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Use of TA

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by petrapan, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. I was just wondering how people planned to use their TA in terms of admin type tasks. Obviously s/he is there to support the children during most lesson times, but during any other time what sort of tasks is it reasonable to expect a TA to carry out? We had NO input about this during training, and my experiences on placements have varied.
    I know someone is now going to say "use him/her how YOU see fit" [​IMG] but I can't be the only one who wants to handle a very experienced and well established TA carefully. I don't want to get her back up by giving her a long list of admin tasks on INSET day (the TAs have no training that day) but I also don't want to get into a situation where I'm doing absolutely everything myself because I'm too shy to ask!
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I use a book (spare exercise book works well) and write down a list of what needs doing. I make sure the TA knows it isn't a list of tasks she has to do, but more an 'if you have a spare moment could you possibly...' kind of thing. She crosses out what she has done and I do anything that she doesn't get time for.

    This year during whole class input parts of the lesson the TA will take children individually to read. In group activities she will have a group to work with (teach?). At any other time/whenever there is nothing else, she will have a nosy in the book and do something from there.

    So filing/photocopying/mounting for displays/etc.

    Using a book also means you don't have to ask!
  3. Marshall

    Marshall Lead commenter

    I also use a book which details who/what group to wok with and on what (including a copy of the planning). I also detail what else I want them to do although I have built this up over time so it's not like a 'to do list'.
    it works because both of us know what is expected but we also know that sometimes not all of it can be achieved!
    My TA also writes in the book assessment information that I need to know.
    PS - we do also talk as well!!!!
  4. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    It is reasonable to ask a TA to do displays for you, mount work etc. Many are also happy to do photocopying, sorting out homework, fetching and returning resources from cupboards and things like that. I also ask a TA to take out times tables groups for testing (and to enter marks into my mark book) and to do individual reading while I'm doing guided reading.
    Apart from that, you will find many TAs are excellent at knowing what to do and finding tasks for themselves if they have any spare(!) time, or else working from a list you have set yourself. They are invaluable at all this - and that's even before they do any work during teaching time in the classroom!

  5. As a TA I would just like to say that it is great to see some positive feedback from teachers regarding the use of TA's - on behalf of myself and other TA's - thank you. The routine/set-up you all have sounds perfect and one that I would happily work with. Any other teachers wondering how to use their TA's just need to look at all of these replies.
  6. Thanks,that's a great idea, hadn't thought about having a book. I am quite sad and love lists (and ticking them off!) so it would suit me and at least it would reinforce the fact we're a team as we could both dip in and out and cross things off.
  7. I'm in secondary but would echo what others have said about TAs having an instinct for what to do. In secondary TAs don't do much admin (we use the extra hours that cover supervisors are contracted for that) but in lessons they will instinctively do all sorts of things, give out worksheets and paper, light Bunsen burners, use the behaviour code. TAs are one of the best resources a school has.
  8. zannar

    zannar New commenter

    Just to add that I prefer my TA to stay in the class during whole class input so she knows exactly what I have said to the children. They then have no excuse for pleading ignorance!
    She often does admin tasks while she is listening or sits with children who may need keeping on track or have things repeated (quietly).

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