allowed to use the Staff Room! Yup. you heard me, they are forbidden to use the staff room. Shocking!

    ALL the TAs in my school are fantastic! They are a VITAL part of our day to day running of the school. If you havent learnt to respect and value them, then youre a proud toss pot! xx
     
  4. roman_eagle

    roman_eagle New commenter

    just about the only people that treated me like i wasnt an idiot at school during my nqt year were the TAs and LSAs. they also said that i was one of the only people who made them feel like they belonged in school. i was so touched i nearly cried!

    if only there were more in some of my lessons, although i do understand where people are coming from if they have had bad experiences with TAs. its like everyone everywhere in any profession or job, theres good uns and bad uns!

    treat the good uns good and they give you biscuits from their secret stash!

    R
     
  5. I'm just writiung to say I dont understand why on earth some people think it's ok to 'blanket comment' about TA's .... yes I am sure there are some which leave a little to be desired. However, isnt that the case for all prof's???? Many many Ta's have more relevant qualifications than the teachers....NNEB for example. Early Years foundation degrees for another. Why is it that teachers think they rule the world?? They are at the end of the day human...except they act sometimes like they are a whole new species!
     
  6. We have two fab ones assigned to our department.
    Couldn't do without them now.
     
  7. "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?"

    shorty, if you read my post properly, you'll see I pay tribute to TAs, as well as referring back to the points I made about the ex-military TA mum who is destroying the school attended by one of my case study children.

    I no longer teach - at least not in a school. I taught English, and ended up second in an English dept at a huge Upper school, and head of Drama. This meant a pile of marking assignments which had to be coped with every night (after rehearsals for the school plays finished ) and every weekend. Every child I taught was taking an external exam, and I was also an A Level examiner as our school was doing an experimental A level. There were never enough hours in the day. I loved it, every tiring minute of it, but I was always ill every holiday. Finally, when I was 30, my immune system collapsed totally, I had a very serious viral pneumonia, and a collapsed lung. I was told I could never teach again, because I wasn't resistent to viral infections any longer.

    That was a long time ago. After struggling to survive loss of income and divorce, I started writing for a living - 3 stories a day, 365 days of the year as the pay was so low and rejection rates so high.

    I still write for a 'living' and still work at that pace and do some lecturing. I fitted in another degree, and am now doing a PhD on the education of children on the autistic spectrum / related conditions.

    The TA issue I was originally discussing comes out of that work :)
     
  8. I think what annoys so much in your post is the patronising questioning of Shorty's life and qualifications. Also, the mum's army tag. (No pun intended re: the military style TA)! Whenever I see a reference to illiterate mums as TAs I see red. It's becoming rarer and rarer these days and most TAs are dedicated professionals in their own right. To compare a TA's job to that of a teacher's is wrong. They are different and both require differing skills. These days TAs are asked to do so much more than even 5 years ago. It's just a shame that salaries, job descriptions and levelling have not caught up. (And some attitudes).

    If a teacher has a problem with their TA why can't they communicate with them? I read about cases like, 'My TA talks over me', etc. How about talking to them and outlining the problem. That is what teachers are supposed to be good at, after all.

     
  9. "I think what annoys so much in your post is the patronising questioning of Shorty's life and qualifications. Also, the mum's army tag. (No pun intended re: the military style TA)! Whenever I see a reference to illiterate mums as TAs I see red."

    Then read my original post. And read shorty's dismissal of teachers as 'up themselves'.

    Shorty had a pretty good life, and a lucrative life, as an engineer, for 17 years. S/he never had to live on nothing.

    Would you like to see an example of the illiterate ex-military mum's attempt to write a justification of how she chased, cornered and restrained an epileptic child?


    I'd be only to happy to scan it for those who think that all TAs are angels.

    Some are.

    Some should not be allowed access to our children.
     
  10. PS - I should have said, but I was too angry - the child was having a complex partial seizure at the time.
     
  11. i also think T.A's are taken the p*ss out of by authority at times. i used to work in an sen school and al T.A's worked very hard there. despite this, only receiving litte over £5 an hour. when trying to agree a new matrix and pay scale we were asked to list what we done. when put down laminating things were told that that was the instructors job but we were meant to photocopy ? how mad - we were basically told we should go up to office, stand beside laminator to photocopy but to wait on instructor to laminate things (only 4 instructors in school) as well as this, when discussing duties we spoke about administering medication - in an sen school this was a daily duty which often included seizure control and admiinistering rectal and nasal diazipham and midazalom. when mentioned this for matrix we were told that we didn;t have to do that so we weren't getting paid any more for it. so, in effective, if a child was having a seizure we were expected to stand back and watch, the council knew that none of us would ever do that and used it against us. i was disgusted at the time and as much as i loved the job i could never have lived on that wage.
     
  12. Firstly I'd like to say that I am a GTP training at the moment, so I cannot comment on the overall effectiveness of TA's, but I can say that at this school (a fairly challenging secoundary one BTW), the TA's and it's the same with other support staff are all excellent. I agree with many comments made here about the people from hell ones (teachers and TA's), since this is regardless of education. But in general I do feel that for the job some of these ones do, they are underpaid.

    Additionally I do feel that this, "my education is better than yours" attitude being shown in some posts is stupid and infantile, we are all in a profession that requires hard work and a high standard, therefore if those are to be kept, than working together is the only solution. This may be a little naive, but that is surely what we all want. If you want to help kids, then stay, but if your only motivation is self importance, then sorry but "sod off", because that is not helping anyone.

    IMO and as a parent I do not agree with cover or supply teachers without QTS being allowed to instruct my child. As a GTP I have to be trained to handle the pupils under my care, so why are unqualified people allowed to teach?
     
  13. scizzy_wizz

    scizzy_wizz New commenter

    i work in a special needs school and i have to say that they are vital in my job
    however, in my mainstream teaching practice... if i'm honest it was more useflu to have her looking for resources out of the room!!!!
     
  14. "Shorty had a pretty good life" "Shorty has never had to live on nothing"

    Bjay - I worked for 4 years on an engineering apprentice pittance (£35 a week whilst the YTS kids were on double that), from which I had to purchase tools, safety wear, my bus pass (I didn't have a car, couldn't afford one!), oh and pay my rent to my parents.
    My dad was one of the 3 million unemployed for 12 years from the 80's, so we didn't have family hols for a decade, and for a long time, my apprentice wage was the only one coming into the house.

    So don't assume you know that you've had it tougher than me Bjay, you know NOTHING about me.


    And I did say SOME teachers are up themselves (the ones who always feel it is their divine right to slag TA's off, but they are perfect themselves.
    It's not nice being continually slated like an unbroken record.

     
  15. shorty, no offence, really, but you do come across as quite an angry person.

    It may just be your posting tone :)
     
  16. I'm not an angry person. My friends would howl at that comment! No offence taken.
    I do get VERY cross though when people make sweeping statements, and come the "woe is me, I'm a poor teacher, and every body has/had an eaasier life than me" bit. Really, I;m a big soft pussycat.....(honest)
     
  17. I have worked as a TA in a very busy secondary school for two years now.
    I often leave school half an hour after I should(we are hourly paid,and at little over the minimum wage,at that)having failed to manage to eat lunch due to workload.I regularly do work at home that I am not paid for.
    The thing that really aggravates me though are the few teachers who treat TA's like a form of underclass.
    The remarks made on this board by teachers who consider themselves better educated are indicative of "insecure" teachers.
    If they are so well educated they ought to know better!
    I have been present in classrooms where very well educated (including Oxford and Cambridge graduates)have absolutely no classroom control ,and their teaching skills leave a lot to be desired.(Put it this way~I wouldn't want them teaching my kids.)
    Being well qualified does NOT make them good teachers,sadly.
    Three of the ten TA's I work with ARE qualified teachers,and it doesn't make them better TA's either.
    I do the job I do because I feel I can, and do,make a positive contribution in enabling children with SEN to access the curriculum.I ENJOY working with the kids.I LIKE kids(amazes me how many teachers DON'T).I also enjoy working with the vast majority of "good" competent teachers who value my presence and support in the classroom.
    The worst aspect of this job is not the poor pay,the unpaid hours we do but the poor treatment we receive from some teaching staff.
    Yes,some teaching assistants leave a lot to be desired,BUT so do some teachers.
    To those teachers I would say try working with us instead of seeing us as a threat.We come into your lessons to support pupils and may be much more "qualified"and educated than you think.
    We don't come into your lessons to be ignored or treated like you might treat the kids in your classroom.
     
  18. "I'm not an angry person. My friends would howl at that comment! No offence taken.
    I do get VERY cross though when people make sweeping statements, and come the "woe is me, I'm a poor teacher, and every body has/had an eaasier life than me" bit. Really, I;m a big soft pussycat.....(honest)"

    I'm not going to quote from your posts. I'm Scouse, you're Scot(?), but I copied and pasted your posts to my mate who has probs with her child's TA, and she said, this is what upsets my ASC son. It's not kind - it's hard. Don't these people know about how my child's mind works?

    So I said - they are good and well-qualifed people, but they may not know about Piaget or Vygotsky, and why should they, because education may not be in their remit?

    Nuff said. I'm sure you can reassure us all by your knowledge of the inner dialogue and self-instruction of children, and whether that's egocentric or culturally and socially determined?

    Errr....

    Love to hear your views, shorty.......
     
  19. What makes you think I'm a Scot? I'm English.

    "Don't these people know how my childs mind works?"

    No, I don't. I have had a general training on special needs, just like MOST TEACHERS (how many have been fully trained to cope with every single special need?), I don't claim to be an expert on any of the specific and varied learning disabilities.

    Shout me down if you like, but I think that's where special schools excel.
    They get in our LEA around £11k per pupil per year (and rightly so) whereas in mainstream, they get £3600 per year (in our LEA).
    Unfortunately, when a parent with a child with such specific needs insists on sending their child to a mainstream school, unless they are fully statemented already,the difference in funding does not come with the child. So the burden is placed on the school to cope with what it has already has (which as a school such as ours in one of the lowest funded authorities is not a lot I can tell you).

    So parents with special needs children, please be aware that although inclusion is New Labours favourite toy, they are only doing it to save money, and not for the love of your children.
     
  20. "
    Shout me down if you like, but I think that's where special schools excel.
    They get in our LEA around £11k per pupil per year (and rightly so) whereas in mainstream, they get £3600 per year (in our LEA).
    Unfortunately, when a parent with a child with such specific needs insists on sending their child to a mainstream school, unless they are fully statemented already,the difference in funding does not come with the child. So the burden is placed on the school to cope with what it has already has (which as a school such as ours in one of the lowest funded authorities is not a lot I can tell you)."

    I agree completely. Inclusion is a cost-cutting exercise and is anathema to me. In my friend's county, she has no choice at all. The couple of remaining Specal Schools are only for children with severe learning difficulties or severe physical problems.

    And even the old Special Schools may be inappropriate for an ASC child who may not have conventional learning problems, and may be of average or above average intelligence, or the ADHD/Tourette's/Dyspraxic child who is in many mainstream schools just a pain in the butt who disrupts lessons.

    I really don't know what the answer is.
     

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