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How can I establish respect as a TA?

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  • How can I establish respect as a TA?

    I am a teaching assistant in a secondary school and I am hoping to start teacher training next year. Mostly I’ve been enjoying it but one thing I have noticed is that some students do not give me the respect that they give the teacher because I’m “just the helper” and can subsequently be rude to me or just ignore me. I then worry that it makes me look bad in front of teachers that I don’t have a good relationship with students. What kind of things can I do to establish my place better within the classroom?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Nicola Pearson View Post
    I am a teaching assistant in a secondary school and I am hoping to start teacher training next year. Mostly I’ve been enjoying it but one thing I have noticed is that some students do not give me the respect that they give the teacher because I’m “just the helper” and can subsequently be rude to me or just ignore me. I then worry that it makes me look bad in front of teachers that I don’t have a good relationship with students. What kind of things can I do to establish my place better within the classroom?
    Hi, I completely understand your situation. I was a TA before I became a teacher and it can be a difficult position to establish because you are halfway between the teacher and the students. If I were you, I would organise to meet with the teacher and discuss ways you could establish yourself in the classroom, such as small class tasks that you could lead or taking the register. The teacher may actually be happy that you are keen to take on more responsibilities in class.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Andrey Kelly View Post

      Hi, I completely understand your situation. I was a TA before I became a teacher and it can be a difficult position to establish because you are halfway between the teacher and the students. If I were you, I would organise to meet with the teacher and discuss ways you could establish yourself in the classroom, such as small class tasks that you could lead or taking the register. The teacher may actually be happy that you are keen to take on more responsibilities in class.
      I will try that, I guess it will be good practice for my teacher training next year!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Nicola Pearson View Post
        I am a teaching assistant in a secondary school and I am hoping to start teacher training next year. Mostly I’ve been enjoying it but one thing I have noticed is that some students do not give me the respect that they give the teacher because I’m “just the helper” and can subsequently be rude to me or just ignore me. I then worry that it makes me look bad in front of teachers that I don’t have a good relationship with students. What kind of things can I do to establish my place better within the classroom?
        There is absolutely no excuse for students to be rude to you because you are not a teacher, perhaps you should speak to the teacher who can explain to the student that you deserve equal respect. If you are unsure how much control you actually have with students, I would recommend speaking with the teacher to understand exactly what power you have in the classroom as well as getting a clear understanding of your school’s behaviour policy. This works both ways too, you are just as entitled to give out positive phone calls home and praise postcards as you are detentions.

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