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Too many responsibilities?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by TrevelyanInq, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. TrevelyanInq

    TrevelyanInq New commenter

    Hi! I think I need help or some guidance on what I should do. I am worried too much is being expected of me as an HLTA for next year.
    Each year I seem to be given a little bit extra to do which in one light is positive because I am a trusted member of the team but I feel that the line between sustainable and unsustainable has been crossed.
    Or perhaps I’m overthinking it and there’s nothing to worry about.
    Next year my role includes: planning and teaching x5 subjects (two of which I have not taught before so have to teach myself prior to delivering to the students), managing a tutor group, semi-line-managing a team of LSAs (unofficially), isolation cover, lunch duty, and organising and running interventions.
    Most of the subjects should have SoWs provided but as we are a fairly new school, there aren’t many available. I also don’t know whether I should be planning the lessons I deliver or whether they should be provided for me. Either way, due to most of my subjects not being anyone’s primary subject, work is rarely provided and I end up planning and delivering based on my own educated guesses.
    I had two subjects fewer last year and could not keep on top of the work. Do you think this is my poor organisation ability or is this too much for an HLTA? And if it is, what should I do? I tried asking to lose at least my tutor group as I do a terrible job with them (as I don’t feel like I have time to think!) but I was refused. I am genuinely a little afraid of returning to work in two weeks time...
  2. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    yep, everybody everywhere seems to be constantly being given another little bit extra, and lines are crossed all over the place.

    We have choices, do it or don't do it.

    I'm personally in favour of don't do it. I used to do it, but that just got us all MORE work
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    We don't have TAs where I work now, but back when I was a 'normal' teacher we NEVER expected TAs to plan or teach-occasionally cover, yes, but the teachers taught, the assistants assisted (and some did decide they wanted to teach, so the ones that did trained up, and then got PAID for it!) I am no expert as I lived in the 'everyone who teaches has QTS' period, so perhaps ask your union?
    We didn't even ask NQTs to produce SOWs on their own, without help.
  4. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    It's not just the volume of work you're being given, it's the kind of work you're being given. To echo the above - why isn't this work being done by class teachers? Does the school not employ qualified teachers?

    For beacuse I am a trusted member of the team read because they know I never say No.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. michelle99

    michelle99 New commenter

    "Is this too much for an HLTA? And if it is, what should I do? I tried asking to lose at least my tutor group as I do a terrible job with them (as I don’t feel like I have time to think!) but I was refused. I am genuinely a little afraid of returning to work in two weeks time..."

    Yes it is to much! While I appreciate that all schools are struggling with budgets, putting on loyal staff like this is not acceptable.

    I suggest you sit down and think carefully about what you can manage well, and what you can't. Write it all down (including your reasoning) and then ask to meet your HT/line manager. Take someone with you, a friend/colleague or even union rep and go and put your case forward, The school has a duty of care to your well-being and might need reminding of that.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    This does seem like a lot of work and the school are probably taking advantage of your loyalty and good nature.

    If you are looking to become a teacher then actually planning, sorting out interventions and leading a team of people are all good experiences.

    Is the school giving you time and support to plan?

    Maybe you should give things a go and wait until October half term before you suggest to your HT that it is too much work and that you're worried aspects of the job won't be done to an acceptable standard.
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  7. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    Are they paying you more for all the additional work.Looks like you shold be paid as an unqualified teacher for all the teaching you are doing.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    Talk to your union. Then take the information they give you to your
    Line manager. Look after yourself.
    Definatley too much in my opinion.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    I’m a HLTA. It sounds too much. I work four days a week. Last year I supported in classes with a high level of pupils with EBD. I ran a phonics group for two groups, playground duty, two intervention groups and taught four different year groups different subjects. I was constantly pulled off my support roles to cover from Nursery to Year 6. I rarely had time for lunch as the lunch hours were staggered so if you were teaching in KS2 and then KS1 there often wasn’t enough time if you marked work/tidied up to set out or preparing work as you may have only been given 5minutes notice.
    Some work was planned some wasn’t. Some I was handed as I went to class.
    I was exhausted and I am considering leaving if this continues.

    If I was you I would contact the union ( they have been very helpful to me) they might be willing to sit in the meeting with you.

    New school or not the SoW should be written. I have covered to release staff to change ours SoW. This should be rectified at the start of the new school year. You shouldn’t be planning them from educated guesses unless something like Art. I have had to do that with occasional Art and DT lessons or RE.
    As some posters have said more and more work is piled on and unless we say something it will continue.
    pepper5 and sunshineneeded like this.
  10. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Agree with other posters - this sounds too much. Most HLTA roles will be similar - most plan and deliver interventions; many cover classes throughout the week (but with the work planned by teachers); many lead TA teams. I also know that many secondary HLTAs have their own tutor group. The tricky one for you is the planning and teaching subjects without a scheme of work. This is far too big an ask (teachers would object if they were required to do it)! Have a look at your job description; I'm sure that what you're being asked is way over and above. You could try giving it a go until half term - is there someone at school you trust who might be able to advise you? Or you could contact your union now for advice. Good luck, let us know how you're doing.
    pepper5 and TrevelyanInq like this.
  11. TrevelyanInq

    TrevelyanInq New commenter

    I would just like to say a huge thank you to you all for taking the time to respond. You have really really helped and I feel much better about returning to work next week. I am seeking help and support and already made some progress!
    sunshineneeded and pepper5 like this.
  12. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    If you could share what your union says that would be so helpful for all of us HLTAs to know!
    Well done for getting the ball rolling.
    sunshineneeded likes this.

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