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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. How ironic that themousewhoroared accuses others of being 'dumb' in the same paragraph as using an unnecessary apostrophe in 'TAs'.
  2. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    I would just like to point out that any TA who trained as an NNEB will have considerable knowledge as regards both Piaget and Vygotsky (hope I haven't let the side down by spelling those wrong!) Many teachers I have worked with have said that they wished their training had included such in-depth coverage of child development as the old NNEB course - and I'm sure that many other courses had similar content. And I didn't get paid when I was doing two years full-time training, though I was more fortunate than some Nursery Nurses who had to pay for their courses themselves. I'm not a teacher, have never wanted to be a teacher and never will be a teacher - I've tried to ban my children from becoming teachers too! I absolutely love being a TA and have been lucky enough to work with some of the most talented teachers imaginable so I'm not trying to knock teachers in any way - just wanted to point out that being a TA does not necessarily involve being under-educated, as many TAs who have degrees have already pointed out.
  3. Most teaching assistants are really great - helpful, supportive, down to earth and normal! However, you do get the odd exception, for instance, the TA who is also a parent and thinks that because they work at the school has some god given right to voice their opinions constantly and tell you what to do!!! Right pain in the backside!!!
  4. No - a t/a voicing an opinion??? What is the world coming to?! - They should know their place, eh Starfly?
  5. Please, can TA's be seen as part of an eductional team and not as the enemy. As long as the government is unprepared to fund education properly, we are here to stay. If you can afford NQT/Similar to cover your PPA time, you are very fortunate. I firmly believe that teachers should have professional protection and before standing in front of a class you would need, minimum, a degree and teacher training. Experience of people and the jobs they do shows that they are all very different. So are teachers and TA's. Some good, some bad. Make of inclusion what you will dear people, but I've worked with a lot of teachers who do not plan any differentials at all for their SEN and low ability groups and it's been left to the TA to plan, prepare and resource for those kids because they want the best for them. The teacher just wants them to be quiet and undisturbing while they get on with pitching their lesson to the middle group and the more able, considering SEN as unteachable. You may not be one of those teacher, but believe me, they are out there. On the other hand some TA's are useless, too. If your TA does as it says on the label - Assists the teaching - whatever those particular needs are (which you must make plain to her/him), then the chances are you will view them as an asset but if not....then you won't and your .... will have a pain in it.
  6. bevevans22

    bevevans22 Administrator

    There are teachers in our school so old they don't even have a degree - just a teaching diploma. They will all be retiring over the next few years though.
  7. I'm an NQT who has just finished (survived?) her first half term. I must say that I've had some difficult classes and my TAs have been absolutely invaluable! The key to getting on with TAs seems to be to work with them as a team, as others have rightly pointed out. However, I admit that I am relatively inexperienced compared to some posters and haven't yet encountered a 'TA from Hell'.

    I'm surprised that nobody has retaliated to TAs comments about their low pay. Being an NQT, I'm on the lowest pay and I've worked out that, if I take into account all the extra hours I have to do (overtime?) I get paid approximately eight pounds an hour! That doesn't count all the weekend work and (so called) holiday work. Not much more than a TA! Yet, a LOT more accountability, stress and responsibilty. That's a job in education - **** pay all round.
  8. *responsibility
  9. birdygirl

    birdygirl New commenter

    I have come across some amazing, fantastic, lovely TAs. However, I have found that the younger ones 18 - 22 want to be teachers! I do regular supply in a school with two young teaching assistants. Both cover PPA time for a couple of teachers and both think that they are teachers! In the staff room they say things like, "Oh yes, when Kieran was in MY class...."
    That doesn't bother me too much, it's the fact that when they are in classes that I am covering they insist on taking over!
    I was in the middle of a DT lesson last week and the children were designing a fruit salad. We were discussing different fruits to use and which would look most attrcative. I was just choosing a child with their hand up when the TA suddenly said, "Children, have you ever had a fruit salad? What do you think we would do with the fruit before putting it into the bowl? Yes, that's right, we need to chop it up."
    I sat there stunned, that was the next part of the lesson and she decided to just do it herself!
    The other thing is when the children are being really noisy. I stand with arms folded glaring at them. One by one they see me and stop talking. Cue the TA! "Children I can't believe this noise for Miss ****, everyone be quiet."
    All children are now facing TA who has implied that I lost control! Grrr!!
  10. birdygirl that sounds awful! I would go mad! You need to speak to her asap! Maybe send her out to work with a group.... every lesson!
  11. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    I've just glanced back over some of the postings on this thread (it does seem to have been going for quite a long time now!) and it appears that a teacher has claimed that she/he never needed a TA to help them cope with SEN children. I think I may have got the wrong end of the stick somewhere, because in the 13 years I have been a TA (in various guises) I have never considered that my role was to support any teacher - I am there to support the pupils and help them learn.
  12. My school closes when the TA'sre out. Teachers go into complete panic mode without us. I support my teachers if they are proffessional and correct in thier approach.

    Passing a driving test does not make a good driver. Passing a degree does not make a good teacher. There are some useless teachers and useless TA's. Qualifications are piecesof paper.

    Teachers who are threatened by TA's are often inadequate and TA's who want to be teachers should go and do the extra study. The two roles are different why do people have trouble respecting that.
  13. Lets put this into perspective. In English speaking jurisdictions England is unique. It allows, for financial reasons, professionally untrained (to university standard) into a classroom. Where I originally came from this is a criminal offence, for which a Head would face a severe fine.

    These people are not professionals. Professionals hold formal qualifications in their field. While I have always found most TA's to be really nice people, this is what they are. They are not, I repeat not, professional educators. They fill gaps within a system that cannot afford enough professionals. On this website, teachers can actually say what they know to be true.

    The best joke is HLTA! What the hell is this? I mentioned this to a friend in Australia who could not stop laughing! This is someone who has no educational qualifications to teach, usually holding no degree, who attends a few inset days or does a course suitable for 16 year olds, and hay presto, here we have someone allowed a role in teaching! Cheap labour to fill supply positions. Every other western world, English speaking country, cannot be wrong. The rest of Europe cannot be wrong. Scotland cannot be wrong. This is shoddy practice....

    If you want to teach, go to university, do a degree (and you can, I did and funded it myself whilst working), complete your in-school training, meet the constantly changing standards and inspection standards and teach.

    New TTA advertisement = 'Those who can teach! Those who can't pretend for chicken feed!'
  14. bevevans22

    bevevans22 Administrator

    The employment of 'unqualified TAs' varies from authority to authority. All TAs employed in our authority have already qualified at NQT level 2 and must work through to NVQ level 3. The only exception are those who are employed by onsite playgroups (although they then have to do the level 2 NVQ course)and those who are doing work based training while gaining qualification (usually young school leavers who are not included in schools' official TA numbers, but are seen as 'extra bodies').

    Most HLTAs in our authority are TAs who have already completed a Foundation Degree (some are NNEB Trained) and have GCSEs or O levels in Maths and English (and Science if they fall into a certain age group). Many TAS working with PMLD pupils have specific qualifications in other areas (sign language, ICT, braille, etc) that the teachers do not have.

    I'm know ours is not the only LEA to do this (there are certainly others in Wales), although I'm sure there is a large variation around the country.
  15. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter

    My local authority would employ the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang if they thought he was cheap enough and I'm speaking as a TA.
  16. And what about all those unqualified teachers who are teaching in schools, without QTS? Ye, that's right, those ones with a payscale all of their own, but who are UNQUALIFIED and teaching kids (whose parents are completely unaware they are not qualified, but who would go ape if they found out).
  17. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Re Post 132:
    I am not in general disagreement with what you are saying but I really must point our that when I left school in my native Scotland I could have become a teacher (it was what was expected of everyone at our school which was one of the reasons I didn't do it) but I would have spent three years at Teacher Training College and come out with a Cert Ed, not a degree and I would still have been qualified to teach now. As an NNEB I did two years full-time training - not claiming that I am qualified to teach, because I patently am not, but I feel slightly aggreived at being described as an "unqualified" person because I am an HLTA - WHO DOESN'T TEACH AND DOESN'T PREVENT THE EMPLOYMENT OF ANY QUALIFIED TEACHERS. Sorry to be so rude as to shout, but I sometimes feel like I'm the only HLTA in the country who is actually doing the job as it was intended.
  18. There is no excuse or babble about 'foundation degrees' (new Labour rubbish) or NNEB or NNNNNNB or anything else. If you want a degree you go to university and get a DEGREE! Anything short of this is an excuse for a proper academic education. While these diploma type courses are fine for jobs that do not require a degree, a degree is a degree! It has been for a thousand years and will be for a thousand more! This is not to say that those with a 'foundation degree' or alike should not be proud of their achievement, but the reality is that they are not degrees, hence the term 'foundation.' Also, they are not accepted internationally, except of course in the third world, where some degrees are two years due to lack of funding.

    There is no excuse of being qualified for this and that ('in my LEA HLTA's are qualified to NQT toilet training'). It is all new labour b..ls..t designed to provide cheap labour. You are kidding yourself if you believe any different. You should ask if your qualifications are accepted internationally as professional qualifications.
  19. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Don't want to be a teacher, have never wanted to be a teacher, have actively rejected opportunity to train as a teacher twice, will never want to be a teacher, BUT I do have a qualification:
    "1Some nursery nurses may hold a Nursery Nurse Examination Board (NNEB) certificate or diploma. Although these qualifications are not offered in Scotland, they are recognised qualifications. If you hold NNEB qualifications you can continue to work as a nursery nurse or apply for new jobs. "
    This was taken from some Scottish gov. site or another.
    I actually agree that only qualified teachers should teach, but I object to what amount to personal insults about TAs - though I wil admit that I initially thought doing the NNEB would be a dawdle with my clutch of SCE qualifications easily achieved - how wrong was I? It was a tough course.
  20. I am NNEB have HLTA status. I do not claim to be a teacher. I do claim to be a professional in my field of work.

    WHY? the mousewhoroared do you not respect the variety of necessary roles in education.

    No degree makes anyone special, it is simply circumstance and opportunity. You should consider yourself very lucky.

    I have no doubt in my ability and if I wanted to achieve a degree I could. However, no degree could equip me with the valuable experience I have gained over the years as NNEB/HLTA/TEACHING ASSISTANT.

    I choose not to work as a HLTA, although I have the status. If schools have more hands on the jobs then it can only benefit education.

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