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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. Isn't the answer, leave the special schools open (after all the people who work there are highly trained specialists in specific conditions, something mainstream teachers and TA's would never be able to achieve (how many different types of learning disorders are there - hundreds!) but also for moderate learning difficulties, if the parents wish to try mainstream, ensure the funding which would have been provided at Special School, GOES TO THE MAINSTREAM ONE, so they have half a chance of succeeding by providing the right level / type of care for the child? (INstead of pushing them into mainstream school, providing no extra funding to that of mainstream, and leaving us all to get on with it).

     
  2. "Isn't the answer, leave the special schools open (after all the people who work there are highly trained specialists in specific conditions, something mainstream teachers and TA's would never be able to achieve (how many different types of learning disorders are there - hundreds!) but also for moderate learning difficulties, if the parents wish to try mainstream, ensure the funding which would have been provided at Special School, GOES TO THE MAINSTREAM ONE, so they have half a chance of succeeding by providing the right level / type of care for the child? (INstead of pushing them into mainstream school, providing no extra funding to that of mainstream, and leaving us all to get on with it)."


    I don't know. There are many possible answers, and my PhD will try to come up with the most palatable options.

    It's a very vexed question.


     
  3. If you need any personal experience of special schools (albeit from a parent's point of view) bj - just let me know. I am all in favour of them.
     
  4. Just to clarify bj - I have two children - one with PMLD and one who is G&T. Quite an interesting mixture. And no way would I want inclusion for my boy (PMLD) and no way would I want inclusion for my girl (G&T). I would want statementing for my boy but would not want statementing for my girl. Whoever thought up the inclusion agenda (I believe it was David Blunkett) is sadly mistaken and has no real understanding of what it means in reality. Contact me if you wish.
     
  5. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter

    I can't tell you how depressing I find this thread. I have had quite a few jobs in my time, but this is the only one where I have found the need to justify my existance every day.
    I am an experienced TA with qualifications and maybe I flatter myself but I seem to get on with the people I work with. Noone has complained about the work I do. Infact I have had teachers complain when I'm not in lessons. I'm dedicated and I love my job but I've had enough. I'm studying for a degree with the OU at the moment. My school thinks I want to become a teacher (they've paid half the fees), infact I intend to walk away from it all. The kids are great, the status is low and the pay is ****.

    I agree that there are good and bad TAs but before any teacher complains about the quality of support just look at the pay scales. Pay peanuts...



    Oh, and as Bart would say - Underachiever...AND PROUD OF IT!
     
  6. Blimey bjay! Sorry but you come across as a snob and a martyr in post 74.

    '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......... How much did it cost you or your parents?'

    Errrrr... none of your business as long as I do my job and do it well. Right? This isn't a competition you know. It's about educating children.

    How can you possibly presume to know what qualifications an individual TA has? Certainly, some won't have degrees (and of course it's not a requirement of the job) but I think you'll find that quite a few have.

    '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'

    Ahhhhh. Poor you. You chose the profession you went into. Sorry, no sympathy.

    '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'

    Been there, done that. I've got my A-Levels, my degree and my teaching certificate. Now I work as a TA. Sorry, what is it you want me to prove? To whom? For others, becoming a TA rather than a teacher may come down to any number of factors; ability, finances, family commitments.... I don't think it's a question of commitment. Actually, I'd say the fact that many TAs work unpaid overtime and deal with much of the behaviour-related **** that teachers do, for FAR LESS MONEY, proves that they are indeed commited to helping children.

    'Teachers made sacrifices for their vocation. That's ultimately the difference.'

    You can't possibly know what sacrifices anyone has had to make for their profession. How dare you be so presumptious!

    Your post smacks of intellectual snobbery and martyrdom and I'm bloody glad I'm not your TA. I'd hate to work with someone who needed to wave their qualifications around under my nose in order to feel a sense of superiority.
     
  7. "
    Your post smacks of intellectual snobbery and martyrdom and I'm bloody glad I'm not your TA. I'd hate to work with someone who needed to wave their qualifications around under my nose in order to feel a sense of superiority."

    Read through the thread.
     
  8. "Just to clarify bj - I have two children - one with PMLD and one who is G&T. Quite an interesting mixture. And no way would I want inclusion for my boy (PMLD) and no way would I want inclusion for my girl (G&T). I would want statementing for my boy but would not want statementing for my girl. Whoever thought up the inclusion agenda (I believe it was David Blunkett) is sadly mistaken and has no real understanding of what it means in reality. Contact me if you wish."

    Thanks sg! In the county I live in, the Inclusion policy works better than in most places, but where my case study mum-of-five-autism-spectrum-kids lives, it's diabolical. Often it's down to the school itself.

    Generally, I think it's an ill-thought-out policy, especially as it was rolled in just before Workplace Remodelling, another ill-thought-out policy. It's a bit of a shambles right now.
     
  9. bjay,

    I had already read through the thread and I stand by what I say about hints of intellectual snobbery in your posts.

    It's interesting that you chose to respond only to my final paragraph.
     
  10. FAIRYDELL

    FAIRYDELL New commenter

    bjay, you copy and paste so well, I rather think you'd make a wonderful TA, afterall you obviously think us mums who are TA's are capable of little else.
     
  11. Ive had some brilliant TAs, fabulous, helpful, dedicated and supportive.

    but

    this year I have the most boring, unhelpful and unsupportive TA at the mo

    What a difference the good TAs make

    I want my old ones back!
     
  12. Where have the good ones gone to?
     
  13. I really like TA's. The dumb ones are quite funny to watch, but the good ones are a real asset and try very hard. I do feel sorry for them, as teachers (including myself) will chat and pretend to be nice and understanding, but few teachers feel adults untrained in educational theory should be in the classroom. Putting it in perspective, ther are few countries in the western world who allow non-degree holders close to the education of children.

    From my position, regardless of the number of SEN children in the room, I have no problem adjusting my style and lesson to cope. This is called experience and is what I am paid for. I don't need another untrained person in the room to watch and train. This is the majority. Saying that, I have had some fantastic teacher led/TA partnerships in my classroom.
     
  14. "I had already read through the thread and I stand by what I say about hints of intellectual snobbery in your posts.

    It's interesting that you chose to respond only to my final paragraph."

    That's because it was the only part that seemed relevant.

    If I'm an intellectual snob, maybe I'm an intellectual. Do you want me to apologise for that?

    I've never had a TA. I left teaching before they were invented, because my immune system collapsed, but you know what? I've addressed conferences of 500+ (in the last six months), I've addressed television audiences of over a million, I've had radio listeners of 500,000, I've sold my books to more than three million and I've never wanted or required anyone to hold my hand while I taught 200 inner city Special Needs kids in the school hall. I just had to do it.

    My intellectual and emotional skills and sense of who I am, hold me up. They are my skeleton. I know I can meet any challenge, and answer any question, and I never feel inadequate and would never allow anyone to make me as angry as you are. What's the point? I just want to use my mind and experience to help others. That's my job. What I know and have achieved is fairly quiet, but fairly substantial, in the sum of things. I am now an OAP, doing a PhD, at last. It's taken me an entire lifetime of achievement to reach this point of rest, so I feel enabled to talk about the things I know.

    May your god(s) go with you.




     
  15. 'If I'm an intellectual snob, maybe I'm an intellectual. Do you want me to apologise for that?'

    No need to apologise. It just seems a little impolite to list your qualifications on almost every thread you contribute to. You seem to want to engage in debate only with those who are qualified to the same level as yourself. You're obviously very proud of your achievements and rightly so. Most of us on these boards are, I'm sure, proud of what we've achieved.

    You have some years on me but perhaps in 40+ years' time, I will have the wealth of qualifications and experience you have. I hope I won't feel the need to point it out all the time though.

    'I've never had a TA. I left teaching before they were invented. I taught 200 inner city Special Needs kids in the school hall. I just had to do it.'

    That is admirable but I'm confused about your stance on the usefulness of TAs. Do you think a (good) TA benefits the children he/she works with?

    'I never feel inadequate'

    To me, the fact that you so frequently list your qualifications suggests that you do. It seems you feel as though you have something to prove.

    'and would never allow anyone to make me as angry as you are'

    I am not angry. Merely finding fault with your approach.

    'May your god(s) go with you'

    Thank you. And also with you!

     
  16. Not all TAs are untrained, some in my school would you believe have degrees? One has 1st class honours. Schools that take on level 1 or 2 do not attract the most experienced and qualified staff and that is the problem. Oh and some of us are trained in education theory. Better still some of us have more knowledge of SEN, behaviour management and life in the real world outside school.
     
  17. Oh thanks! I'm a level 1 (as are all the TA's in my school). We are qualified to level 3, and most of us had professions before we became TAs. (I was a professional engineer, qualified with an HNC).
    My sister-in-law, on the other hand has never worked in a school before, never trained, but has just walked into a level 2 job, in a neighbouring authority (they don't have level 1, they go straight onto level 2 - even the untrained novices!)

    Our LEA is one of the lowest funded in the country, which would I suspect, stand a bigger chance of being the reason why most of us start on such as low level compared to much better funded authorities.
    Nothing to do with skill level, I;m afraid! That's why we need a NATIONAL patscale to iron out the current unfairness.
     
  18. Our TAs do a fantastic job and I don't think knowledge of Piaget is a pre requisite for teaching.

    Just being human, liking the company of children and being proactive is all that is really necessary.
     
  19. Shorty68 We HAD a national pay scale, the Nursery Nurse pay scale until the government called us all TAs and employed unqualified people. It started at point 10 and you moved up each year until point 15. Then as I did change authorities you stated on the point you were on just like teachers. The move was agreed by the unions!
    coolasacucumber. "Just being human, liking the company of children and being proactive is all that is really necessary." I wonder what teachers would do if that was all that was necessary for their job.
    As they say, "You can't have your cake and eat it"
     
  20. keep smiling - Well I can promise you that every single payscale across every LEA is now vastly different (and unfair), with different rates of pay and scales / levels for the same job descriptions across the country.
    I'm not surprised it was the government who wrecked it though. So much for Labour being for the average working class man / woman!!!
     

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