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Teachers with classroom assistants

(13 Posts)
deste Fri 04-Sep-09 22:19:43

Hi my DD has started work this week as a classroom assistant. She is enjoying it but is a bit worried that she cant get through all the jobs she is given first thing in the morning, ie laminating etc. When would be the best time for her to do it to obviously fit in with the teacher. She is not sure when she is supposed to fit it in. She cant stay on at the end of the day because she has to go straight to her other job. I said I could ask on here to get first hand advice from any teachers on MN.

jennifersofia Fri 04-Sep-09 22:27:55

The best thing to do would be to ask the teacher when she / he would like her to do the jobs. We ask TA's to do jobs like that in spare moments, such as when the class is in assembly, or if they are all doing a task that doesn't need the TA.

deste Fri 04-Sep-09 22:35:22

Thanks, she said she was told to do it in spare moments but she hasnt had any, yet. I did say to ask the teacher when it would be appropriate.

tryingtobemarypoppins Fri 04-Sep-09 22:44:04

My wonderful TA 'borrows' the laminater and brings it to the classroom and just keeps putting things through whilst doing 101 other jobs! These few weeks are always more busy. It gets better!

hayes Fri 04-Sep-09 22:45:49

in my experience I regularly stayed later to do jobs as I too didn't get spare time to do these things....it can be time consuming laminating, trimming, making booklets etc. One teacher in particular used to give me loads of stuff to do and it stressed me out at first but I mentioned to her that it was too much to do in the time allocated and we agreed that if she had given me loads of jobs then I wouldn't come to class that day. This wasn't good in my opinion as I was there to support specific children and I felt my time wasn't spent that way a lot of the time. This was my experience in the school I worked at.

cece Fri 04-Sep-09 22:47:09

TAs juggle the 101 jobs they are given. Yes the do things like borrow the laminator to the classroom and do it during introductions to lessons and also assembly time. They also negotiate with the teacher and say things like when can you spare me to do the display you want done and so on. They are wonderful people but very busy!

tryingtobemarypoppins Fri 04-Sep-09 22:57:47

I wouldn't be without mine!

deste Fri 04-Sep-09 23:12:13

I shall tell her to "borrow" the laminator as that sounds like a good idea. If she didn't have to rush off after school she would probably stay on but she has taken a drop in wages and still has the same bills so needs the other job.

gingernutlover Sat 05-Sep-09 08:52:53

agree about borrowing the laminator for the classroom, that way you can shove a few bits through whenever you get the chance.

Also, worth asking the teacher which jobs have priority and getting those done as a priority.

If she is working with very young children these first few weeks will be very hectic with not many spare moments so tell her not to worry. I teach reception and we don't get much done in the first few weeks other than keeping them happy all day and getting them into school around, school and out of the gate in one peice LOL.

Is she enjoying the job deste?

deste Sat 05-Sep-09 10:47:14

Yes she is enjoying the job. This is a complete career change for her. She would like to get on to the GTP next year. She already has an honours degree in Musical Theatre but is very good with children. She does have the newbies and they have two challenging children in the class.

mrz Sat 05-Sep-09 11:25:06

I realise some LAs only employ TAs for the hours that children are actually in the class luckily my LA gives TAs a 37.5 hour contract so they are in school before the children to help the teacher set up and after school to help with all those extra jobs. Having said that I usually do most of the laminating etc in my own time as in my reception class I want a TA working with the children not laminating or other jobs.

trickerg Sat 05-Sep-09 11:59:36

I agree mrz - all the teachers at my school do MOST of the 24 tasks they're not supposed to do: laminating, some photocopying, displays, entering SATs scores, etc, etc. We don't seem to have such a good TA allocation as many of the teachers on these posts, and we feel obliged to use them to work with the children - anything else would make it feel as if we were wasting their considerable expertise.

deste - great idea to do a GTP. GTP candidates at interview are generally more savvy than others because their training has been in a 'real' environment. Working as a TA will be a great advantage as well (I know many LAs insist on this before doing a GTP), particularly as there are difficult children in the class. Your daughter will have a learning curve like a hockey stick this year and this will stand her in good stead for teacher training. Good luck to her!

deste Sat 05-Sep-09 19:04:15

Thankyou trickerg I've given her all the advice from here and she now has some good ideas.

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