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Calling all SEN TA's. Over here please ;-)

(22 Posts)
SilveryMoon Sat 29-May-10 10:33:43

I have an interview to become a SEN TA next week, but I have no experience and no qualifications that are relevant (they already know this), I was hoping someone could talk me through your roles and what the job entails so i will have an idea of what I'm talking about at the interview.
Anything will be much appreciated.
TIA smile

HecateQueenOfWitches Sat 29-May-10 10:39:54

I'm not a TA but I am the mother of children with SN - in fact, they go to new schools in september. One of them is recruiting atm. Wouldn't it be funny if that was the job you were going for grin

As a parent, I'd want a ta who took an holistic approach. Who saw my child as an individual not as their autism. Who saw the importance of being part of a team. Who understood that the point of being a ta for a child with sn is to put yourself out of a job! Because your aim is to create independence. Who was mindful of the dangers of creating dependence. etc etc

Good luck!

SilveryMoon Sat 29-May-10 10:48:22

Thanks Hecate That's my line of thought too, so hopefully I'll be ok.
I'm getting a bit nervous actually. I haven't worked for 3 years, and I've never worked in this field, so I'm being a bit of a chancer wink but do feel I'd be good at it and have the right skills to do the job well.
Thank you for your reply x

Hassled Sat 29-May-10 10:53:04

If it were me interviewing I would ask something about how you deal (or how you think you should deal) with challenging behaviour. If you can come up with an example of a time you've succesfully dealt with challenging behaviour that will go down well. And you'll be asked about Safeguarding - read up on that.

HecateQueenOfWitches Sat 29-May-10 10:55:30

You'll be fine. Be enthusiastic (not OTT) about the school! Be impressed (not OTT) by the layout etc. Heads like it when people think their school is great grin

You've got kids have you? If so then you've oodles of experience! The best TAs my children have had have been the ones who don't know everything there is to know about autism (and we've had one or 2 of the other type!) no, the best ones are those who are 'just' mums. Who treat my children like any other child. Who know that they are not experts in the field, but have a lot of common sense and see my children as children, who are willing to learn how to help my children acheive their full potential and who do NOT start every sentence with the words "Well, children with autism..."

mummytime Sat 29-May-10 10:55:38

As another parent of DC with SEN, I'd want you to show a willingness to learn, and try new things. Do ask about training, and support for self training. There is training for things like Dyslexia, but also issues like Anger management you can do a lot of self training (and issues like this or learning to type or help with handwriting will crop up all the time).

Finally, they will be really looking for a team player, who can work with the teacher and be a support (demonstrate you are not a prima donna know it all, shouldn't be hard ). You didn't say if its secondary or primary, if it is secondary then you need to show you have some presence. So don't be too retiring.

Good luck!

SilveryMoon Sat 29-May-10 11:02:46

Thanks all.
Yes I have 2 children. They are very young, 2.9yrs and 15 months.
The school I'm going for has children up to the age of 16.
I've got the training question ready as one of the ones I'm going to ask at the end.
I've had experience of staff training, but that's adyults, not children.
I've seen lots of anger and been involved in situations where I have needed to calm people down, but not sure if that'll be relevant.
I will also read up on safeguarding and education policies.
Just off out now, but keep all the lovely advice coming and I will check in later

asdx2 Sat 29-May-10 23:01:47

My son has SEN in secondary I would say that the TA's that work in his ASD unit are calm, adaptable, knowledgeable and resourceful.
They make it their business to know about typical teenage interests so know the trendy TV,music, games and phones.
They are happy to laugh at themselves alongside their students.
They provide emotional as well as academic support.
They maintain good communication between home and school.
I think these are probably the most useful skills they have alongside a sense of humour and the patience of Jove.

SilveryMoon Sat 29-May-10 23:06:45

thanks asdx2
I have applied for lots more jobs today and the more I apply for the more confident I am getting that someone will give me a chance.
I can do all of those things you mentioned.
Thank you for your input grin

BBBee Sat 29-May-10 23:13:18

i would say something about measuring progress, getting a baseline and looking at whether what you are doing is showing improvement. ask if you would have access to any child reports and input to parents.

look like you are serious and want to be involved in the process and progress.

SilveryMoon Sat 29-May-10 23:14:59

Thanks BBBee That's a good piece of advice actually. I am making a note of that one for one of my interview questions grin

Devexity Sun 30-May-10 07:44:05

I was a SEN LSA last year in a secondary. Depending on the school and its SEN population you'll have a range of roles that span the special needs spectrum in ways you can't imagine before you're doing it.

Day-to-day job stuff included toileting, feeding, hoisting, physical therapy, speech therapy, scribing, interpreting poems, invigilating, confiscating sharp things (lots of this), nose blowing (metaphoric and literal), running social interference, academic prompting, social prompting, cheerleading, making sweatshirts and pop-up cards, sorting out friendship angst, mentoring, listening, being tackled in contact rugby, doing the cross country run, and - most importantly - laughing a lot. Especially during the cross country run.

My suggested interview question: "Will I be assigned to specific pupils or to general classroom support?" All of the progress tracking/assessment mentioned in previous posts is wildly easy if you're in the same classes with the same pupils week after week.

SilveryMoon Sun 30-May-10 07:48:45

Devexity That sounds great! Apart from the running bit wink
The thing is, I've never done anything like this before, so your description does sound a little daunting smile
I do love a challenge then and it does sound like it's very interesting and very rewarding.

sayithowitis Sun 30-May-10 18:13:19

I would also ask whether there will be timetabled opportunities for you to meet with teaching staff to discuss what you will be doing and what he/she expects of you in specific lessons. If you are expected to prepare, will they give you time for this, will they expect you to be involved in any planning for 'your' children? How will you feedback to the teacher? and when?

They will probably ask you a question to ensure you are familiar with the need for confidentiality, I always found the best way to cope with this is to say that unless you are instructed differently, you would always advise a parent to make an appointment to see their child's teacher to discuss progress.

They may ask what you know of the Disabilities Discrimination Act. I would suggest a little bit of research prior to interview (just enough to show you are aware of it and some of the implications, not expecting you to be able to recite it word for word).

Good Luck. if I think of anything else I will come back and let you know.

cat64 Sun 30-May-10 18:29:26

Message withdrawn

SilveryMoon Sun 30-May-10 18:58:40

Thanks ladies.
All great advice, taken on board.
Can'r believe how much research I need to do grin
Will all be worth it though when someone gives me a chance to prove myself.
You are all fab, thanks for help

tibni Sun 30-May-10 19:15:33

Agree with what the others have said

I would add - don't ever take things personally when working with teenagers
The age group you are talking about will have hormone issues (SEN or not) that will need understanding handling
Find out about the access to files / information that you will have. Many teachers really will not know about the SEN issues in the class.
A lot of secondary schools have chill out or sensory areas for chill out time - worth finding the usage policy.

I work at secondary level - mostly with student support groups and have a ds with SEN (special school). Calmness and humour are essential. Take nothing to heart and stay consistent.

coolkat Sun 30-May-10 19:19:02

Two key words would be 'inclusion' and every child matters!

Have a look at your local government/council website I know ours has some quite good stuff on regarding SEN.

Good luck.

SilveryMoon Sun 30-May-10 19:26:45

Thank you smile
I've applied for job in both SEN schools and mainstream schools.
I will have a look at everything that has been suggested.
I don't know if I mentioned on this thread (have a few on the go) that I have an interview on wednesday.
It's with an agency that work closely with a SEN school and would be on a day to day basis at short notice.
I'm keen for them to accept me onto their books and send some work my way because I really want a foot in the door and some experience, but as a placement would be such short notice, I'll be straight in the deep end. [eek!]

BBBee Mon 31-May-10 02:34:23

oh thought of something else - quite often at these kind of things there is a child protection question where they ask what you would do if a child told you they were being hurt or in danger. you say that you would follow the school child protection policy and ensure you wrote down verabim what they said , reassure them then seek help from SMT

SilveryMoon Mon 31-May-10 08:28:44

Ok, thank you smile

Mumneedshelp123 Wed 21-Jan-15 10:50:06

I new to this never posted anything before, but I need some advice
I have a job interview on Friday. At present I just volunteer as a parent helper at my daughter school.
A job was advertised in school so thought I'd apply.
I was given the arrangements which say I will given a normal lesson plan which I have to follow and adapt to suit a pupil with special needs.
I am not sure how to go about doing this any comments will be appreciated.

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