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Going from teacher to TA

(10 Posts)
mercifulTehlu Fri 29-Jan-16 16:19:38

I know this happens quite often - has anyone done this? What was the transition from teacher to TA like?
I have been a teacher for 20 years (though only bits and bobs of part time and supply for the last few years). I do not want to go back to full time teaching but would like to stay in education. I've just applied for a TA job in a primary school (I'm a secondary mfl teacher but have done a bit of teaching in primaries ).
Are they likely to jump at the chance of employing an experienced teacher for a TA salary or will they reject me because of my lack of TA experience? Any advice or comments gratefully received!

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toomuchicecream Fri 29-Jan-16 17:52:47

No idea - I imagine a lot will depend on who the other applicants are. But if you get an interview, I would be ready to answer any possible questions about how you will support the class teacher/how you would feel about not being in charge of the class etc. As many primaries don't have particularly well qualified teachers to deliver their MFL, that might be a selling point that you can offer them. But would you be happy to teach KS2 MFL whilst paid as a TA?

CremeEggThief Fri 29-Jan-16 19:26:31

I have been rejected from lots of TA roles at interview, or haven't been shortlisted, as a qualified primary teacher. Several schools don't like employing teachers as TAs, and others see it as a chance to get a teacher on TA wages. In one temporary TA job, I was basically used as a teacher, but only for T.A. pay, of course. I felt exploited in the end, as I was being expected to supervise the whole class, whilst working with a group, and looking out for the pupil (who was often violent and destructive) I was in theoretically meant to be supporting 1:1, every day; while the actual class teacher was elsewhere in the school.

mercifulTehlu Sat 30-Jan-16 14:22:18

Thanks for your comments. I guess I'll just have to wait and see then...

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Notsoskinnyminny Sat 30-Jan-16 16:43:58

It can be a positive. We've got a couple of teachers who prefer to work as a TA. They've got dual contracts which means if a teacher's off sick or on a course they can cover a class and get paid the teaching rate. It works well for them as they don't have to do planning, reports, parents evenings, etc - all the things they gave up their teaching posts for - and for the school because they know the kids and we never need to use agency staff.

mercifulTehlu Sat 30-Jan-16 17:42:48

That sounds great, Notsoskinnyminny. I guess I'd need to make sure they pay me teacher's wage for any MFL they might ask me to do...

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padkin Sun 31-Jan-16 16:24:23

I did it, and it's changed my life. I was a class teacher, primary, over 20 years experience. I worked 4 days a week, but ALL day on my day 'off', most evenings and Sunday afternoon was spent planning, assessing and marking, and a good chunk of the holidays.

I am now an HLTA, paid on the top of the scale, and even with pro rata taken into account I earn more per hour than I did as a teacher.... This is helped by the fact that I work 5 days with 3 afternoons paid as a teacher (I'm a PE specialist and cover 3 afternoons PPA teaching PE) but I just work 8.30-3.45, no meetings, no parents evenings, no IEPS, no classroom environment to maintain, no data or pupil progress, relatively little planning (which I get done in the1.5 hour PPA that I get each week in school) and the rest of my time is spent teaching small groups English and Maths, withdrawn from the class, but following the class teachers planning, and doing guided reading, phonics and small group interventions. I adapt and annotate planning as I go and mark as I teach.They are happy with this. They get an experienced teacher doing an TA's job and I get a life back.

I take home about 3/5 of the wage I did as a class teacher, but work about 2/5 of the hours, and that's just during a term time week. I will have no work to do in the holidays. They will be family time proper. We are lucky that we could afford to take the hit on our finances, but family life, my stress levels and the time I can spend with my children is so MASSIVELY improved, that we feel it is worth it. I do worry about my pension. But I also don't think this job is my forever job - it's a break and a rest and restore while I consider my options. And in the meantime I'm loving it.

Hulababy Sun 31-Jan-16 17:03:57

I was a secondary teacher and now work as an infant school TA/HLTA.

I only applied for one ta job and got that one - was 7 years ago now.

And our school now has a couple of other ex teachers working as TAs too.

I found the transition good and had no real problems. Lots of positives throughout and I love my job. Like many TAs I work longer than in paid for and I do take on roles that are above my pay scale but it's through choice and because I enjoy it.

Hulababy Sun 31-Jan-16 17:05:09

I dont get paid teacher rate for the teaching I do, even in my specialist subject or when I'm training other teachers, but then much of it is done through choice.

mercifulTehlu Sun 31-Jan-16 17:34:40

That's what I was hoping for, Padkin. I don't think I'd be earning as high a proportion of my UPS3 teaching salary, but it would hopefully be worth it for the reduced hours and stress levels.
Hulababy - I'm hoping I'd feel that way too. One of the TAs at my dc's school, whom I know fairly well, is an absolute wonderwoman. She practically runs the place, I think! I am sure she goes way beyond her job description in hours and effort, but she seems to really enjoy it. As a full time teacher it's hard to give more than is required when what is required is already impossible to fit in without breaking yourself. I'd like to be in a job where goodwill, rather than the threat of Ofsted or capability proceedings made me give my all!

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