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Unsure how to feel?!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by alix_xila, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. alix_xila

    alix_xila New commenter

    Hi all! :) I'm 23 and have been working as a teaching assistant for a few months now.
    I work with a year 11 class in a lot of their lessons and have gotten to know the class really well. There are a group of boys in that class who are typical 16 year old 'lads'. They can sometimes have banter that goes a bit too far into the inappropriate zone for school but it's never anything malicious or worrying. There's always another TA in that class and if their conversation ever gets inappropriate we just remind them where they are and they usually tone it down. They seem to get on well with all of the TAs and are always polite and respectful towards us, say hi in the corridors and know they can come to us with any issues.
    On Friday, one of the boys from this group came to me in a science lesson and told me that their English teacher had come to him and said that 'he doesn't like the way that the boys all flirt with Miss ___ in lesson'. I was absolutely mortified and honestly just upset and confused as to why the teacher would say something like this. The boys all obviously found it hilarious that the teacher thinks this however it's just made me feel awkward and embarrassed :( I've never heard any of them say anything inappropriate ABOUT me and if they had then they'd be seriously consequenced for it by me.
    Should I have a conversation with the teacher about this? Why would he suggest such a thing??? Especially to a student, surely if they'd said something about me then he should come to me about it? :( I saw him twice that day after the incident, one of these was in the staff room whilst we were alone so surely if he had any concerns he would talk to me then? I spoke to a couple of my colleagues at work and they both said that it was a strange thing for him to do. They have been working with these students way longer and seem to think that it's because I'm younger that he's said this. It's ruining my half term thinking about this :( This will probably all blow over after half term so am I being unreasonable to still be annoyed and upset?
  2. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    Ask him what he said to them and whether he has any concerns or advice for you.
    You didn't heat him say that and you say yourself that the boys go too far sometimes so there's a chance thst he didn't actually say anything and the boys are testing you.
    Put it out of your mind until you're back at school as you have no way of sorting this out until then.
    GirlGremlin, grumpydogwoman and CWadd like this.
  3. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    What an inappropriate thing to say to a group of students. If he said it. IF. Children can and will make things up for a laugh. Except it isn't funny when it's people's lives and careers being totalled.

    If he did say it, maybe he was trying to admonish them for what he perceives as them over stepping the mark. Maybe he was trying to be "laddish" with them (which is painfully unfunny.)

    Speak to your line manager - for a TA it's usually SENCO. Explain what you've been told. If you approach him and it's untrue then it could get unpleasant. A neutral third party (line manager, the boys HoY) can be the ones you go to.
  4. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I agree with the teacher saying something and the student may not have been accurate with what was said. Rather than being upset you should be pleased that they have spoken to the students rather than your line manager. The fact that he has told you what has been said rather than respecting what the teacher said shows that lines are being blurred. You yourself say the banter can go to far and they are there to learn not mess around with you.

    I’d thank the English teacher for their support and ask them for advice on keeping a professional distance.
  5. vectis1

    vectis1 New commenter

    Sounds like he was admonishing the boys, not you. He was probably trying to support you by reminding them of their boundaries.

    After half term they really need to concentrating on their GCSEs - nothing else. He was probably reminding them of that as well.
    Laphroig and blueskydreaming like this.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    All you know for sure is that a boy told you a story. That story may be a lie. Or it may have anything from 1% to 100% truth in it.

    Report it as advised by @CWadd

    Think no more of it. Discourage all forms of gossip. "Gonna stop you right there. Clearly something has got to you. Please go to your form tutor with it. That's always what you should do if you think anything isn't quite right."
    Laphroig, Curae and GirlGremlin like this.
  7. alix_xila

    alix_xila New commenter

    Thanks for your replies everyone! :) Will see what happens when back after half term! I don't want to make things hostile and don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill either. I have an interview at another school on the first week back so I shall concentrate on that :)
    Curae likes this.
  8. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I interpret this to mean that the teacher has said something to the boys about the fact they prefer to chat to you (and maybe the other TAs too) rather than doing work - the teacher is criticising the boys for not focusing on their work, they are not criticising you. The fact the boy came up to you in the science lesson proves that concern - they are not focused in lessons, and are chatting/messing about too much.
  9. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    I'm going to say what comes to my mind ..you are probably a very attractive young woman and this well meaning teacher has recognised this and seen the way the boys relate to you and is simply trying to support you and remove attention away ...I wish him luck !. Personally i see nothing wrong but some do. My beautiful TAs are lovely and receive lots of compliments. Obviously if any of them ( comments) are inappropriate it gets reported as protocol and there have some OTT. Funny how it worries you ...only a couple of months ago a member of staff complained how she has never received such compliments ...well short of telling her to wear tighter tops and shorter skirts what does one say ?
    TBH my most effective TA is stunning and yes she receives a lot of attention ( I'm guessing she doesn't mind that ) . When i was younger I got quite a bit of attention too now even the wasps and spiders do a reverse turn when they see me and you what I actually don't care either.:D

    So don't fret go and enjoy yourself ..it's a beautiful Sunday morning and I can feel spring is not so far !
    alix_xila likes this.
  10. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Def report if ..always CYA ..!
    Laphroig and grumpydogwoman like this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Got to be honest.

    If I were the teacher? And I saw my TAs trying to get the lads to tone it down? But they didn't pack it in to a level I thought was acceptable? Which is zero. I'd have a word with 'em. The lads. I'd realise the TAs were trying to do their best not to stoke the adolescent flames so there'd be no point telling the TAs to be tougher on the lads. I'd have to do it. My job.

    "Some of you are flirting with Miss Alpha and Miss Beta. You can tell me I'm an old fuddy-duddy as much as you like but from now on? Strictly work-talk. And I'm going to ask the YR11 tutors to talk to you all about sexual harassment in the workplace etc etc. Yes, I know. Boring. Blah blah. But I'm finding it offensive to listen to so it's going to have to stop. Got me?"

    Teachers can't stand by if they feel things are going too far. They have to do something. Maybe their standards and tolerance levels are different but that's their affair. Better to close this down as soon as possible.
    dunnocks and Laphroig like this.
  12. alix_xila

    alix_xila New commenter

    Thanks, definitely agree with most of these replies! :) @grumpydogwoman I think your last post summed it up perfectly.
    My initial thought was that he was trying to suggest that I was doing nothing to put a stop to their laddish banter which is what upset me as that's totally not true! Me and the teacher get along well and often exchange exasperated looks when the class is being particularly disruptive so now I can see that I don't think that he was being critical of me :)
  13. alix_xila

    alix_xila New commenter

    Thanks very much for your reply! Compliments from 16 year old lads can be... questionable haha. I find myself being called 'sound' a lot?! I've learned that is teenager speak for 'you don't tell me off as much as other staff do' o_O.
  14. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    sounds to me like you are giving these boys for too much of a free reign. There is no place for "banter" between year 11 boys and a TA in a science class.

    Either you are not drawing appropriate boundaries, or you are drawing them, and the are being disregarded, hence the intervention of the teacher.

    it doesn't sound like a big deal, just forget it for now, maybe speak to the teacher after half term
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  15. alix_xila

    alix_xila New commenter

    Thanks for your reply! Just to clear up, I spend about 10% of the lesson with these boys because I usually work one-to-one with one of two students in that class that require it so I don't agree that I am giving them free reign as I only work directly with them if I roam around the room to assist other learners. The only reason I know that they have banter etc is because I can see it from across the room and see it in all of their lessons that I am in, I'm not having banter WITH them :)
  16. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Or you might be drawing roughly appropriate boundaries, but the teacher is trying to support you: "You boys need to focus on your work and not on trying to flirt with Miss Alpha."

    Different teachers put the boundaries in different places - some won't allow anything without "sir" on the end; others are able to allow things to be more relaxed without losing control. Where there's more than one adult in the classroom, you have to find something that works for everyone.
    grumpydogwoman and alix_xila like this.

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