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    I've been volunteering in a school lately to build up teaching experience for my PGCE. As a "voluntary TA" I get fully involved in the class room and the majority of the teaching staff I have been working with allow me responsibilities of looking after small groups of children as they want me to get a rounded experience of working in a class and managing behaviour.
    There is however one teacher who doesn't allow me to get fully involved in class room activities and isn't even happy when i allow pupils permission to go to the toilet without their consent. She even know asks that I inform her I want to leave the class and only allows me to observe her classes. Is it right that I'm not actually allowed to assist due to not being a paid member of staff or are the teachers allowing me to be fully involved right?
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    (Original post by mjdaf)
    There is however one teacher who doesn't allow me to get fully involved in class room activities and isn't even happy when i allow pupils permission to go to the toilet without their consent.
    Secondary here, not sure which phase you are but that is a big no-no (in Secondary), you should always defer to the class teacher who is legally responsible for the pupils well-being when allowing child to leave the lesson environment, in whatever capacity that is.

    More broadly, you are a guest, whatever they say will have to be what goes in the end. Getting time in schools is often difficult, talk with whoever organised you to be there about "what you could be doing" but don't confront someone who is essentially helping you.
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    It's really up to the teacher how they want to manage their own classroom. I'm a paid TA and what you're seeing is really normal, different teachers have different ways of doing things, some are happy for you to take initiative/deal with behaviour/give permission for the toilet/float around the classroom and others prefer you to wait for instruction/ask the teacher/leave behaviour to them/stay with one student. To be honest, I would always hesitate to give permission to go to the toilet unless I knew the teacher well and knew it was definitely okay at that moment in time because it is the teacher's responsibility to know where the kids are and what if they would prefer the student to finish the task/wait to hear answers or they know that kid is probably messing around? It's polite to tell the teacher you're leaving if you do leave the room (although I don't know why you would half way through a lesson) although it shouldn't be a case of 'permission'. It sounds like you've maybe overstepped the boundary with this teacher and she's finding you a bit difficult (might be wrong here) so maybe the best thing to do is the keep quiet and observe for a couple of weeks and then have a friendly chat to say you'd love to get more involved so if there's any point/specific kids where it's appropriate to just let you know.
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    It's really up to the teacher how they want to manage their own classroom. I'm a paid TA and what you're seeing is really normal, different teachers have different ways of doing things, some are happy for you to take initiative/deal with behaviour/give permission for the toilet/float around the classroom and others prefer you to wait for instruction/ask the teacher/leave behaviour to them/stay with one student. To be honest, I would always hesitate to give permission to go to the toilet unless I knew the teacher well and knew it was definitely okay at that moment in time because it is the teacher's responsibility to know where the kids are and what if they would prefer the student to finish the task/wait to hear answers or they know that kid is probably messing around? It's polite to tell the teacher you're leaving if you do leave the room (although I don't know why you would half way through a lesson) although it shouldn't be a case of 'permission'. It sounds like you've maybe overstepped the boundary with this teacher and she's finding you a bit difficult (might be wrong here) so maybe the best thing to do is the keep quiet and observe for a couple of weeks and then have a friendly chat to say you'd love to get more involved so if there's any point/specific kids where it's appropriate to just let you know.
    I understand that I am the guest I guess it just took me by surprise as the message I was getting from the majority of other teachers was to use my initiative, as I think they felt they did not want to have to "teach" me essentially, and so encourage me to use my imitative. I understand though that different teachers have different styles and so will observe her specific lessons for the next few weeks.
    With regards to leaving the class, I left the class to answer the doorbell, it's a small school and so there's only a handful of staff, which means that there is not always an office staff in every day to answer the door or answer the phone. This is something I was asked to do by the head, who told me the procedure with regards to visiting guests and so I was simply doing as I had been asked to do. Once I'd sorted out the visiting guest and filled in the relevant sheet I returned to class immediately, however she wasn't pleased, which I felt was unfair on me really.
    Just out of interest in your role as a permanent TA, what would your job spec be, if it were something I could use to follow by to know how not to overstep the mark?
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    (Original post by mjdaf)
    I understand that I am the guest I guess it just took me by surprise as the message I was getting from the majority of other teachers was to use my initiative, as I think they felt they did not want to have to "teach" me essentially, and so encourage me to use my imitative. I understand though that different teachers have different styles and so will observe her specific lessons for the next few weeks.
    With regards to leaving the class, I left the class to answer the doorbell, it's a small school and so there's only a handful of staff, which means that there is not always an office staff in every day to answer the door or answer the phone. This is something I was asked to do by the head, who told me the procedure with regards to visiting guests and so I was simply doing as I had been asked to do. Once I'd sorted out the visiting guest and filled in the relevant sheet I returned to class immediately, however she wasn't pleased, which I felt was unfair on me really.
    Just out of interest in your role as a permanent TA, what would your job spec be, if it were something I could use to follow by to know how not to overstep the mark?
    RE leaving the class, that sounds reasonable to me so I think she was wrong on that one, if the doorbell rang you do need to go straight there and presumably she heard it too, I'd assumed you'd wandered off to go to the loo or something

    yeah, in my experience some teachers just don't like having someone else in the room, they're not trying to be rude they just want to do things the way they want them done and they want to do them themselves... it might even be she's had a volunteer in before who's kept making mistakes, or it might just be she's a bit more high maintenance than some teachers

    To be honest my job spec is just filled with a lot of very vague things like 'support students to achieve their targets' and like I said, I do completely different things in some classrooms to others (I'm in a high school so I'm moving around a lot), I tend to just hang back at first and watch what the teacher's way of doing things is (e.g. what behaviour/uniform they pick up on) and I try and ask at first 'what level of support do you want me to give on this task' as a bit of a prompt that they need to tell me if, for example, this particular thing needs to be independent, sometimes they don't realise that things are different in every room you go into and just expect you to already know their own personal boundaries
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    RE leaving the class, that sounds reasonable to me so I think she was wrong on that one, if the doorbell rang you do need to go straight there and presumably she heard it too, I'd assumed you'd wandered off to go to the loo or something

    yeah, in my experience some teachers just don't like having someone else in the room, they're not trying to be rude they just want to do things the way they want them done and they want to do them themselves... it might even be she's had a volunteer in before who's kept making mistakes, or it might just be she's a bit more high maintenance than some teachers

    To be honest my job spec is just filled with a lot of very vague things like 'support students to achieve their targets' and like I said, I do completely different things in some classrooms to others (I'm in a high school so I'm moving around a lot), I tend to just hang back at first and watch what the teacher's way of doing things is (e.g. what behaviour/uniform they pick up on) and I try and ask at first 'what level of support do you want me to give on this task' as a bit of a prompt that they need to tell me if, for example, this particular thing needs to be independent, sometimes they don't realise that things are different in every room you go into and just expect you to already know their own personal boundaries
    Thanks for that information. It's been very useful.
 
 
 
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