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What age do you teach and what, in your opinion, is the role of a TA?

(21 Posts)
StrumpersPlunkett Thu 08-Oct-15 18:02:02

I am training at the moment, having been a volunteer for the last 7 years.
In one of the classes Year 2 I am encouraged to do reading groups and help children with class tasks as well as standard admin tasks.
I have noticed that a different year 2 class the teaching assistant is never in the room with the children she is always doing admin tasks (I go in 2 full days a week and it is always the same).
Also, from a general behaviour point of view is it down to the individual teacher as to whether gentle guidance of a child is encourages/ allowed?

Obviously I am hoping that the college days I have will answer some of these questions but as a volunteer I was really reticent to do anything other than most meanial tasks unless asked.

StrumpersPlunkett Thu 08-Oct-15 18:08:33

sorry should add am training to be a TA not teacher (I wish)

sky1010 Thu 08-Oct-15 18:22:31

I teach Year 1. The TA is there to support the children's learning, either small group work or reading, in the time that the children are in school.

My TA sharpens pencils, collects my printing and readies the classroom in the 20 minutes before the children get in and will laminate work and help with displays in the 20 minutes after school she is contracted. The only 'admin' she does in the school day is book changing.

At my school, teachers are forbidden to send TAs on admin tasks or out of the classroom for whatever reason. I agree, but there are instances where I wish I could use her for 15-20 minutes to cut some flash cards out or tidy the home books in the school day but I am not allowed.

I really do wish that they paid them for a couple of extra hours a day one day a week so we could both get stuck in to putting displays up and tasks like mounting and laminating work. This would save me so much time that I could then invest into my planning if I had an extra pair of hands.

sky1010 Thu 08-Oct-15 18:27:33

Re: behaviour- my TA disciplines exactly as I do. There is no hierarchy. We are all teachers in the eyes of the children.

Hulababy Thu 08-Oct-15 18:35:12

A TA should be a teaching assistant, not a teachers assistant. Infact, they are often referred to as Learning Support Assistants, rather than TAs, to try to get this message across.

I was a teacher, but now work as a HLTA. Though I do spend some time as an LSA in a y2 class in a morning. I spent almost all of my time working directly with children - either with individuals, groups or whole class. I don't really have time to do admin type jobs, or laminating/etc - though obviously both me and the teacher do this at other times where we can, and make good use of any volunteers we can get! The non classroom based time I have is for my own PPA where I do things directly linked to my own teaching, my subject leadership or for specific intervention work I have planned. I often do resource type stuff, along side the teachers, in my own time. This is through choice however.

Hulababy Thu 08-Oct-15 18:36:06

Re discipline type issues. LSAs at our school follow the same behaviour policies as all teaching staff.

PotteringAlong Thu 08-Oct-15 18:36:41

I'm a secondary teacher. As I don't teach English maths or science it's been well over 5 years since an LSA has darkened my classroom door!

Ca55andraMortmain Thu 08-Oct-15 18:39:50

I teach y5. My TA does Admin stuff like laminating, displays etc in the 20 Mins she is in before school starts and also during any whole class teaching time or while the children are having their milk etc. Otherwise she takes small groups for reading, supports groups or individuals in writing and maths and runs programmes such as speech therapy, motor skills etc with children who need this. She disciplines in the same way as me and the children see no difference between us in that regard. I'm lucky to have a fab TA, I don't know where I would be without her!

TheTroubleWithAngels Thu 08-Oct-15 18:43:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StrumpersPlunkett Sat 10-Oct-15 09:01:21

Thank you so much for your responses. I will keep this in mind when I am looking for paid work.

SuffolkNWhat Sun 11-Oct-15 17:38:18

Year 5. Our class TA is a HLTA and worth her weight in gold. She works with small groups (not always SEN either, we rotate things so I work with all the children and so does she), covers my PPA, marks homework when needed and is responsible for cooking in the school. I couldn't do my job without her, she's amazing.

StrumpersPlunkett Wed 14-Oct-15 20:00:03

Thank you Suffolk.
I have my first observation tomorrow. Am trying to remain calm but haven't had anything like this since 1992!!!

simpson Wed 14-Oct-15 22:32:06

Good luck!

I work in yr4 and all TAs are expected to be out of the class in the afternoons doing intervention work.

We have 20 mins each morning to do printing, laminating etc.

We also use PE time to plan (under direction of the teacher) for interventions and any admin type work we need to do.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 22-Oct-15 08:15:54

This is interesting, I was going to start this exact same thread. I have just been for two TA interviews and was unsuccessful in both. I was down to the last two in one job but it was given to a teacher who wanted to be a TA and could hit the ground running. The other was working with some children with SEN and I had less experience than the other candidate. I am feeling a little bruised to be honest but I've got to keep trying. I have had a job working 1 to 1but the funding ended and I was let go. I am level 3 qualified also. Sorry to hijack!

StrumpersPlunkett Thu 22-Oct-15 18:34:53

Stick with it Bear, hopefully the right job is out there.
From what you said it wasn't anything you could change, you can never prepare against someone who is genuinely better for that particular job than you are.
Is there a school you can volunteer in so you can be up and running when the right job does come along?

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 22-Oct-15 20:06:10

Hi Strumpers, thanks for replying. I am volunteering at my youngests school at the moment which is helping my confidence enormously. I was in today and really enjoyed it. I am a midday there as well. I love the job, its all I want to do grin

Considerphebas Sun 25-Oct-15 13:04:51

Special school: Each student has an individual curriculum so LSAs deliver kits of sessions 1-1 or 2 LSAs and 2 students. I plan, model and adapt sessions but I have 9 students on 9 different timetable so don't see every session for every student each week.

LSAs also help keep on top of support plans and risk assessments, deliver medical care (peg feeds, suction and trachiotomy care etc) make resources, review and record sessions, deliver therapy sessions and care for students personal belongings (hearing aides etc), tidy and reset the classroom daily and about a hundred other little jobs. they're amazing and don't get paid anywhere near enough!

Kayakinggirl86 Mon 26-Oct-15 07:36:29

Last year when u had a TA on a Thursday I e-mailed her all the plans for the week she would simplify then down for the emerging children. She would be in the room for while I explained. Then would work with a small group of 4 children.
This year I don't have a TA get the odd one that will turn up in my class for the odd hour but as they are so random when they ask what to do I just pick a child for them to wirk with or get them to circulate the room. They never do any admin!

bearleftmonkeyright Mon 26-Oct-15 08:41:50

The only job I have had as a TA was working 1 to 1 with a child who was just generally struggling to keep up. It was extremely frustrating as there was a jobshare with the teachers and they would never give me copies of the lesson plans (despite me asking for them) and I was not on the lesson plans to show how I was meant to support. This left me very disheartened and wondering whether I was approaching how I was differentiating in the correct way. I also got a massive bollocking off one of the teachers for sending his spellings home in his book bag as one of the teachers wanted me to go over these in intervention time (of course I was doing this but he wanted to practice them at home). It did get easier over time but it was a trial by fire!

I watch how the teachers interact with the children all the time I am in the classroom and try and model how they have introduced a learning objective into any support I give. But it is very very difficult without a copy of the lesson plan in advance and a brief summary from the teacher about what they expect you to do. You can't go off piste as a TA.

PhyllisDietrichson Wed 04-Nov-15 21:02:09

Years 11-19 school. I am blessed to have one TA who; (A) quietly helps the children she's allocated to (B) finds time to muck in a bit with some setting up or clearing at the end and (C) whizzes around the classroom helping other children too. Godsend.

dotdotdotmustdash Fri 06-Nov-15 00:22:28

I've been a LSA for the past 4 years after giving up a career in nursing. I've mainly worked in High Schools. I'm currently in a 1000 pupil school in a low-income area.

I follow a very varied timetable, including Home Economics, the usual academic subjects and a few sessions of woodwork and computing. I have identified pupils in every class, sometimes just 1 who has high needs, more often a handful who have a lower-level of support needs.

In reality, I spend most of my time dealing with poor behaviour. I tend to plonk myself in amongst the groups who are doing the most chatting, or I'll identify who is being the most disruptive, or winding up the noisiest pupil and I'll sit beside them and try to keep them on task - I'm a large lady so sometimes just being a visual block and physical presence can be useful. It's all firefighting, but I know the teachers appreciate that I can 'read' the class without them having to direct me since we only have 50 minutes or so to get through the lesson.

Do I get to the vulnerable pupils? No, not often enough, but if the teaching staff have to spend all their time dealing with the nonsense the vulnerable pupil isn't going to benefit anyway as the lesson isn't delivered.

I was in a lesson today taught by the Principal Teacher - he wasn't there when I arrived as he was needed in another class. I could hear the class from the far end of the corridor. When I arrived there were two boys lying on the floor in pain and several chairs scattered around while the rest of the class hooted and yelled. I had to shout very loudly to get their attention, something which I hate to do. When he returned he evicted four children and tried to start the lesson. He tried several times but we had to move two other pupils, one of them to sit beside me. I had to attend to the ejected pupils who were partying in the corridor. I never did get near the severely dyslexic pupil I was there to support.

I think the lesson began approximately 8 minutes before the end of the period and he got through one slide. He kept the whole class back after the bell to discuss their behaviour so they were all 10 minutes late for their next class.

I don't envy the teaching staff their jobs - I don't have to deal with the parents and I can go home at 3.30pm!

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