I feel it is time to talk about you for awhile! We will go back to the students later.
So Who Supports You?
Have you got support systems in place?
Do you have someone who you can go to when you’re frustration levels are high or you want to talk about concerns you have?
LET’S START BY TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO COULD SUPPORT YOU!!
The most obvious person would be your line manager! This may be the Deputy Principal or perhaps a higher ranking TA. There are times, however, this person is may be too busy or you feel anxious about going to them for fear of being judged as not coping. Then who do you look too.
This includes both other TAs and teachers. It can be difficult to do this during school time, especially if you are on shadowing duty at recess and lunch. Unfortunately, this means you may need to use your own time after school to sit and have a cuppa to chat or join the teacher in their classroom as they tidy at the end of the day. This was when I used to catch up!
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION STAFF
By this I mean the departmental staff who deal with disabilities and at times visit the school. It can be difficult to talk to these people if your line manager does not see the advantages of this. I used to try and catch them in the school corridors. I would introduce myself, if they didn’t know me, and let them know the student I worked with. It is very important to have your questions ready for them when you speak to them! These staff are usually thrilled that you are interested enough in the student to ask questions.
GOALS WITH STUDENTS
At first sight this may not seem like a way to support you.
However, it very much is! Too often we are given ‘airy fairy’ goals. You need to ask for very specific goals as to what you are expected to achieve with each student. I remember one student where it was obvious I was having them to give the teacher a break. Apart from that there was little else. We spent the time on whatever I could find to do. This girl is my third daughter and she has ended up with little education, I’m guessing because this happened her whole schooling, and now she is having trouble getting ahead as far as tertiary study or employment.
My regret is I wasn’t more assertive to ask for specific goals for her!
I found these invaluable! It was interesting reading previous teacher’s reports and ‘reading between the lines’ sometimes about what they were saying.
You may be able to get access to the files directly or you could ask the teacher get the file for you to let you have a read.
I’m going to leave it there for this week!
I’d love you to let me know if this has been of any help or given any new insights for you!
Until next week it’s bye for now!