I've worked in nurseries but spent the last 2 years nannying (prem babies - 5 yr old children). I'm thinking of applying to be a TA in a local junior school. Want to know all the facts before I apply though. I've looked on the internet and TA work looks ok - but whats it like in reality?
I spent 6 years in pre school before becoming a TA. I'm currently in reception so can only speak for my experience but one thing I will say is that it is hard work. We are timetabled down to the last minute with intervention groups, phonics groups etc including keeping children back from assembly for additional intervention. my feet do not touch the ground and I pretty much dont sit down all day except lunch. when I worked in pre school we were very busy but the pressure was not there to get all these things done including observations and hearing groups read etc and you could take your time a bit more with individual children..Saying all that I do love my job so would not change. Can't speak for other year groups although waiting to hear where I am being put next year.
I am a child specific TA so I work with one child with additional needs. As the previous post my feet barely touch the ground. I have to plan with the teacher and make the work accessible for 'my' child. I am with him from the second he gets in to the second I hand him back to mum I don't even get a loo break. But I also wouldn't change it. I love my job but it is thoroughly exhausting mentally and physically.
I am currently coming to the end of my 5th year working as a TA. I am in a junior school and have worked with years 4, 5 and 6. (currently in Y4) I love love love my job. But, as Meg says, it is very full on. I get paid little (around £8 ph) but for that am expected to bring on our lowest achieving children via in-class support, intervention groups, one to one phonics or maths or reading. I also run social skills group and a circle of friends group (both designed to help children with social difficulties) We are timetabled to the last minute (this does include two half-hour slots for preparation time, where we can prepare resources / materials needed for intervention groups). In addition teachers want us to photocopy homework, put up display boards, pull together resources for art sessions etc. There is no time in our timetable for those support activities so we end up running trying to squeeze everything in. Sometimes I feel like what we do is not paid well. but, that said, I love working with the children, I love the school environment (the hustle and bustle, the mild chaos). I would not want to work anywhere else really.
Thank you all very much for your replies. I'm currently running around like a headless chicken 7am -7pm 4 days a week! So running around for less hours a day sounds fine by me how was the interview process? and the sort of questions were you asked? Want to be prepared if I make it to the interview stage.
I was asked questions about safeguarding, curriculum, what I saw the role to be, I had to take and explain resources I had used successfully. I also had to plan and lead an activity and discuss it afterwards.
I started out 25 years ago as a 'parent helper' (dad) for five years, hearing readers half a day a week. Then got a TA job in an infant school for ten years, mostly supporting less able groups, but also a bit of everything; also ran a recorder club, computer activities club, and coached Yr 2 children on percussion to accompany the Christmas performance each year.
Then had couple of years in a tough comprehensive.
I'm now retired, but things are more intensive and more formal these days. After retiring I did voluntary work for another ten years. One of my first 'readers' turned up again seventeen years later, when she was on her final year of Teacher Training; our roles were reversed, as she needed to direct me in the classroom!
Some interviews can require you to work with a group of children. The way you relate to and control the children, and are alert to their needs is probably important.