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Teaching assistant problem.

(11 Posts)
pennypeony Fri 10-Mar-17 11:32:35

My child has just started a new school, yr3.
The first day bought about some problems for my DD. Primarily ( l suspect) because her new teacher was on PPA.
I went the next day to clarify a few points, mainly as my daughter had been left 'exposed' in a new classroom environment.
Anyway, l arrived and decided to ask her teacher. Unfortunately she was busy photocopying. The TA asked if she could help? I explained l'd rather speak with the teacher this time ( as it was just her second day)Teacher came in and instead of the TA making herself scarce- she settled down to listen to my concerns.
Each issue l raised ( only two) she interjected defensively.
Not really giving the teacher any chance to respond. The main problem was that each issue l raised she threw back at my daughter as if she should have known . I hadn't 'accused' anyone of anything l was mearly clarifying- so my daughter would get another chance to hear/learn from her teacher.
I hadn't needed to go back to her teacher again till today.
A few girls have been spiteful to my daughter ( quite badly) and l wanted it ' logged'.
This time, l decided to tell the TA - mainly (as l suspect) she doesn't like not being involved.
To my amazement, she turned on my DD again. Almost blaming her again for not mentioning it to the lunchtime supervisors. I reminded her that l'd prefer to talk with her the teacher. Also, children tend to open up once home , in a secure place. l then got the shpiel about how by year 3 ,they prefer the children to sort it out amongst themselves. My DD is fine with that , having previously in a mixed yr3/4 class. This is a new bunch of kids that she has no history with, so she didn't know how ?
I'm not sure why the TA is/was so defensive. I'm now feeling uneasy about wanting to talk about anything else that may come up.
Disclaimer: l do her job in another school.

QueenInsomnia Fri 10-Mar-17 12:31:45

I think I'd arrange to meet with the headteacher to talk things through. Say you feel you cannot speak with the teacher, in private, as the TA is always around victim blaming your DD. It's not fair at all, she is new to the school, and she shouldn't be made to feel like it is her fault - no wonder she doesn't talk to the TA about it at school. Headteacher will probably be your best bet at the moment.

woodhill Fri 10-Mar-17 12:38:01

Does the TA work across the whole class or just specific pupils? Does she work with your dd?

What's PPA? Surprised the teacher did not speak up.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Fri 10-Mar-17 12:46:26

PPA is planning, preparation and assessment time and some schools organise so that the teacher has a block of time- maybe a day a fortnight. It should be 10% of teacher time. The teacher may have been elsewhere in the school at the time.

Verbena37 Fri 10-Mar-17 12:51:33

She undermining the teacher and the teacher needs to explain to the TA that she can't do that in front of parents.
Fine for her to diss stuff that's relevant withvthe teachers say so but to wade on in like she isn't there is rude.

I would also book a meeting with the head and explain the problem. The TA shouldn't be putting down your dd when she's clearly a new pupil. They should be helping her integrate smoothly.

woodhill Fri 10-Mar-17 12:52:23


TA does sound very domineering.

Hope things settle down for dd OP.

Quite tough to join a new school when everyone knows each other.

pennypeony Fri 10-Mar-17 12:59:29

Thank you all. The teacher was just across the hall. I understand that PPA is precious time - l just would have liked her to pop in super fast and say "Hi" smile
I can't understand the defensiveness. Surely if l have an issue, l have an issue. I honestly couldn't believe it when she turned on my DD again
I will speak to the Head. I really didn't want to have to do that! I really wanted this new school to work out.

pennypeony Fri 10-Mar-17 13:02:04

- sorry wood she is just for this class.
One of the children told my daughter "We have a really mean TA" l dismissed that to start with...

Witchend Fri 10-Mar-17 13:24:24

If the teacher hadn't been present the day before then I'd have thought it was more relevant for the TA (who presumably had been) to talk it through with you than the teacher.

What do you mean by left "exposed"? At year 3 level I'd expect them to do no more than appoint a buddy for the class, and some children aren't very good at that as they struggle to balance looking after and their old friends. It's a tricky age in a lot of ways because they're old enough to have definite "my friend" tendencies, but not the social skills necessarily to be able to juggle that and empathy for looking after a new girl.

I'm confused why you would choose to talk to the TA the second time but then I reminded her that I'd prefer to talk with her the teacher.
If you'd rather talk with the teacher, then speak to the teacher-you can ask to be confidential if you like and I'm sure that wouldn't have any issues with that.

I think it's absolutely fine to ask to talk to the teacher, but I can't see what the teacher has done wrong here at all, so the teacher is the next step, not escalating it to the head.

IamFriedSpam Fri 10-Mar-17 13:26:53

I would speak to the head. I'd mainly be concerned about her dismissing your concerns for your DD. Lots of children wouldn't feel comfortable approaching unknown lunchtime supervisors in a new environment. There are lots of things that could be done to help your DD settle in (e.g. choose another child she might get on with and have him/her be a "buddy" for the first few weeks).

pennypeony Fri 10-Mar-17 13:33:40

I'm not blaming the teacher at all.
Interestingly, one of the issues l had was that her 'Buddy' took off! Leaving her alone during her first playtime , lunchtime etc...
They are (imo) amazingly relaxed.
Sorry , l didn't make myself clear. When l mentioned talking to the teacher, l was comparing that to my DD having to find a lunchtime supervisor. The TA was trying to 'sell' that as the appropriate action.
As if my coming in was against the way they like to do things!
The teacher is young. I've seen it before- the teacher being intimidated by the TA!

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