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What would you like to be called?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by legoearth, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    I was thinking about this the other day after a colleague was called the dreaded 'helper' aaaaaaghh!!! I've never actually liked the title teaching assistant as it implies that all we do is assist when in many cases we also actually teach from planning to delivery. it may not be full classes in most instances but it is still teaching.Learning support worker is better but I really don't like assistant. What do you think or what are you known as?
  2. Behaviour Support Assistant - I don't have any issues with being called an assistant.
  3. we are known as helpers too!The teachers are "staff"....erm and we just help lol!
    It doesn't bother me anymore, have to say it really did at first!
    I guess I consider myself a T.A. At least that is what it says on my contract and I'm happy with that
  4. My name Mrs ??
    I do get annoyed if a teacher calls me a helper but I just let it brush over me. The problem arises if you have to discipline a child. It is hard for a 'helper' to do that and the kids know it!
  5. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    Surely a "helper" is is someone like a parent who comes in to help with eg reading and is usually a volunteer. We have lots of helpers but under this meaning. We are TAs which I don't mind at all.
  6. In our school we're officially called Teaching Assistants or TAs. I don't really mind it. 'Helper' would irritate me too. I don't think I'd mind Learning Support Assistant.
  7. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    You are a Teaching Assistant. You are not a Teacher but if you would prefer to be one, do feel free to train and qualify. You will then get the status along with the workload.
    I do agree that 'helper' is undermining the high level of expertise most, though not all, TAs have.
  8. I am actually an HLTA and ELSA if we need to be politically correct. A lot of teachers refer to me as teacher with the children because I do teach them. It's a matter of respect I think and making sure children treat all adults with respect whatever their title.
  9. In the school I trained in, I was sometimes called a helper, sometimes a student. At the moment I am doing supply and often get introduced as a 'visitor'. In one school that I did long term cover, all TAs were referred to as Teachers in front of the children. This is because they had a strong teamwork ethic and all staff were respected and treated equally. I missed that school when I left!
  10. I don't really mind what I am called as long as the person assigning the label is respectful. It is just a word after all. I know the value of what I do, as do my colleagues but others may not and so the children sometimes refer to me as a 'helper'.
    I am a HLTA, but that would be a little strange to be referred to in this way 'Go and speak to the HLTA'. Mostly I am referred to by my name but I am an Assistant. I do teach but I am not a teacher so Assistant is probably the best fit for what I do. All the other titles are just too much of a mouthful.
    I still feel a little strange planning on the school template when I have to fill in the box that wants the name of the 'Teacher'. I have to put my name but I do wonder if people look at my planning and think 'Oooh, she's a bit up herself!'
  11. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    I've been Googling;
    In the USA/Canada TA's are know as a Paraprofessional Educator - now that's a bit of a mouthful.
    They are also called Para-pro, Paraeducator and Instructional Assistant.
  12. I always think the same when I submit risk assessments!
  13. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    That's hilarious! Only in America
  14. I think everyone who works with children teaches, it is hard not to. I think the term non teaching is ridiculous. I was once referred to as a helper and it really annoyed me. With all the planning, assessment and interventions I do being a helper is certainly not the term I would use!
  15. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    Would you use the term Teacher?
  16. All referred to as TAs in my school. Would object to being referred to as a 'helper' and would object (on teachers' behalf) to being called a teacher..because I am not. Three of our school TAs are qualified teachers though, but as they are not in a teacher role, they are happy to be TA.
  17. one can tell that you don't treat your teaching assistant with any respect, by your above remark. yes we are teaching assistants but just like you teachers some of us have trained for 4 years to get the qualification of HLTA. i even did my HLTA via the OU because the education authority wouldn't help with cost and i had to spend a minimum of 16 hours per week studying, on top of which i have a family and home to run, so don't ever ever underestimate how much effort has been put in by some teaching assistants to get where they are today. we are not parent helpers although that is what our salary represents these days, teaching assistants bring a wide and varied set of skills into school and you teachers sometimes forget that we have had jobs outside school for many years before we decided to let you see our abilities. just because we did not train to be teachers does not mean that we have no brains as some teachers seem to think.

    where i work there are many of the teaching assistants who have other qualifications, not least work based ones from the outside world. many teachers go from school to uni and then back to school, without ever venturing into the outside world of work, boy some of you just wouldn't survive.

    so next time you think about making any sort of derogatory remark to teaching assistants, just remember anybody can get a paper qualification, but not everybody can teach.

    perhaps for many teaching assistants a more appropriate title would be assistant teacher, because 99% of the time that is what we do on a dam sight less then a teacher earns and usually without any thanks.
  18. Well said cmk01, I agree whole heartedly.
  19. Cmk01 who is your post in response to ? I am confused! I have not noticed any derogatory remarks towards TAs on this thread. Surely it is reasonable to point out that there is a difference between a teacher and a TA? I am a TA and have no problem being called that, I am not a qualified teacher. I am also a little confused about the comments about taking 4 years to gain HLTA status through the OU. Although the OU provides a really good opportunity to gather evidence for your portfolio, you gain HLTA status through a school based assessment. HLTA is a status; the OU course results in an academic qualification. I totally agree that many TAs are very well qualified and that the public perception of our role needs to change. However, I think the majority of posts from teachers on here show a great deal of respect for their support staff colleagues.
  20. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    I think it was to PHATSAL . Just a 'tone' in the curt reponse! I agree with a lot Cmk01 says about attitude from Teachers and the experience many TA's bring to school. I think a compulsory 2 years out of school work experience before teaching would sort the wheat from the chaff in the teaching profession. I'm warming to the American title because it doesn't use the word assistant! I would not be happy being called a Teacher, I don't do what a teacher does! Maybe teachers should be re named Education Administrators due to the lack of teaching involved these days,more delivery of pre-planned programmes...

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