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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. bevevans22

    bevevans22 Administrator

    Excuse me, themousewhoroared, but while there are still some teachers out there with old fashioned teaching certificates or diplomas, you can hardly waffle on about TAs who are without degrees as, sometimes, the TAs qualifications are more modern more relevant, and tailored for the job THEY are doing. Do you think TAs are worried about whether their qualifications are internationally recognised?

    In any case. I have moved abroad with my husband on several occasions and have worked within the educational system within a few different countries; both as an artist (my degree is in Art) and as a TA. Never had a problem with my qualifications abroad.

    And as for your 'toilet training' remark: we live in a society where access for the disabled is a REQUIREMENT. If a TA doesn't toilet a child with CP or a similar disability are you going to do it?

  2. Oh, and Nursery nurses study education theory, psychology, sociology, child protection, childhood diseases and medical terminology, first aid, SEN and behaviour strategies among other subjects for 2 years full time, not part time as some degrees seem to be.
  3. I think TAs are an extremely useful asset for helping pupils (secondary). The only concerns I have ever had could have been sorted out if (a) I'd known they were coming into my class ahead of time so I could plan for them and (b) I'd been able to communicate with them properly ahead of time. I imagine the TA allocation gets more stable as the year progresses.

  4. TAs at my school are timetabled into departments at the start of the year and remain the same throughout the year. They are given lesson plans (mostly) and attend all the departmental meetings and are fully included in training and decision making. So if there are teachers out there that don't know when they should have a TA or not they need to speak to whoever the SMT is that does the timetable, it's not the fault of the TA. Maybe i've just been lucky to feel valued and appreciated in all the schools I have worked in or maybe it's the training, qualifications, experience and lots of common sense I have? I make a point of introducing myself to the teachers I'm timetabled with at the start of each year and discuss how they would prefer me to work so we are both clear of our expectations to make team work work.
  5. Sorry, but like in most countries, non-degree holders have no place making decisions in the classroom. Next it will be the cleaner making decisions in hospital wards! Whoops, they do!
  6. But we are not like most countries are we? We have one of the best education systems in the world. Why shouldn't we be involved in decision making, do you feel that threatened we might have some intelligent ideas? I have worked in several schools and have more experience in emotional and behavioural difficulties than most of our teachers who have in the past asked me for advice. I'm so pleased I work with kind, appreciative adults who don't have their heads up their backsides.
  7. Keep smiling, what are your professional qualifications to take part in the education of children?

    Also, many teachers won't say what the believe to your face. There is much pressure on us to accept TA's etc. in the classroom because schools don't have a choice. Sitting in a room helping to explain work to kids is ok for someone without professional qualifications to support them, but that's it. I have good general medical knowledge due to previous experience, but would not practice medicine or would be allowed.
  8. themousewho.....

    Why are you filled with such an amount of vehemence towards TAs?
    It seems out of all proportion to the the job they do and (in my experience) to the type of individual they almost always are - level headed, sensible, patient, mostly extremely knowledgable about all manner of things, (most have had a previous incarnation before TAdom took over), reliable, patient and absolutely trustworthy.

    I cannot think why you would not want to work with these generally dedicated people.

    I have seen a TA take all sorts of decisions in a classroom and in schools where I have worked this is part of the job they do... it is expected of them.
    They decide how to manage some of the most difficult children in the class; sometimes as a group and often on a 1/1 basis which I have seen can be very intensive for both concerned and it has been up to the TA to motivate, plan and mark, assess and review targets of these children..and to communicate with the parents.

    To my knowledge no parent has ever complained or been less than happy with this way of working. Indeed they have often taken the time to thank the TA concerned for what they appreciate has been a difficult job. Very often there is a great communication set up between the TA and the parents and this works really well for the child.

    I know that this happens....quite a lot in fact. And this frees up the teacher to teach the rest of the class.

    I have witnessed TAs deciding on the slant of their lesson or session if you prefer, so that the whole group can benefit..they hunt down resources and take great pains to do the very best they can for the children and to help the teacher.

    This partnership can work really well but you have to want it to be so. Surely with the childrens best interests at heart this is the only way forward? TAs are not going to go away. The TA role has evolved now almost into a new job from the 'paintpot' era of some years ago. It is now a very responsible position and I am really hoping that the pay levels generally will be addressed...it is badly overdue.

    I am really surprised by your attitude towards your co-workers. It must be difficult to disguise this hostility in your own classroom I would think.
    Don't your children pick-up on how you feel about TAs?

    No...it is more than surprise I feel - I think I am almost horrified.
  9. bevevans22

    bevevans22 Administrator


    What are your professional qualifications to take part in the education of children?I'm assuming they must be poor if you feel so threatened. Maybe you just scraped through and can't bear the thought of being caught out!!??

    And, in any case, there are plenty of 'professional' qualifications in all countries and at all sorts of levels and in all sorts of vocations that are recognised: not only degrees. Many nurses do not have degrees (and that's just one of an essential number of professions where people do not) - I bet you'ld still want them treating you if you were ill.

    Not everyone needs to be educated to that high a standard to know their job and what good workplace practice is. And in any case there are some TAs (and NNEBs and 'Mature student' teachers) who bring a wealth of skills from their previous life experience that you do not have.
  10. I have to confess, I have not read the whole of this thread, but I can imagine there are some pretty heated views!

    I just wanted to let you know that I have a FANTASTIC learning support assistant in my year 8 and year 9 lessons, and I could not do without her. She is a second pair of eyes, she mucks in with everything and we have a really good rapor together (which I think is good for the kids to see). She is absolutely superb, and really do appreciate everything she does to help both me (I'm an NQT!) and the kids in the lesson.

    Miss_M x
  11. Mousy,

    'Also, many teachers won't say what the believe to your face'

    What makes you think you speak on behalf of 'many teachers'?
    I don't share your sentiments so be careful what you assume about others' beliefs.
  12. to leapyearbaby64

    who do you think you are? have you really got an education? no i don't think so. have you ever heard of equal opportunities? no i don't think so. this teacher may have suffered dyslexia. it's not about the spelling dear. it's about ideas so you and your stupid tas get the hell out of our classrooms because we can manage without you. you are worse than the childrens behaviour. the kids set a better example. i was a teacher assistant for 4 years. iif i get offered a ta i will refuse them because some of them i worked with were there for a laugh and wind the kids up. why? because they are simply not educated for this job.
  13. *snigger*
  14. My daughter was taught A -level English by a TA!!!! She just used York Notes which my daughter had already bought for herself. When there weren't any York notes for a text the TA was completely stuffed. She gave out the wrong dates for coursework to be handed in, never returned marked work and spent most of the lessons chatting about her family. WHY OH WHY do schools allow it. If there is no teacher (and there were some excellent English teachers in the school) why give her to A-level students?
  15. My son is feeling the effect of TAs extra responibilities.taught by them for 18 months and no improvement on his level??????? does that say enough, oh and low self esteem, he thinks he is 'stupid'.when are we ever going to listen to children?
  16. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter


    Why do you think that it is because this adult is a TA that he/she has had this affect on your son? I have witnessed highly qualified teachers having the same affect.
  17. When the teaching diplomas were awarded, there were no degrees for primary teachers. The three year courses were intense and involved much the same, if not more, study and teaching practice.
    'JUST A TEACHING DIPLOMA' is both a disrespectful comment and unprofessional attitude to those 'old' teachers who have a wealth of experience and have mentored countless new teachers to the profession, providing help and guidance.
    From an old teacher with just a diploma who has been judged by Ofsted as being outstanding in the teaching of both English and Mathematics.
  18. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I have worked as a supply teacher for the last 3 years and have gone to many different schools. Most TAs I have worked with do a fantastic job since they know the kids and can tell me information that I might otherwise not know. Moreover, they have always been helpful in getting me equipement or whatever else I might need and assisting in a professional manner. Because they work in the school, they can let me know about the systems in place for behaviour and other matters ( that is in addition to reading the handbook of course).
    I agree with another poster about working as a team within the classroom and I always remember to thank them after the lesson for all the help they give.


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