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The perks of short-term Primary TA work

20/10/16

Polly tell us her experiences so far and why she prefers short term or supply.

Flexibility

I sometimes have out of town commitments, so appreciate the fact that I can choose when to work. I’m also not bound to taking my holidays when the schools do – which can be prohibitively expensive. End of week lie-ins are also welcome every now and then..

Freedom…

…is priceless in my view. I always appreciate the absence of planning as a supply TA after my former work teaching EAL, which used to eat into my free time/weekends all too frequently. It’s a shorter working day for me too; no pre/post-work meetings at times of day when energy levels are low; I simply turn up and enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labour without pressure/anxiety over how long a session will last, or whether the materials are well adapted to the pupils. I don’t have to anticipate, or prepare for inspections, and lunchtimes are my own to unwind in a place of my choosing. And if I haven’t particularly enjoyed my experience in any given school, it’s always a relief to know I don’t need to return there!

Variety

Having seen half a dozen different schools so far, I have gleaned ideas from the different systems and resources in each establishment. I also appreciate that I can work with children of all ages and stages in life. I may be helping with Year 3 Maths one day, and jumping over imaginary moon craters with a reception class the next, and this experience has helped me to discover where I fit best. I get to exercise and develop a wide range of ideas and skills, particularly in the areas of communication and problem-solving, and hopefully pass some of these on (along with those of my own) , bee-style. Finally, I love the new routes I am discovering whilst cycling to unknown areas.. this week for example, I had a very pleasant commute along a river path, which meant that I arrived at work refreshed and relaxed.

Clean slate

Pupils generally appreciate a new face who is blissfully oblivious to their past misdemeanours and possible reputations as troublemakers. In this way I am often welcomed with open arms and can have more light-hearted, positive interactions with the children who regard me as a benign, approachable presence. I don’t need to watch the clock so closely, or worry about paperwork, and pupils appreciate that I have a different perspective on them, and the class in general. This means I can often get the best out of them, and enjoy looking at their creative work which they are more than happy to show off.

In this way I can avoid getting jaded by the daily grind and hopefully remain an enthusiastic addition to the class!


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