Getting a term time only school job is beneficial for parents with children or someone that likes long holidays.
School teacher assistants (TA) are one of the lowest paid classroom based jobs, deal with pupils behaviour issues, budgets cuts and work stress can lead to someone despising the job role if in a school you don’t like.
A few UK schools TAs hate they’re job that much not realising the amount of stress that comes with targets, working with children or behaviour issues leave after a few weeks.
Reasons I hate my teaching assistant job
- Insecure work on mainly temporary contracts.
- Low salary compared to the responsibility & effort of the job.
- School giving a TA duties not trained for or reasonably part of the job description.
- School TA is stressful job role dealing with the workload.
- Performance targets that keep getting increased each year.
- Budget cuts in school resulting in decreasing resources.
- TAs don’t always get the respect from pupils, teachers and management.
- Bad behaviour of a few school students.
- Mainly part time working hours with few schools offering full time contracts.
John works as a level 3 primary teacher assistant in a school that has over 400 pupils on a full time temporary contract.
He is kept busy every day and has recently become stressed about 2 pupils behaviour he tries to manage in intervention/booster lessons & in class with the teacher, and is impacting his set performance targets.
He has also been standing in for a teacher at short notice more often with not extra pay, too often he feels.
Actually teaching or at least supervising a whole class which John is not qualified or trained is a challenge for him at times.
John more often than not misses break or lunch time as he’s given instructions to look after stressed or upset school pupils. In addition, the school expects John to help run after school clubs outside of contracted hours twice a week unpaid.
Dealing with school pupils challenging behaviour
John at times says I hate being a TA job trying to deal with pupils that are either disruptive or uninterested in the subject, and not motivated to complete much work.
He needs to ask for assistance or suggestions from other TAs, teachers or management dealing with challenging behaviour during intervention lessons with pupils if he continues having difficulties managing individual student’s behaviour.
He could treat children as individuals when dealing with bad behaviour as techniques for controlling behaviour work on the majority of school pupils, for a few students it will not.
John could also find ways to build a positive rapport with pupils that are disruptive, possibly a middle ground or truce between John the teaching assistant and the bad behaving students.
Coping with stress as a teacher assistant at school
Clearly John has become stressed at work as a school teacher assistant dealing with disruptive students, workload requirements and helping support students with learning in class.
John realises that it’s hard to be a teaching assistant & disadvantage sometimes as you’re expected to constantly juggle multi tasking duties & requirements daily at school, and especially working with young school children.
Constant pressure of keeping to deadlines, meeting performance targets, disruptive students and overworked feeling has resulted in John’s stress level becoming elevated.
Find ways to relieve stress is one way to come with pressure of working as a TA at a UK primary school. John can ensure he is eating & sleeping adequately, insist on breaks each day at school and spend some time relaxing away from work & pupils taking his mind off work even for 15-20 at work each day.
Should John not require to attend after school clubs outside of contracted hours he should inform the school he declines to attend or help out, stating he requires rest time as he’s felling stressed from all the TA role demands.
School TA teaching & covering whole classes
John is more frequently asked to conduct and complete school duties a teacher assistant is not trained for teaching or covering for absent teachers at short notice.
Can a teaching assistant be left in charge of a class? TAs in UK schools in Wales, England & Scotland are expected to cover teacher absence in an emergency whereby they’ll cover whole classes occasionally, but not actively teach.
John can rightly inform the school it’s too often for him to cover classes if it’s 2 days a week, or even object. TAs covering a whole class if a teacher is ill will be left instructions, worksheets, books and set work for pupils to complete.
John as a stand in teacher could have up to 30 school students in one class to manage, and should be using some of his classroom management skills to keep pupils focused on work to avoid any disruption in class.
School TAs such as John at level 3 require to expect planning & delivering 1:1 intervention/booster & small group lessons. He’ll also require marking each pupils work and he’ll be assessed on his performance of helping pupils learning progress.
John’s school break & lunch times
Question: is John entitled to breaks for lunch and in morning time? Yes, although he, other TAs and teachers at the school share reasonable break & lunch time duties supervising the dinner hall & playground.
Teaching assistants should receive adequate time in the day for toilet break, eating & drinks and time too relax.
John should speak to his school management about how much lunch & break time he misses and as a result it’s impacting on his performance as a school TA and mental healthy with added work stress working all day without a break.
Normally a primary school will acknowledge every TA & teacher requires sometime to relax away from children & work if working 8-9 hours a day.
They should then make sure each staff member, including John gets at least two 15 minute breaks if working an 8 hour day.