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Your TA role

(38 Posts)
MyMorningHasBroken Thu 17-Nov-16 18:39:50

Interested to know what different TA roles involve.
Do you lead low attaining groups on a daily basis? If so, how many?
Do you get lesson plans for you to deliver to groups?
Do you prep outside class?
Do you mark books?

mrz Thu 17-Nov-16 19:00:42

Our TAs don't do any of the above. They support the teacher in the classroom.

TheTroubleWithAngels Thu 17-Nov-16 19:06:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

panad317 Thu 17-Nov-16 19:18:32

8:50-9:00 yard duty
9:00-9:30 printing/laminating etc.
9:30-10:30 sit with a group (the lowest usually)
10:30-10:50 yard duty
10:50-11:10 break
11:10-12:00 sit with a group
12:00-12:30 lunch duty
12:30-1:00 break
1:00-1:30 printing/laminating etc.
1:30-2:10 sit with group
2:10-2:30 yard duty
2:30-3:00 listen to children reading
3:00-3:40 stick work in books

I'n with year 1. I also look after a pupil who has diabetes so I check his blood 3 times a day and when I think he's having a hypo and inject insulin before lunch.

The work I do with the groups is introduced to me the same tine as it's introduced to the children.
If I see a child struggling with a particular skill, I do prep stuff but not outside my working hours.
I don't mark books

spanieleyes Thu 17-Nov-16 19:29:54

Our TAs are given the weeks outline planning on a Monday and daily plans thereafter. During a lesson they will work with a group ( but not usually the lowest ability as the teacher would generally work with that particular group) after the topic has been introduced by the teacher. Sometimes they might have a group in the classroom from the outset ( if there is a small group who struggled with the previous day's learning for example, they might go over the concepts again and look at the ideas in a different way, or perhaps they might extend a HA group or individual who needs additional work) . They also take intervention groups in the afternoon under the direction of the teacher ( although they will get preparation time for this). The TAs will "tick mark" maths work for the group that they work with and will feedback to the teacher on how well/difficult the children found the work but the teacher will then add next steps for learning. They will occasionally do some printing/laminating but that is after school finishes as they are far to busy during the day !

bloodyteenagers Thu 17-Nov-16 19:38:29

Do you lead low attaining groups on a daily basis? If so, how many? Yes. Anything from 1-2-1 to groups of 8 (I'm a HLTA, the TA's aren't required to do this)

Do you get lesson plans for you to deliver to groups? Yes. Good practice would be for teachers to share lesson plans regardless of what work the TA did. Without the plans how is the TA supposed to know what's happening? They also contain useful information such as LO's.

Do you prep outside class? No. Thankfully, we have a decent Head who actively discourages this. None of this nonsense of going in during holidays to set up displays (one class did it, he ordered it all to be removed as the displays have to be students work)

Do you mark books? Varies. Some students need the instant feedback so we will mark and give feedback.

Also do personal care. Gastro feeds. Epilepsy meds. Tracheostomy. Hydrotherapy. Rebound therapy.

MyMorningHasBroken Thu 17-Nov-16 19:43:34

I'm trying to not say too much as started a new job. I am doing my level 3 and have a university degree with teaching overseas but do not have experience of working the NC. Also paid usual TA salary. (not HTLA)
I sent a child who had finished his work the other day to check it with the main teacher before he went outside and he got slated for not asking me.
I'm also struggling to deliver these phonics lessons on my own (they do not do phonics as a class beforehand) as I don't feel I have enough resources and am having to think of ways of extending to occupy them.
We are expected to write comments and check the work of the children we have worked with for that lesson.

MyMorningHasBroken Thu 17-Nov-16 19:48:10

I am OK with this, but I was just wondering what others were expected to do and maybe I just need to up my game on the phonics. I'm also unsure of how much responsibility is expected. I guess this varies from teacher to teacher though.

TeacherBob Thu 17-Nov-16 20:58:17

My TA's day:

Every adult has a phonic group for RWI - so she has one
English - She works with a group and I do, we mark our own groups
Maths - She works with a group and I do, we mark our own groups
Reads a class story
Break duty + lunch duty
PM - interventions to support groups, set by me
Changes reading books
First aid for KS1
Gets called for behaviour issues throughout rest of school
Supports the child who needs 1:1 but doesn't get it

Also sticks work in books, does photocopying, sorts displays, tidies and completes stuff on my to-do list (this is something we both do, but she is amazing and gets so much done, so I buy her chocolate!)

TeacherBob Thu 17-Nov-16 21:00:04

Oh, she also presents me on Mondays with cutting/laminating/games she has created during the weekend.

I am VERY lucky

TeacherBob Thu 17-Nov-16 21:04:36

I'm also unsure of how much responsibility is expected. I guess this varies from teacher to teacher though.

Yes it does.
I have had TA's I wouldn't let anywhere near books to mark. My current TA always marks the groups she works with and I know I can use what she writes as evidence of progress etc.

AgadorSpartacus Thu 17-Nov-16 21:06:33

My duties are

General admin (photocopy, laminate)
this is Mon am and a few bits along the week.

Supporting groups in class. Not always lowest. Whoever teacher feels would benefit from separate input.


marking learning logs

running the library


specific reading interventions 4 afternoons a week.

2 after school clubs

lunch time games club (every second week)

Fri pm I have the afternoon to plan my interventions and any library admin.

AgadorSpartacus Thu 17-Nov-16 21:07:21

oh yes and mark as I go in class.

Wait4nothing Thu 17-Nov-16 21:18:15

Our tas are mostly contracted 8.15-4.45 - a typical day would be:
8.15-8.30 - photocopying and resource prep (collecting practical resources from around school)
8.30-8.50 - support children coming in (yard duty)
8.50-9.00 - readers
9.00-10.00 - support maths - normally teaching a small group (various abilities - more often top or bottom) or supporting an activity - more than 1 role in each lesson
10.00-10.05 - set up yard
10.05 - 10.15 - tea break
10.15 - 10.30 - break duty
10.30-11.00 - guided reading (taking a group or running a planned intervention)
11.00 - 12.00 - literacy as maths
12.00 - 1.00 - lunch
1.00 - 2.15 - deliver planned interventions
2.15 - 2.30 - break duty
2.30 - 3.15 - readers
3.15 - 3.25 - support home time
3.25 - 4.45 - filing, sticking in, tick marking, classroom sorting (tidying/displays/sorting role plays ect), time to get equipment/books cer for interventions

They work so hard! Easily as hard as a teacher does in the same hours. And are totally underpaid for their work!

MyMorningHasBroken Thu 17-Nov-16 21:29:52

Thank you everyone. It's really nice to see also that [some] teachers appreciate having their TAs. I hope to be a good one smile
I'd read some comments online at some point with some teachers saying how TAs were a waste of time and how they preferred to work alone but I guess each to their own and there are good and bad everywhere.
I do lots of laminating,sticking and prep also but I think i need to gain some more confidence and start working more on my own initiative.
I've only been in said work for 3 weeks so still trying to gauge exactly what each of the teachers need/prefer.

TeacherBob Thu 17-Nov-16 21:37:36

There was a big study somewhere that 'proved' TA's aren't value for money.

Loads of schools jumped on it as an excuse to get rid of TA's.

And it is bullshit...

TeacherBob Thu 17-Nov-16 21:38:24

I was a TA then a HLTA for years before I became a teacher.
It helped me appreciate the hard work TA's do

spanieleyes Thu 17-Nov-16 21:42:40

The MITA report said that TAs did add value, as long as they were used correctly. That is part of the problem, TAs are a valuable resource and need to be treated as such,, rather than as a general dogsbody! Have a look at

which has a wealth of resources that schools and TAs might find useful!

TeacherBob Thu 17-Nov-16 21:46:02

Yeah thats the one I am talking about spaniel

MyMorningHasBroken Thu 17-Nov-16 21:56:10

I'm glad TeacherBob. Ideally, that's what I would like to do but not just yet with my 7,5 and 3 Y/O and the current climate. grin I know many teachers do but I just can't imagine the workload right now.

Coconut0il Fri 18-Nov-16 23:09:56

Every teacher I've worked with has been different so the first thing I always do is have a chat with them about how they like to run the class and how I can be of the most assistance to them. When I was in ks1 I had a daily phonics group. If you feel you are unsure speak to your teacher, find any resources within your school that can help you. Read up and ask for training. I always research at home and find resources for anything I'll be doing.
I'm in y3 this year with an nqt. I get a copy of the planning on Monday morning. I hear readers, change reading books and library books, mark homework, set spellings, prepare resources and displays. I have a group for guided reading, a group for Literacy and a group for Maths. Often it's the lower ability but not always. Sometimes I work in class other times I take them out. I mark the work of the group I've been with.
I was with an extremely experienced/organised teacher previously who didn't need me to do any of the above. I was there for support in lessons only.

Galena Thu 24-Nov-16 14:44:09

I used to be a teacher, but now am a TA. My teacher knows my background, so I am used to work 1-1 and in small groups with either lower/higher or on specific misunderstandings. Sometimes the teacher takes a small group out and I teach the rest of the class. I hear readers, do displays, mark work, individual interventions, admin, whatever else makes the teacher's life easier!

cassgate Thu 24-Nov-16 18:33:20

I am a level 3 TA and my day typically starts at 8.30 although I am only contracted from 8.45-3.15. I am normally in school and start work at 8.30 and I rarely leave earlier than 3.45. I am in class in the mornings supporting the class teacher with literacy and maths. School starts at 8.50 but I prep the classroom for the morning sessions before the children arrive and I also use the time to photocopy, laminate etc. I receive copies of the weeks planning normally on Friday or first thing Monday and the teacher will have already allocated which groups she wants me to work with in class for that week.The teacher will generally deliver the lesson and then I will work with my allocated group either in or out of the classroom depending on the teacher's preference. I mark the books of the group I work with but the teacher will give detailed feedback and next steps. I then do lunch duty followed by a break. After that I normally deliver 1-1 and group interventions. As a level 3 TA I am also allowed to cover the whole class in the short term absence of the teacher. This has happened twice since September. Both times I delivered the planned lesson, marked the books for the session that I covered and annotated the class plans with any observations on individuals and groups. The teacher wrote up feedback and next steps in the books when she returned. I also mark homework each week and feedback to the teacher. I also put up displays as required.

Hulababy Thu 24-Nov-16 18:48:15

We scrapped the name TA and use LSA - learning support assistant. It was to move away from the use of TAs to just be doing sticking in, filing, sorting, photocopying, etc. Instead it was to focus more on the roles they are best at doing (for our school) - supporting learning (of the pupils.)

In a morning for our school this is supporting in class for English, Maths, Phonics and Handwriting primarily, though my include other things. The LSA works with various groups - try not to be just the same group every time, or the same child/ren (unless a specific 1:1) so they all work with a teacher, an LSA or independently throughout the week.

Our LSAs obviously do still do some photocopying and sorting roles, but so do the teachers.

In an afternoon our LSAs tend to do interventions across the key stage, for individuals or small groups, sometimes in class and sometimes outside of class. Our LSAs are usually trained in specific interventions so will often focus on those. This is continuous CPD though so varies.

All of our LSAs run a lunch time club once a week, and they all do between 1 and 3 playtime duties (am and pm, not lunch time) as do the teachers.

We do have some flexibility in the roles to fit in with our school day to day needs. We have a mix of level 1 to level 3 LSAs (plus two level 4 HLTAs but their roles are distinctly different) and each class in school has a named LSA attached to their class.

Re the questions in the OP:
Do you lead low attaining groups on a daily basis?
- can be differing abilities, in different subjects. Some in class, some small group or 1:1 interventions
If so, how many?
- again varies; in class support every morning for most of our LSAs, between 1-4 interventions in an afternoon
Do you get lesson plans for you to deliver to groups?
- our LSAs tend to follow specific interventions that have often be bought in or developed my local agencies working with children with differing needs. These are then followed by LSAs, following training. It would be unusual for them to have to develop their own but it sometimes happens if there is a need. They are given time to develop them.
Do you prep outside class?
- All of LSAs can some time out of class to plan, prep and sort resources and interventions. This is timetabled but they are all fairly flexible. However, some also do some work outside of paid hours too. This is not expected or demanded of them however.
Do you mark books?
- usually if an LSA has worked with a group then they will mark that piece of work, using the schools marking policy. They don't tend to do the deep marking however, and also the class teacher will normally have a look over the work anyway ready for them to plan follow up lessons. The LSA and teacher will usually have a chat about progress after a session anyway.

Our HLTAs have different roles entirely so that would be very different.

jamdonut Thu 24-Nov-16 20:01:43

I'm a level 2 TA. We can't train as HLTAs in our area any more.
I m trained to take RWI groups. (I do my own preparation)
I don't always have low ability groups, it can vary.
In our school TAs have to mark books of the children they have been working with. We give written feedback, as well as verbal. The teachers check the books as well though, and may add further steps, or new targets.

We basically do the same as the teachers except planning and data crunching.
We work from lesson p!ans, but are allowed to change or improvise as necessary , if it becomes obvious the work is too hard or too easy etc. The key is good communication with the teachers.
When I get the time I do displays.
I have less time to do laminating these days.( We tend to share those jobs with whoever's going to go and do some!It all gets done in one big batch!)

I also do 2 before school clubs (1 with 2 other TAs, 1 by myself, both paid) and one after school club with a teacher and another TA.(voluntarily)

Ofsted came at the start of this school year and said the schools TAs were very effective.

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