National TA Day
We love TA’s!
Teaching Assistants are integral for keeping schools running smoothly and at PlanBee we value them immensely.
Some of the amazing things our highly skilled TA’s did for us when we were in the classroom included, appearing with a coffee and a cake when we needed it most, getting to the bottom of friendship issues, running valuable support groups and always being ready to grab the reins in an emergency.
And on top of all that, our TA’s make costumes, stay late, come in early and give us teachers pep talks when we need them most.
TA’s are pivotal in the care and development of children and we are eternally grateful to them.
To celebrate National TA day on September 16th we asked some TA’s a range of questions to get a better feel for what it is like walking in their shoes.
Why did you decide to become a TA?
The TA’s we asked began working in the role because they enjoyed working with and spending time with children.
‘I love kids and always wanted to work with them.’
‘I enjoyed volunteering in my daughter's class and decided to pursue it as a career.’
They also talked favourably about their hours meaning they ‘could still be around for school pick ups and holidays.’
What do you enjoy about being a TA?
TA’s we spoke to said their favourite thing about being a TA was helping the children succeed. Working with a fab team was also mentioned.
‘seeing any achievement a child makes and how proud it makes them’
‘seeing the children in my interventions have "lightbulb" moments’
[There is a] ‘good balance of supporting the children without as much paperwork as a teacher’
‘helping the children see how they progress and working with a fab team’
What do you find most difficult or challenging about being a TA? What are the negatives of your job?
A common theme TA’s mentioned that makes the job harder is a lack of support, whether it is supporting children with challenging behaviour, not feeling they have the backup of outside agencies, the pay not reflecting the work they do or there simply not being enough hours in the day to get everything done.
‘Constant challenging behaviour’
‘lack of support from outside agencies as they are stretched’
‘The pay for the amount of work I do.’
‘Not having the time given to me to work with children when that is what’s on the planning for me to do.’
‘Time pressures... not enough hours in the school day’
‘wanting to do more but no time to do it’
What changes would you make to the role of the TA and why?
The role of the TA has changed a lot over the years. TA’s have increasing responsibilities and pressure and their pay has not changed to reflect this. According to payscale.com the average TA salary in the UK is just under £14k. The TA’s we asked said ‘better pay’ and ‘more time, less pressures’ would improve their role.
Some TA’s mentioned practical changes that would make their role easier, such as ‘be[ing] involved in the planning so I know what is going on each week’ and ‘not having to read with every child every day’.
TA and teacher teams make magic.
We know from our experience that TA’s are empathic caring people who strive to do the best for the team they work with. They always go the extra mile for the children and the adults in their team.
Thank you to all Teaching Assistants. We see you working hard, and keeping classrooms running smoothly!
If you would like to know more about what a TA’s day entails, have a look at our A Day in the Life of a Primary School Teaching Assistant blog.