I,m a mature student at 34 years old and am in my first year of my early years education with QTS degree. I was previously a classroom assistant within a reception unit and also have my own children. Currently i am on teaching placement for the first time and its absolutley awful!!. The placement is three weeks long and since the very first day i have been made to feel unwelcome. The school mentor is no help and to be honest i feel like he cant be bothered with us (i am in a pair). I was told he was unable to observe us at all the first week due to being "off timetable" and the twice i have been to ask him to observe this week he has gone home !!. We also had a progress meeting arranged for this week , which i attended only to be told he left to go christmas shopping !!. Two weeks in i have had no observations done and am finding it nearly impossible to do any of my planned activities due to the school being so busy. In two weeks we havnt even been offered so much as a cup of tea, no one speaks to us unless we speak to them and to be honest i have never felt so unwelcome. What is really upsetting me is the attitude of one member of staff. This woman is a senior teaching assistant and has made it very plain that we are not wanted .In the first week i had a fantastic art lesson which was going great, I had 8 kids all collaging christmas trees using glitter, paints etc, 20 minutes into my lesson SHE decided that she already had an activity planned for the table i was using, even though she had watched me set up everything. I was then asked to move to a small bench (complete with numerous resources and 8 kids) so she could use the large table i was on to work with ONE child. It was commented on at the time by other staff members that she had no need to do this and the small table would have been perfectly good for herself and one child. Since this she has stepped up her campaign by barely speaking unless it is an absolute must, she has gone out of her way to make me feel uncomfortable and unwanted, even telling me i had no need to be there as they already enough staff. Anyways things came to a head yesterday. All the kids had finished school early as it was the xmas fayre. I had did all my jobs and was just having a general tidy around to fill time ( i was the only person in the classroom), the only two children left were in the classroom next door with the doors in between us closed. As i knew my daughter was ill i phoned home to see how she was , the phone call took place within the cloakroom of a empty classroom but unfortunate for me SHE must have been lurking near the door and managed to overhear that i was on the phone. My fellow student then came to tell me that SHE was telling everyone how unprofessional i was by being on the phone in school time. Yes maybe i should not have used the phone but i was within an empty classroom with no children , i am not unprofessional and would never use my phone within a normal school environment. After stewing on this for a while i went to see this woman who smugly told me how terrible it would be if the headteacher were to find out. Now i didnt mention this at the time but my fellow student has told me that SHE actually texts within school time and has her phone plugged into the socket within the nursery unit charging up! After this SHE left the room and another teaching assitant (seeing i was upset) came to see me. This TA has told me that SHE has actually made students leave due to her attitude towards them and in general is just a nasty bullying person with a stinking attitude. Now i,m feeling down and depressed and really dont think i can face another week. After all the planning and preparation i did to actually get to uni, i feel demoralised and totally depressed. My husband wants me to speak to the uni or the headteacher but i,m scared if i complain then SHE will bring up the use of my phone which will go against me, also as i am only there for another week i dont want things to get even worse. I am going to be going back to uni having done hardly nothing that is required of me (through no fault of my own) and to be honest the thought of next week just fills me with dread, Any advice greatly appreciated. Sorry that the post has been so long !
Awful placement (long post) Watch
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Last edited by lucasmammy; 05-12-2010 at 00:55.
- 04-12-2010 23:57
- 05-12-2010 10:24
I'm so sorry you seem to be having such a rubbish time
But think, it's only one more week to get through. I would just try and battle through that week, avoiding confrontation wherever possible, and have a word with your university tutors when you get back to explain the situation (even if it's just to explain your concern about future students going there). If you can get the individual who you're paired with to have a word with the tutor as well, that would support it further.
Try not to get too down about it, it's only one placement! You've got plenty more to go to, where the staff will be friendly and welcoming because they realise how important students are to the future. Don't let this member of staff get you down, some people can be resentful of "outsiders" because they dislike change. If she makes that many people unhappy, and if the University is pro-active with your complaints, the school will eventually realise the damage she is causing, because it is the SCHOOL that will get the bad reputation (and no school can afford that these days).
Try to think of it as a learning experience and take something away from it that will be useful for you in the future - even if it's "I don't want to end up like her!"
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- 05-12-2010 11:57
I can sympathise with the unhelpful school My placement was 8 weeks tho You should get at least two observations in tho - preferrably three, altho your university tutor should be doing at least one as well. I suggest raising concerns with the tutor, or asking your class teacher to do an observation for you
- 05-12-2010 15:10
That sounds like a nightmare hun! Im so sorry this placement ismaking you feel sobad, you've been stuck in a rotten school and you didnt deserve that.
I would first email your uni tutor as soon as possible, for one you need to discuss that you wont have certain bist fulfilled by the end of the placement that needed to be done, and through no fault of your own - explain about the class teacher missing obs etc so that your covered if the lack of evidence ever comes back around. Make sure your partner colloborates on all this. You dont deserveto have your future career harmed by staff who arent doing what the teaching training providers expects (and pays!) them for.
The TA issue, I would personally tell your tutor that too. Its important that unis know which schools are good, and which are bad so that they could avoid sending trainees there in the future. Im not sure how your course works but on mine you were given the option after placement to evaluate the school & mentor so if any issues arose the uni could look into them and poss not use school again. Also dont forget this is Your training year, and you deserve just like everyone else the chance to learn, grow and to enjoy it and this woman is taking that away from you. If you dont want a confrontation amnd to make an issue of it then I'd suggest trying to brave through the week and then its over - not every placement will be like that. Ive had friends in the past with some horrible placements who have had tostick it out and have found the next ones far better.