Due to a variety of circumstances I have spent a lot of the last two days in class as a TA. It was a real change to my normal sitting at my desk, a few meetings and deal with the odd incident of challenging behaviour or maybe answer the phone, write a few letters and chat to the odd parent.
I have been in a few classrooms with a variety of teachers and children. It has been really interesting; it has given me an opportunity to see the children from a very different perspective. It is easy for me to talk to teachers, write IEPs, talk to parents, make referrals even go into the classroom for a short while and observe but it was very different to be sitting on the floor working with the children.
I enjoyed the challenge of being given such a variety of tasks – take a group of 9 children on a senses walk around the school, have a different group of children to “sort out” odds and evens for them as well as helping some children sequence the life cycle of a seahorse. I would have enjoyed the day more if I hadn’t had to try and squash in a few essential bits of my “normal” job into the morning break and lunchtime followed by a staff meeting after school.
Being a SENCO is still quite a new experience; I spent many years in classes as a teacher and a long time ago I was a TA. So would I go back to it? It was a great day, there was a variety of tasks and it was quite nice to be directed for a change, but overall, no. I love doing my new job; I get to work with children, I get to do assessments, I get to work with other professionals, hopefully I still make a difference. Is being a TA easier? No, it definitely wasn’t easier, it was definitely different!
One thing it has done is to remind me how much we are all a team and how we all need to work together.