Teacher to work as TA - good idea?

(20 Posts)
peggylane Sat 01-Mar-14 19:17:31

Wondering what people think as we've been having this conversation amongst colleagues. What if a teacher decided to reduce their workload and get more of a work/life balance by becoming a TA for a couple of years do you think that they would find it hard to go back to being a class teacher afterwards? Would that work against them in future interviews/ applications?

Goblinchild Sat 01-Mar-14 19:21:58

You get snapped up a lot as instant class cover.
I'd put a positive spin on it for future jobs and say it was my way of keeping up with all the changes and initiatives, and that I was fully involved in co-planning.

AnimalsAreMyFriends Sat 01-Mar-14 19:30:41

Really good idea - though you have to be careful that the school don't take advantage of their qualification. A member of my family changed from secondary teacher to primary teacher - she did this by working as a TA for 2 years in primary - the school had no problem with offering her a teaching job - but did take the piss a bit when she first went there, in terms of leaving her to cover classes and doing over and above TA planning, whilst being paid for her TA role.
Also have a friend who has stepped back from being a class teacher and is working as an HLTA. It has been a welcome break for her.

AlpacaLypse Sat 01-Mar-14 19:32:57

I would have thought the biggest problem would be if an experienced teacher was working as a TA supporting an inexperienced one, and started to itch to tell her how to do it properly.

AlpacaLypse Sat 01-Mar-14 19:33:31

Sorry, just made massive gender assumptions there.

arabellarubberplant Sat 01-Mar-14 19:44:52

It's really common, tbh.

As alpaca said, it drives you mental when you are more experienced than the class teacher, and can see them making mistakes, know you could do it better, but have to have the internal wrangle about whether it's better for you to step up and help her improve her teaching for the sake of the kids, or whether it will make it all worse because she will get the hump and think you think you're better than her, etc etc etc.

I'm using female as that's where it started, and because the number of men thinking about going this route would be so vanishingly small as not to bother with.

Loads of women try to do this with young families, as they can see they would have less responsibility in terms of keeping up with paperwork, but will be in a familiar environment with relevant skills.

If you can bear the feeling of not being able to make decisions and are happy to get on and support the class teacher, whilst receiving essentially no monetary benefit, all good.

There are pros and cons. One friend was told she could have the post, but they were only going to pay her as an unqualified candidate, as that was what they were advertising for. She took the job at the base salary and left after a year. Not because of the money, but because she couldn't bear to watch less qualified teachers and not be able to do anything about it.

So, check your control-freaky tendencies, and work out whether you could even cope on a day to day basis knowing the kids were being let down, and being powerless to do anything about it.

(Disclaimer - you might end up with a really good teacher, but in times where NQTs are often preferred as the cheaper option, a second experienced class teacher but paid as a TA would be seen as a good prospect. NQTs are tricky, as often they are brilliant but may need support, but might find having a ten year teacher as their TA quite a terrifying prospect, and feel watched and judged every day...)

SleepSleepSleepSleep Sun 02-Mar-14 23:20:42

I was a TA for a year and am a qualified English teacher. I loved being a TA and much preferred it to teaching the class. I could actually help a few students and was much less stressed.

I now have young children so work from home as a tutor. Love this also. Class teaching is not for me anymore even though I love teaching. I would be a TA again. DH is also a teacher and would consider the TA option to be less stressed and have more time with family, even though the salary is low.

EmmaGellerGreen Sun 02-Mar-14 23:28:48

There is one at the school where I used to be a Governor. Whenever a teacher is off, she covers for them. She's doing 3 days a week cover for long term sickness at the minute. I don't think it's working out quite how she planned it really!

madcatlady444 Tue 04-Mar-14 17:49:15

The head at my DD's school, where I was a governor, wouldn't even interview teachers who applied for TA job, said if they were any good they would be teaching, not being a TA. Not saying I completely agree, am in middle of primary PGCE so know what teaching is like

Goblinchild Tue 04-Mar-14 18:10:36

What a short-sighted and judgemental woman.
I know several teachers working as TAs, and they tend to be people who love the job, enjoy teaching and supporting children, are excellent team players and who dislike the huge amount of paperwork, hoop-jumping and politics that teaching now involves. They take the good bits and leave the crap.

If I could manage on the salary, I'd be a TA in a heartbeat,

Goblinchild Tue 04-Mar-14 18:12:36

'am in middle of primary PGCE so know what teaching is like'

grin grin grin

Oh
no
you
don't.
You
really
don't.
Well, not yet. Complete your NQT year, survive another 5 years and then you'll know.

madcatlady444 Tue 04-Mar-14 18:13:22

The head is male, not female.

Goblinchild Tue 04-Mar-14 18:15:30

Oh, OK.
'What a short-sighted and judgemental woman.'

grownoutofglitter Tue 04-Mar-14 18:16:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hulababy Tue 04-Mar-14 18:24:46

Luckily not many HT are ike the one described here. Infact, my experience was exactly the opposite.

I am a qualified secondary school teacher. I was a good teacher. I left teaching for many reasons, not because I wasn't good at it.

After a while I choose to move into primary but choose to do so in a TA role. I did a little bit of volunteer work at DD's primary whilst doing my previous job. Applied for one job and got the job.

I now work as a HLTA in an infant school and do PPA cover, teaching computing to EYFS - Y2. I love it. I get to do all the bits of teaching I love with more flexibility and more control over what I do than I ever did before.

I have worked with teachers with a wide range of experience - from NQTs to much more experienced thn I am. As we work together to support teaching and learning it has never been an issue. I am not a teacher's assistant, I am a teaching assistant and that makes a big difference. I don't do jobs for teachers. I work in the classroom to help children with their learning, either as in class support through interventions - or, in my class, whole class computng teaching, which I love smile

I do find I end up taking on other roles too though, so I am busy and I still do a lot of work outside of school hours.

Bloodyteenagers Tue 04-Mar-14 18:34:26

Depends on your personality and if you are a control freak, who knows everything.
Over the years we have had many teachers who for whatever reason have decided to be ta's. Most have been great. One not so, is a control freak, who thinks they know everything, everyone else is always wrong, interrupts everyone and never lets anyone else talk.

Hulababy Tue 04-Mar-14 18:47:55

To be fair though - she was probably like that as a teacher too though, rather than just because she is now a TA.

peggylane Wed 05-Mar-14 10:34:28

Thanks for all your replies! Glad to hear that most of them are positive as it's a move I am seriously considering at the moment.
Hopefully madcatlady's dd's headteacher is an exception. He's probably a good example for headteachers that make classroom teachers want to leave the profession or become a TA!

phlebasconsidered Wed 05-Mar-14 20:48:45

I left teaching and returned after kids via the HLTA route. I loved it, really loved it. (Sits back and contemplates HUGE pile of marking still to do, thinks back on the 7am starts so far all this week, the maths emails yet to answer, the marking I didn't bring home, the APP i've got to do this weekend........)

Yep, I loved it.

If it were not for the poo pay and my eventual need for a pension i'd got back to it like a shot. I actually SAW my own children and wasn't at all stressed. Imagine that.

blueberryupsidedown Wed 05-Mar-14 20:59:50

I volunteer in a class where there is a NQT and a retired teacher with 30 years experience employed as a TA, and I can feel the tension in the air. TA always trying to take over. Not good.

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