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How much do your TAs do?


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Hi,

One of my TAs is doing her EYPS at the moment and got chatting to a couple of teachers on one of the college days yesterday. Both my TAs (and the TA in Reception) do observations, help with up-dating learning journals and have an input in the assessment and next steps. However, these teachers were surprised at how much she did and said that they couldn't ask their TAs to do this as they wouldn't know how! They record observations but everything else is completely left to the teacher.

I never ask my TAs to take anything home (but they do off their own back occasionally) and I catch up with whatever is behind. They say that they like up-dating their key-groups journals and having an input, sometimes they check PLODs out first but usually they are absolutely fine. My other thought was that surely these TAs could do next steps if they were shown how as surely this is what we are all be doing spontaneously when working with early years children - as we are interacting with them during play, we are aware of where they are up to in their learning and what would help them develop their learning?

Or, am I expecting too much from my TAs? I know a few people on here give their TAs PPA time on a Friday afternoon and have planning meetings?

Also, one of the teachers basically laughed at our system of collecting observations and linking them to the appropriate aspect and sage and stage, using photos when possible. She said she didn't have time for this. Unfortunately, my TA didn't have time to ask her what she did actually do to track progress. Are we doing to much - it seems to be what others on here are doing? Otherwise, how do you evidence & track progress?

Thanks

Green Hippo x

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Don't complain!

You are lucky to have competent and capable TAs. I have worked with TAs who can and do, like yours, and those that can't.

 

Its very, very hard if you have a TA in the latter category and a lot easier to have one who can but in my experience the TAs are often not paid to do those jobs and nor do they generally have the time within their working day, often employed for less than the school day and then you are back to that age old problem of ratios etc.

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The TA who works with me is brilliant, gives me great insight to the children and often sees a different side to them than I do. However, although she's very willing to do longer observations on a child is hesitant about shorter incidental observations because she is unsure about whether she is keeping note of the right things. We don't get any time to do planning together and feedback is often a snatched moment or two. We will share a quick chat where I talk generally about the direction I'd like the classroom to be going in but we both feel guilty during these times as we're not directly interacting with the children. She also does some PPA cover and SEN support with other classes, isn't paid for hours outside of school. I would love her to do more but would also feel guilty about asking her to do it. I know she'd take it home and work on it there and she has more than enough she does that with.

 

Having said that I would love her to be more involved - it's very lonely being the only EYFS person in school and it would be great to have a second person who truly knew what I was talking about!

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Not complaining! I was more surprised at the comment of 'they wouldn't know how' as I make sure that I show my TAs everything that I do and how I use it - even things that I wouldn't expect them to do, so they understand the process and why we need to do certain things. I have 2 TAs that I'm working with at the moment - 1 hasn't done early years before and 1 hasn't for a few years so I'm going through this process at them moment with them - as we go along.

Green Hippo x

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That's a good teacher working with her support staff but some TAs I have worked with, have not been able to take on board, for a variety of reasons, what I have told/ shown them. Very frustrating and as isolating as Helen's situation.

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I am a TA in a school nursery and also work in reception. I did my EYPS recently and to achieve that you have to be working at a more 'involved' level than you ordinarily would a s a TA. Having said that, I didn't change how I worked to meet the EYPS requirements, I was doing it anyway! I have worked from nursery up to Y5 ( and in preschool) and have always worked the same way and done more than I was perhaps paid to! One teacher found my use of my initiative a bit of a challenge and told me so, but admits she wouldn't have coped without me with hindsight!

I am a keyworker to half our children and am happy working with parents and other professionals - some TAs feel that is not their 'role'! You are doing things just right for her to achieve EYPS as you have to work well together and to be able to challenge things too,as well as identifying things you can change.

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My TA is amazing and works really hard over and above her paid hours and I wouldn't know what to do without her! She does obs constantly and glues them into the learning journeys (taking them home each week all 30) I then annotate and link to dm and collate and analyse etc. We plan together and she plans for her own phonics groups as do all our TAs she also covers my PPA. I am very careful to make sure that she knows how much she is appreciated and not take her for granted and expect her to do all the things that are over and above but she wants to do it. She wants to train to be a teacher and is in the process of applying so sees what she does as adding to her experience.

Deb

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My head teacher agreed to my request to have one hours planning time with my NNEB and we are covered by an HLTA every week. This time is really valuable planning discussion training time agreeing where we are going next and which children we have observed. I also ensure there is time to prepare resources for the next week by planning whole class activities eg story after pm break where one of us can be released.

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