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What would you like to be called?

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

  1. Thanks Lego, I can see that the post in question could be taken that way, although to be honest I find it hard to get too upset about what my job title is. As long as I feel that I am doing a good job, and feel appreciated by the class teacher(which I do) then I am happy. The distinction that needs to be made is between teachers and teaching. The term teacher describes the qualified status that a teacher has earned( as well as what they do), however members of support staff do teach pupils, so for me teaching assistant is the best descriptor we have.
     
  2. Whilst I appreciate and agree with a lot of what you say HLTA is a status NOT a qualification. I do not see how you can train for it. You gather evidence on your current practice and submit that for the status.
    I do think teaching assistants bring an awful lot from the prior lives. I was an IT technician earning loads more money and before that I worked in statistics. I also ran my own business. The skills those jobs taught me are transferable to my current role. I find assessment data fascinating and all the technology doesn't phase me at all. There is a lot to be said about working in the real world. If teachers did that perhaps they wouldn't be so stressed and would really appreciate the fact they get 13 weeks holiday and yes they do need to work part of that holiday. I am paid for holidays and I spend part of that time working and I do it because I appreciate that in my old roles I would perhaps get 5 weeks holiday.
    I don't mind what I am called, the staff at school in the main refer to me as 'your teacher' or by my name. I know I am not a qualified teacher and I wouldn't want to be. I like teaching small groups/individuals, class teaching just doesn't appeal to me.
     
  3. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    In support the lady probably means she has done the Foundation Degree which is a qualification, level 5 and consists of covering the HLTA as they have to meet the standards. Unfortunatley only the schools that are wise enough to check with HR are wise enough to know this.
    The HLTA 'status' is about preparing a file to prove what you have done in school so far.
    The Foundation Degree covers Numeracy, Literacy, SEN. Science, ICT, Humanities, Creative Subjects, Learning Organisations and Professional Development throught the Primary School. A massive differance. Just one more year at University level doing BA/PGCE and she would be a qualified Primary Teacher.
    I have done it myself.
     
  4. I work at an international school and both teachers and TA's are called Juf (teacher) and their first name. The students don't see any difference in us, indeed I think the main difference is that I do all of the admin side (dealing with parents, planning, meetings) while my amazing TA still gets to help and teach the children on occasion in small groups without having to do all of the paperwork side of the job.
    It does cause some confusion with the parents at the beginning of the year because they have to inform the classroom teacher not the TA of any absences, notifications etc etc but it all works out in the end!
     
  5. Aah, this little nugget, again! Myself and several TAs seem to be in a semi-permanent state of self-derision as to our status, our self-perceived status or any status, bestowed upon us. Most of us are either middle-aged or heading that way, with a wealth of alternative, non-educational backgrounds. Some are married to or have friends or other family members as teachers, so we do know and appreciate the other side to said occupation. I am a Lead Teaching Assistant for ASD ( Autistic Spectrum ) - a title bestowed upon me by the powers, for dedication, overtime and commitment in my former role of plain TA. Yes, you do get *** who suck up to some self-given status, downright snobbery and self-righteousness about some career calling or calling that became a career (they get confused, bless 'em). I'll be honest, I don't see much 'teaching' going on here, rather "what time is drinkies and I'm off home now it's a blank lesson" attitude - you know who you are! Whereas TAs have to account for their every move and never quite get to the milk in the staffroom at break because the 'others' have raided the fridge during taught lesson time - not that I'm snitching! Then you get the realistic, 'in touch' ones who can be quite reasonable to talk to. On a good day. They usually address us by name (Mrs ....). Can't complain. As for those further up the food chain (?) - we have overheard the terms 'them', 'the TAs', and scarily 'that lot'. Nice. So, why do I keep turning up day after day, term in, term out? Because I have pushed myself and gained a number of relevant qualifications as a TA. I am good at what I do, which is: differentiate lessons for ASD (and other) students; mentor students and other TAs; provide counselling info, support group info and service sign-posting to parents; support Supply staff (without undermining them); devise and administer student social skills learning and occassionally mediate between certain staff. All in a TA's underpaid, overworked day! By the way cmk01, a TAs 'career progression' will become virtually *** under the latest government plans, with the focus being on pressurised teaching and learning, selective education, value for money (meaning even less TAs), consequencial outcomes, and as for retiring on a TA's pension...... Time to build on whatever hard-earned quals you have and cross over to the Dark Side - become a teacher!

     
  6. actually within the documentation i received from the OU course it did state that it was equivalent to the HLTA. every single standard needed for the HLTA status is covered by the OU course .Yes HLTA is a status and evidence based and yes the OU course gives you a qualification, never should it be said that either is better. some (the majority) of HLTA's have worked very hard to get where they are, they are qualified, and very well qualified, in what they do and the experience they bring to the job. but never let it be said that one set of hard work is better than another. for some to get the HLTA status, they have had to do t/a 1, then t/a 2, then t/a 3, and then finally the HLTA , yes some jump across levels, but for the majority of those t/a's i know it has taken 4 years.
     
  7. well said Scalybrat. we have some fantastic teachers in my school i wouldn't be without, i think they do a brill job, with all its stresses, i wouldn't want to face some of the things they have to, they too can be hard done to. no matter what any of us earns, lets face it we all would like more. as for my job - i think its the best in the world, just wish i'd done it years ago.
     
  8. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    I want to be called "Your Majesty".
    In our school everyone is either called by their title and surname or Miss or Sir by both pupils and staff.
    The non teaching staff are called Miss or Sir. TAs are not included in this category. We are considered to be teaching staff.
    The teachers refer to the TAs as Miss or Miss/Mrs Smith. We are treated with great respect by 95% of the staff. A few look down on us which is sad. Pupils are not allowed to be disrespectful to the TAs. I think, because of this, the name isn't so important to me.

     
  9. I wish things where different in my school. I'm a TA and I'm sick and tired of the children ignoring instructions from us. Even other staff just say they see your not a teacher and not listen
     
  10. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    A boy ignored me today in Science and was sent out of the classroom by the teacher. I know how lucky I am. It's a great school to work in.
     
  11. I like your style, dozymare1957!!
    I am lucky enough to work in an enlightened school where I feel appreciated by both staff and students. Although we are collectively referred to as the Learning Support Department, we are all known as TAs, have the authority to issue 'levels' to students who misbehave and are fully supported by the teaching staff who refer to us as either TAs or Teachers. I have been able to train for, and gain, the NVQ Assessor qualification, paid for by the school as it was in their own interests to have an Assessor in the school rather than rely on one elsewhere! I am happy to be called a Teaching Assistant as I am not a qualified teacher but most definitely do assist with the teaching within the class as a whole, in small groups and on a one to one basis.
    All TAs have been sent on relevant training courses as and when financially possible (e.g. dyslexia, ASD, dealing with behavioural issues, hearing/sight impaired students......), and as a result we feel we are able to contribute greatly to the learning/social environment in the school.
    Sadly, we currently have monetary problems but I suspect we are not alone in this!
     
  12. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    I quite like being called " the sunniest, loveliest person in the world " - A Yr 2 when I took the register this afternoon. :) Made my day!
     
  13. cally4

    cally4 New commenter

    Hi

    Can I just make a point from someone who joined the dark side 2 years ago. I worked as a TA/HLTA for 15 years and loved it. I decided though that I wanted to train as a teacher and qualified 2 years ago (having completed a degree via the OU, whilst working full time as a TA and yes I have children and a husband to care for too) .
    I know many TAs/HLTAs work their socks off and many do over and above their job description/pay band. I did too. But..... having trained and now having worked as a teacher, I have realised just how much <u>more</u> there is to teaching and to being a qualified teacher, than even I ever realised. So much goes on behind the scenes you dont see as TAs, I never leave school before 5pm (on a good day) as I have some marking to do/displays to put up/photocopying/admin/filing etc, I am in at 7.45am along with other teachers. Once a week we have staff training until 6pm sometimes later. My lunch break is half an hour, as I need to set up my classroom for the afternoon. I might be doing any number of things in the evening (plan/make resources/update targets/classroom monitor/write IEPs/marking/filing).I appreciate that as I am new, I am building up my resources and planning and hopefully I can re-use some of it and just adapt it rather than write it all from scratch every year, but personalised learning means just that and children are all different.
    I have targets to write for 30 children every term, reports at the end of the year. I have to monitor and assess and make sure my tracking and evidence is spot on. I have to support parents and work with other agencies (more paperwork). Your first year also includes gathering evidence for your NQT file.
    I have worked with a fab TA (12 hrs a week )and I will miss her so much next year. She reads my planning, she has so much initiative I swear she reads my mind! She is my wing man and I value her skills and support. She does other little things too that make me love her, when i have done playground duty (3 per week) she always nips to get me a coffee (others wont they think its demeening if staff dare to ask, even tho they get in at 9am and have a break at 10 and leave at 12 and I have been in since 7.45 and wont get a drink til 12 unless someone gets me one). She shares ideas and we work well as a team. During the whole class input she and I are like a double act! But as she often says to me, she doesnt have the responsibility, I have, ultimately the buck stops with me.
    I have also worked with a TA who despite being a TA2, had no initiative, clock watched and did the minimum she could get away with. I am not even sure she liked children! She specialised in vanishing if a child threw up/had an accident! She needed me to write <u>everything</u> down on a list or it wouldnt get done, every week, even though it was a task we would do every week and huffed and puffed when I asked her to sharpen pencils etc. I have never asked anyone to do anything I wouldnt do. I will wash paint pots, mop the floor and sharpen pencils, I do all the photocopying and most of the filing. Having worked as a TA those were jobs we had to do!
    I know how frustrating it can be as a Ta but trust me, teaching isnt just about working with small gps or covering classes for PPA etc. Every single teacher in my school has had a life before teaching, no one came straight from uni and so we all have life experience and previous lives (bankers, accountants, aerobics teacher! and a few ex TAs like me). If it looks easy, it might be the skill of the teacher making it so. Sorry for any spelling mistakes etc its late and im a bit weary, three late nights of parents evenings! but I wanted to make my point having worked as both a TA and a teacher.

    I think teaching assistant is a fair title. You teach but you also assist, you are not teachers, that title comes after a long training and more. It doesnt undermine you though. The roles are different and I havent met a teacher yet who doesnt value the TA in the class. Yes we have long holidays, but I can tell you now, I worked half of my half term along with my colleagues and we are knackered! The summer is fab but we work at least 2 weeks of it. When we had builders in, the teachers, not the TAs were in in the hols sweeping up and moving furniture. We work in a demanding role, looking after 30 kids is HARD work!!! A newly qualified teacher is on 21500. Thats after gaining a degree and for many of us now, also completing masters modules (as the govt is pushing for teachers to have a masters).

     
  14. I would not use the term Teacher because i don't have the responsibilty of 30 children like the Teacher does. However, the class teachers i work with often refer to myself and the other TA'S in the class as Teachers when speaking to the children. I think this shows mutual respect and shows the children that we are all singing from the same hymn!
     
  15. cally4

    cally4 New commenter

    I am sorry if I came across as patronising, that wasnt at all what I intended, I rather clumsily wanted to offer another view, if my post was too long then im sorry too that I waffled. My point was teaching assistant is a fair title and one I was proud to have held for 15 years. Yes I have come across awful teachers, of course I have! As for making coffee, I make the TA who works with me a coffee if she is on playground duty too! Its about a partnership and we respect each other. Just as some teachers can be unkind and disrespectful to teachers, some TAs can be flipping hard work too. I just felt that sometimes some TAs ( I was one remember) dont appreciate what teachers do and often say the roles are the same and having worked so hard to gain the title teacher i just get a little frustrated by that ( By the way I recognise that they do cross over sometimes though, as my unfortunate list of duties was trying to show). As far as titles go, I would never ever call a TA a helper. When I send children off to their gps they are told Mrs X will be teaching you. Children see all adults in school as teachers. I work in KS1 so maybe its different. Children are taught to respect all adults and they do. As far as saying I must be awful to work with, well I am sorry you think that. Forums can be tricky places to navigate, as you cant see faces and you dont know the person behind the post.
     
  16. We're known as Additional Practitioners or A.P.s which I think is fairly dire as nobody has a clue what it means. In addition, I've awarded myself the titles of Assistant SENCo, Assistant Assessment Co-ordinator and IT Assistant as it helps to have a label when ringing people up about things. Basically, I'm quite happy with "General Dogsbody"!
     
  17. Wow! Couldn't have put it better myself. As one who 'missed the boat' and did not have the opportunity to train as a teacher due to a father who didn't believe in educating girls, I am so very happy to be working as a T.A. I spent 34 years working in the 'real world', and a very different world it is. The life experience I can bring to school is used every day and fortunately, very much appreciated by the staff and parents with whom I come into contact. Derogatory remarks are unhelpful and engender poor working relationships. We all have to work together to support and encourage the very reason we go to school each day. THE CHILDREN. I don't care what I am called as long as I am giving my best to the children, they are the ones who matter. A little humility is a liberating thing.
     
  18. Totally agree with the above remark. On one hand we are classed as non-teaching staff and paid very little, on the other hand we are required to step in at a moments notice to cover a teacher for a short time or regular PPA work That said, I thoroughly enjoy teaching PPA hours because you get to 'teach' without the stresses you see other teachers having to endure. I class myself particularly lucky that my line manager/teacher appreciates what I do within the classroom and therefore find it extremely rewarding and enjoyable.
     
  19. In Northern Ireland a teaching assistant is called a classroom assistant I have no objection to being called this. In my class the children call me by my name Mrs ******* and refer to me as a teacher. I always tell them I am a classroom assistant not teacher although technically I am a SEN classroom assistant . I would love all children to treat all adults with respect. In my school and some others I have been in, when a classroom assistant tells them not to do something some children just ignore them. They will only show respect to teachers and sometimes not even to the teacher at times.
     
  20. No, I'm a fully qualified Nursery Nurse with over
    22 years experience! Not a helper or a T.A!
    The term T.A is a title that is covers a vast amount
    Of jobs and skill levels! I did not do a quick course
    Like an nvq 1/2 and get a job to fit in with the children.
    My career choice was a nursery nurse and not a teacher.
    Just because you have a teaching qualification
    Does not make you a good teacher! It is a team effort!
    The roles should compliment each other!
     

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