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trying to survive without the TAs being present.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by anon1369, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. I am on long term supply at a school and have recently taken on a low ability year 8 class who I have 3 times per week. There are about 20 children in this class and there should be 2 TAs because they are VERY demanding and there are behavioural issues as well as them being low ability.
    Generally the class are lovely but there are a few personality clashes and some students who just wander around and don't do the work as they don't fully understand that they <u>have</u> to do it.
    Anyway for one reason or another the TAs rarely turn up to lesson meaning I am having to try and control them all on my own. Obviously if the school thinks it necessary to assign 2 TAs to one class then it is evident that the teacher and students really need the support.
    It is impossible for me to keep my eye on all of them and there are always a few of them up to mischief. I am getting annoyed at having to apologise to other teachers when one of them disrupts another lesson or wanders off out of the classroom - and then having to explain that I should have support and I haven't and as a result I can't keep my eye on them all at once.
    To complicate it further, each classroom has at least 3 doors connecting to other classrooms/outside/corridors and there is no way of locking any of these doors so you can see they have many escape routes!
    I am going to raise the issue when I am back in school - I am aware that some of the TAs absences have been due to courses etc but it seems to be becoming too frequent and I am not provided with a 'replacement'.
    Sorry just wanted to vent!
  2. jmntsp

    jmntsp New commenter

    I hope this comes across as helpful rather than critical but I think you need to take some action here, rather than relying on the TAs - after all, you are the one in charge. Students shouldn't be wandering, either around the room and certainly not out of the door and into other lessons. You shouldn't need to lock doors to keep them in! I'm assuming by your name that you teach Science and are probably in a lab. With a low ability Y8 class I would stop any practical work if this is the reason you can't keep an eye on them. Insist that everyone is seated and that no one is on their feet at all. Make it clear that this is the rule, for safety reasons if nothing else in a lab. Work can be simple worksheets, answering questions in text book, watching a science video and answering questions, whatever. Dull stuff that they can cope with. You need to sort the behaviour before you do anything else. Follow the school's behavioural policy, hand out penalties to anyone who fails to comply, make it clear that you will keep them in at break or lunchtime to practise sitting at their desk and doing as they are told if they cannot do it in a lesson. If they refuse to comply with instructions it should be possible to get SMT to remove a particular student who is refusing to do as they are told. If students don't fully understand that they HAVE to do the work, that this is not optional, then it is up to you to make it clear to them that wandering around the school and causing disruption when they should be in your lesson and working is not an alternative. I appreciate what you are saying about lack of TAs and needing support, but you are the qualified teacher in charge. Expecting unqualified, low paid staff to make kids behave if you can't seems unreasonable to me. And I don't think it can be doing you many favours with your colleagues if your pupils are disrupting their lessons. The school will be unimpressed at paying supply rate to you if your pupils aren't working and are wandering off. Particularly if, when your TAs finally appear, the kids then settle down in class. Start next lesson by being at the door, with a seating plan, and make it absolutely clear that students come in, sit down quietly in their assigned seats and begin on the worksheets you have laid out. Make it plain there will be severe penalties for anyone who gets up from their seat without permission. Best of luck!

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