Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

New job - teacher I work with is not coping - wwyd?
17

StressedLSA · 14/11/2020 10:33

So I started a new job as a learning support assistant in September, to support 2 teachers in year 4. There are a number of very challenging children in both classes, behaviourally and academically. One of the teachers is really struggling with her class. The longer I have been there the more I can see that a lot of it is because the work she is giving them is way too hard, she doesn't seem to know how to differentiate. They spend entire lessons with nothing to do, and as a result wander around, chase each other, clamber under tables. She just ignores them and teaches to the front rows of the class. More recently she has been asking me to take groups out and work elsewhere with them. Except the work she gives me is way too hard and I end up having to think off the top of my head how to make it appropriate/doable. The last couple of weeks I have spent pretty much the whole day out of class with them, trying to drag them kicking and screaming thro the work she has set. I do try to bring in stuff myself if I know what they will be doing but the 2 teachers plan the next day's work after school so I dont normally find out til the next morning what Im doing. I know I need to talk to her but she is so stressed and defensive its difficult....her partner teacher is also overwhelmed and fit to burst, no doubt partly from supporting the other. I am temporary tho - if I rock the boat too much I worry I will have no future at the school. But I am worried about these 2 teachers and I am worried about the children. I dont know what to do. Can anyone advise??

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

sherryperry · 15/11/2020 18:32

I understand what the TAs are saying but I feel that you must speak up. There is a clear difference between complaining about a teacher and have a respectful conversation with a senior teacher about your concerns.
Stay away from giving your opinion and stick to the facts.
Explain to the senior teacher that you wish to support and not cause problems or stress.
Oh and choose the senior teacher very carefully.

Please
or
to access all these features

Flowerblue · 15/11/2020 16:24

I’m a ta and I wouldn’t say anything either, unless I knew and trusted the senior management. I would adapt the work I’d been given to do put of class as much as possible. I would also be saying things along the lines of ‘x really struggled with this work today, could I do y with him tomorrow?’ The only times I’ve really stepped in have been the (rare) occasion with a terrible supply teacher who didn’t know the children and needed saving from herself!

Please
or
to access all these features

Rabbitholebonkers · 15/11/2020 15:57

That sounds tough OP. You don’t sound like a busy body at all. To be honest I’m a TA and if I was you I personally wouldn’t say anything. The only time I would ever report anything would be for a safeguarding purpose, but that’s just me.

Please
or
to access all these features

rosesinmygarden · 15/11/2020 15:28

I think my TA believed she was right and knew how to do my job better than I did. Turns out she was just a busybody who didn't understand how children learned and didn't seem to be able to accept that teachers are human and can't reach every single child in every single lesson. She had no concept of progress over time or the necessity of children making mistakes so they could improve. She became an HLTA and massively struggled with whole classes.

Hopefully you can find a way of broaching it with her or with someone supportive. Is there anyone you feel you can trust or is it too early?

Can you ask her for an actual meeting? Not just snatched comments in between lessons or at playtime. Can you suggest having lunch together or would you be willing to do a meeting with her before or after school?

Please
or
to access all these features

StressedLSA · 15/11/2020 14:51

@rosesinmygarden

I should add, I don't mean you shouldn't speak to someone else, just to be sensitive and bear in mind that 'support' normally means 10x more stress, work and criticism for the teacher. I've been there. My new TA decided I was doing a bad job and told SMT a pack of lies. They took her word over mine and it was absolutely awful. The HT admitted to me later that she knew all along I was doing a good job, but this TA was well connected and she had to put on an act of believing her.

So, just think about it carefully and try again to speak to the teacher and maybe her year group partner before you report her.

Your comment about 'support' is exactly my concern. My intention is to support her not report her tho...it's working out the best way forward is the problem. I'm sorry you have been through something similar but there is no animosity or lying in my case, just me seeing a young teacher drowning and the children struggling as a result. I've been in schools long enough to know that some managers would deal with it sensitively, but many really wouldn't. I don't know this lot well enough to predict their response which is a worry. Not sure what else I can do tho. I have tried talking to the teacher, but she is completely shut down...as I said previously, I suspect she just doesnt seem to have the mental space to take on board my comments. I feel like I'm in a no win situation, cant say something, cant say nothing Sad
OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

rosesinmygarden · 15/11/2020 14:03

I should add, I don't mean you shouldn't speak to someone else, just to be sensitive and bear in mind that 'support' normally means 10x more stress, work and criticism for the teacher. I've been there. My new TA decided I was doing a bad job and told SMT a pack of lies. They took her word over mine and it was absolutely awful. The HT admitted to me later that she knew all along I was doing a good job, but this TA was well connected and she had to put on an act of believing her.

So, just think about it carefully and try again to speak to the teacher and maybe her year group partner before you report her.

Please
or
to access all these features

rosesinmygarden · 15/11/2020 13:55

You need to feedback to the teacher very clearly every single time that they are finding it too hard and you need to ask her exactly what to do if the children cannot access the work she's given you.

Does this happen every single day and every single lesson? Or just sometimes?

You are not paid to plan work and whilst most TAs need to be able to adapt things slightly when working with a group, you should be being given appropriate work to do with the children.

You also need to understand that the teacher will most likely be trying her very best under what are very difficult circumstances at the moment (ad they are for everyone). In my experience, 99% of teachers are there because they want to help children learn. If she's not coping or not managing to keep all the plates spinning right now she probably already knows it. So her TA criticising her or reporting her to SLT is going to make her day 10 times worse.

Please do this in a kind and supportive way. If you care long term about her and the students and want a good working relationship then don't kick her when she's down.

Please
or
to access all these features

sherryperry · 15/11/2020 10:09

Good luck!

Just be very clear that you are concerned about the children and the teacher, and are seeking support for them all.

Please
or
to access all these features

StressedLSA · 15/11/2020 10:00

Thanks both, I will spend today fretting about planning what to say tomorrow.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

sherryperry · 15/11/2020 09:06

@DiscoNapper

I know you will be worried about what SMT will do or say but in addition to you being concerned about your colleague you also have a duty of care to those children. I hope that SMT will tackle this as tactful and supportively as possible.

I absolutely agree with this.
Please
or
to access all these features

DiscoNapper · 15/11/2020 08:52

I know you will be worried about what SMT will do or say but in addition to you being concerned about your colleague you also have a duty of care to those children. I hope that SMT will tackle this as tactful and supportively as possible.

Please
or
to access all these features

StressedLSA · 15/11/2020 08:48

@sherryperry
@DiscoNapper

Thanks for your replies, I think you have helped me see that I can't solve this problem on my own. No, the teacher doesn't ask for feedback nor does she comment when I tell her stuff is too hard. She is so totally overwhelmed I don't think she has the mental space to take on board what I say. I do worry that telling someone more senior will backfire on her - she so needs support but I don't know the management well enough yet to know how they would respond if I point this out. The last thing she needs is to be told to pull her socks up. Im not sure I have much choice tho.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

DiscoNapper · 15/11/2020 08:04

I would try to have a discussion with teacher again, when you bring the groups back in does she not ask for feedback on how they got on? What does she say when you tell her the work is too hard?

If this doesn't work, do you have a supportive SMT? Could you have a quiet word and let them know you're worried about the well-being of the teacher?

Please
or
to access all these features

sherryperry · 15/11/2020 08:02

My advice would be to tell the truth. Say the group you took out found the work too hard and ask for suggestions how to simplify it for them.

It worries me that they have no work for whole lessons. It sounds like she needs more support than you can provide.

I would find a member of senior staff who you know can be discreet and speak to them privately. This teacher is probably already on their radar. The can then support the teacher without them knowing you raised concern.

Please
or
to access all these features

StressedLSA · 14/11/2020 17:13

@BurningEars But she's the trained teacher and I'm the support assistant! I'm not sure I'd get away with doing that for one thing, plus why should I take on that extra work given Im not trained as a teacher and I'm paid peanuts??

@Callardandbowser Yes that is what I am trying to do

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Callardandbowser · 14/11/2020 15:29

Try to be as helpful as you can within your remit.

Please
or
to access all these features

BurningEars · 14/11/2020 14:08

You seem to know these particular children better than her, so why not offer to plan for them and take them out as a small group?

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?