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teachedu 11-26-2021 02:14 PM

Public School Pre-K Teacher, TA & Admin Issues
I teach preschool in an large urban public school district. I love what I do and have a passion for it. I work with a full time teacher assistant in the classroom. For the last two years I have noticed that she seems to resent taking my lead in the classroom. She takes little initiative to do things in class unless it interests her, she sits at her desk during instructional times, she doesn't help with other routine classroom tasks unless I ask her too. I find myself assisting her and prepping materials for her in order for her to get things done. I have done the standard to do lists, team meetings, etc. but it's the same.

So I've finally gone to the principal about it and the principal seems more sympathetic towards the TA, not sure why. But after several meetings the principal has decided that all responsibilities of the class will be split down the middle where I do slightly more because I'm the teacher and I'm mostly okay with this but it feels like I've lost some autonomy in the classroom. We also have to collaborate on all things happening inside of the classroom. However, I'm ultimately responsible for the students' safety, learning, classroom evaluations etc. and if I have to constantly negotiate certain decisions with the TA that doesn't attend the same trainings and doesn't have the same amount of expertise and knowledge as me, how is this fair? In my eyes, I have to do this in order to make the TA feel better about her job in a sense? The TA wants to be a preschool teacher in the future but not student teaching or anything like that and her job description says to assist and support the teachers and students. I'm all for collaboration but the TA was the one not open to it and does the absolute minimum.

The P says that the TA is a "teacher" too and we should use a co-teacher model??? But she isn't going the TA about lesson plans, data in meetings, parent inquiries; just me. But the TA can have that much control but none of the accountability? I've been in a similar role as a TA and I didn't have an issue with taking the teachers' lead. If I had an idea I would communicate it and we worked it out. I never wanted to be treated like a co-teacher. Even the custodian asked me if she was the teacher. She has things on her desk saying things about being a teacher. I'm so frustrated. TA competes with me, says sly remarks during the day, and even copies some things I do (even the way I dress!). So this may go beyond the classroom as well.

TAOEP 11-26-2021 02:39 PM

I can't imagine!

I assume that since you are in a large, urban school district that there are job descriptions. I also assume that the TA's job description is different than that of a teacher. It sounds to me as if the P is unclear about the difference in the roles.

Are you in a union? Is the contract being followed? Perhaps there is a grievance to be filed here, regarding the P's not following the provisions of the contract.

Keltikmom 11-26-2021 06:28 PM

I always understood a TA was the assistant. You are in charge snd tell her what to do.

If they’re good, you release some control to them. Maybe she’s feeling ignored or underused?

luvtulearn 11-27-2021 07:57 AM

I am not familiar with what the legal responsibilities of a TA is because in my state we do not have licensed TA's only classroom aides and in sped. ed. paraprofessionals. They do not process a teaching certificate or credential. What are the legal responsibilities of a TA in your state ? Are they supposed to take charge of the lessons when you do the planning?

Just a thought. . .can she be in charge of a group like a reading group and then go from there? Then she could begin planning for that group maybe.

travelingfar 11-28-2021 12:47 PM

I would document everything she does that is that is inappropriate. She should not be coteaching with you despite what the principal said.

That way you'll have a paper trail which could be useful down the road.

WhyHello 11-28-2021 06:37 PM

there should be contract language about this. if there isn't, talk to your union.

this seems like it should go without saying, but if you're doing all of the planning, then it's not co-teaching or equal responsibility. your principal is a complete moron.

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