One thing anyone should be aware of coming into this profession, is that you’ll get less drama in an episode of Coronation Street, than you will in a school. I’ve been back three days and the drama just doesn’t stop. Today, it was due to a TA who thinks that they are God. There will always be a TA who think’s that they are God, or the Son/ daughter/ neighbour of God. They will know how to do the perfect displays (you will always do them wrong), they will know what is best for the children (you aren’t qualified to know this) and they will always have an opinion (a strong, usually offensive opinion).
Well today I had a little episode with my Holy TA. I have mentioned her in a previous post Office Politics and I am aware of her character and try to watch myself accordingly. It all happened yesterday, my TA was off so this TA was sent into my class to cover (she doesn’t have a class of her own, but always seems to be busy; drinking tea, having a gossip, doing displays). Anyway, I digress, she was sent into my classroom and at the end of the day she was stood at the classroom door sending people home. We have a child who is quite ‘naughty’ and was on a behaviour plan. His behaviour has improved immensely, but that playtime he had pushed another child quite violently and this child needed first aid. The parents are very interested to see how their child has behaved that day, so at the end of the day they asked. This TA, let’s call her Steph, said ‘oh, he’s been great today… blah, blah, blah’. I said, ‘oh, but he did a little bit of an incident today where he pushed a child and he’s left a bruise.’ Steph then butted in and said, ‘Oh, but it wasn’t on purpose and the child he knocked into is not innocent all of the times.’ So that was that. I thanked her for her help and she stayed for another half an hour doing bits and bobs.
I didn’t think anything of it. I saw Steph in the staff room this morning, we had a chat, nothing much. That was it. Fast forward to 11am and I am in the PPA room with another TA and Steph comes flying through the door. ‘Do you know this incident with x?’
me: ‘What incident?’
Steph: ‘The incident that you told his mum about at home time yesterday’.
Me: ‘That he pushed someone and they needed first aid?’
‘Steph: ‘Did you log it?’
Me: ‘It happened at playtime, I was told about it-‘
Steph: ‘YES, but did you log it?’
Me: ‘I can’t log an incident if I wasn’t there. The dinner ladies logged it.’
Steph: ‘Well, I’ve just spoke to your TA who said it didn’t happen yesterday, but it happened before half term and you haven’t logged it on the DFE form.’
Me: ‘I don’t know what a DFE form is.’
Steph: ‘Well, you should do. And you said he needed first aid.
Me: Yes, he had a bump. And a small bruise-‘
Steph: So there was a small bruise?
Steph: Did you see it?
Me: Yes, he had a small bruise on his -‘
Steph: ‘You can’t get a small bruise in the space of a couple of hours.’
(Que the Head Mistress walking into the PPA room to get files. Que me wanting this conversation to end now).
Me: I saw the bruise and I spoke to the dinner lady. She said it was dealt with and -‘
Steph: Yeah, but you need to log it on the DFE form.’
The conversation went on a bit more, headmistress is now listening in, other teacher is witnessing the whole thing and I’m just really confused. I don’t actually know what the conversation is about. I don’t know what the point is? Should I have logged something that I didn’t see? Is x lying about a bruise on his head? Am I in trouble because I mentioned something that happened this week and not something that happened before half term? And more importantly, who are you to publicly give me a dressing down in front of another colleague and the Headmistress? It is not about status, it’s about you being professional and actually knowing what you want to speak to me about, not bursting, literally bursting, into the PPA room and having a go at me. The tone cannot be done justice in print. I felt like I was being questioned by a lawyer. Everything I said was twisted, ‘yeah, but..’, ‘well I’ve just spoken to your TA who said…’
The other teacher in the room said the conversation was quite aggressive and I spoke to my Key Stage Manager as it is not the first time she has spoken to me like dirt. She’s very defensive and unprofessional, so I thought I had to seek advice on what to do because if she can say things like that and judge my abilities in front of the headmistress, what is she saying behind my back! So I have to take her to one side and speak to her tomorrow. I’m very nervous. I don’t want it to be blown into something bigger than it is, but also I will not be spoken to like that by anyone. It happens at least once a week. I haven’t started my lesson on time, I didn’t tell her I had swapped my hall duty- things that have nothing to do with her. And even though I know it’s my place to say something, I’m still not looking forward to it.
Afterwards I spoke to me Headmistress and clarified if I am meant to log something that I didn’t see. Just as I stated to Steph, no, you cannot log an incident in the playground that you did not see. You have to be a witness, otherwise we would be logging everything, ‘miss, Jake pushed me to the ground’, ‘Emily called me names’, ‘Hayley, gave me a black eye.’ As I was leaving she said, ‘I don’t know what a DFE form is either.’
Teachers 1 Holy TA 0