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Question Our job or TAs' job

3 years 6 months ago #39544 by momomikan
I've got a question.

I got an email last night from one of the teachers and it said that HOD told him I (I'm the sole sci tech, not TA) have to go in to his class for 2 hours (double lesson) to support the students.
It's not on my job description, although it is vaguely written any job HOD asks I have to do.

I told the teacher and HOD I'm not doing it but HDD told me that HOD's instruction.

Of course some occasions I help the teacher demonstrate the practical to the students or show how to do it to the teachers. But going on to the class to help the students???

I wonder if anybody has done it before :fight
Do I have to do it as HOD asked??

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3 years 6 months ago #39545 by prep_room_boy
All depends on the exact wording of your JD.

Mine has that awful bit that says "Any other duties commensurate with the pay grade". Seeing as I am actually on a higher pay grade than the TAs it could be argued that I could be told to do this.

I have, and still do give class support, most often in practical lessons but have been asked to help out with some of the more "challenging" classes, but it is my choice, not something forced. I even seem to have ended up with my own little study group of year 11s.

You could always put the argument that you do not feel confident/competent in offering that sort of support, but that could be counter productive. Or ask your HoD to clarify whose practicals you will not be supplying as you now have 2 hours less to prepare them :evil:

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3 years 6 months ago #39546 by Cookaburra
I have sometimes gone into classes to help during the practical, particularly if it is something like titration that an extra pair of eyes and I don't mind doing this if I have time. If it is to support the pupils in just any class (i.e. not necessarily practical) then I would suggest it doesn't come within your job description as it isn't of a similar nature. However as I have often seen on here, ask them what part of your technician job they would like you to give up in order to find the time for this.

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3 years 6 months ago - 3 years 6 months ago #39548 by Kasey
I've been into challenging classes, or classes where the practical is deemed difficult - titration, microbiology for example. Yesterday I helped with building a Westminster Motor.

However, it's always a request, in plenty of time, and it's only to help with the practical. As soon as they move onto bookwork, I leave.

(I have scribed for some students, but that's another kettle of fish!)
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3 years 6 months ago #39549 by momomikan
I forgot to say.
This was the last minute request and I didn't know until I opened emails this morning I had to help P4/P5 today. So I've already planned making soln like sodium thiosulphate or dil HCl etc for the experiment and top it up.
I usually prepare quite some time before and making a bulk of dil HCl, NaOH or Na2S2O3 ready. However suddnenly lots of teachers do the same required practical, I have to top it up, make soln, top it up and so on.

Also English and Maths have special TAs and their pay grade is 2 grade higher than me. HOD wanted me to support the students in lessons which no practical is involved just book work. So I thought it's not fair:bang

My JD doesn't say 'support the students in class' except practical bit.

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3 years 6 months ago #39550 by joyce
you can't be in two places at once, so if it happens again put it to HOD its the solutions (or practical prep) or the class and let them choose one of them, don't do the other by rushing round to get both jobs done. If anyone complains point them in the direction of the HOD. I go into the labs to help out when asked, and have taken classes as I have the qualification to do so, but it is not an expectation.
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3 years 6 months ago #39553 by DavidS
When some of the lecturer's were off sick it was not unknown for me to take a practical and help the students as well

It is best to remember that when you are up to your waist in Alligators that your original intention was to drain the swamp!

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3 years 6 months ago #39556 by marianofsurbiton
I think this is an outrageous request. You should ask which practicals you should no longer be expected to prepare because you have to give up 2 hours of your precious time to be in the classroom. Thin end of the wedge I'd say...
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3 years 6 months ago #39559 by DampSquib
I was going to say similar to Joyce and Marian - ask hod what pracs he/ she would be prepared to go without that day!
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3 years 6 months ago #39562 by bluek
Get in touch with your union, especially as the TA's are on a higher pay grade. If they are insisting you support students, they should be offering appropriate training and the correct pay grade. Don't let them get away with it!
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3 years 6 months ago - 3 years 6 months ago #39566 by momomikan
Thank you everyone :cp

I said to both class teacher and HOD that I wasn't doing it as not in my JD and it was TA's job, not mine. HOD told me I had to do because directed by HOD but I said NO.
HOD said he would ask somebody then come back to me. If still I have to do it, I'll contact union and also tell him I'm busy doing actual techie's job (I've got time to write in TechKNow forum :) ) to get ready for practical/tidy up/repair/make soln and equipment/wash up glassware/try practical to get result etc... , even though no practical goes on.
Often I go in the class where practical is going on to help the students how to do it or tidying up/counting the equipment to be back. But this request (actually more than request) was just ridiculous I thought.
Unfortunately not all sci teachers know how busy we are :bang

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3 years 6 months ago #39567 by beaky
I often help in class with practicals and take classes if teachers are off. My choice, not expected and it comes second to preparation for practical.

In your position I'd do it, but 'not have time' for the practical. When quizzed I'd be honest and say you can't do both.

Or you could always be awful in the classroom :evil:

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3 years 6 months ago #39568 by DavidS
On a number of occasions when I stood in the students said can you do the practical classes every week!

It is best to remember that when you are up to your waist in Alligators that your original intention was to drain the swamp!

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3 years 6 months ago #39573 by AndyG
Very interesting link by coincedence ...
BBC news
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3 years 6 months ago #39581 by tom foxe
I quite agree with those who say: give them a choice - you can help in the classroom OR do other tech. duties, but not both.

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3 years 6 months ago #39582 by DampSquib

AndyG wrote: Very interesting link by coincedence ...
BBC news


2010! I don't think this applies anymore. Heads can now do what they like and the 'rarely cover' 'protected frees' and those '24 jobs' that unions fought to get for teachers has completely flown the nest now.

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3 years 6 months ago #39583 by AndyG

DampSquib wrote:

AndyG wrote: Very interesting link by coincedence ...
BBC news


2010! I don't think this applies anymore. Heads can now do what they like and the 'rarely cover' 'protected frees' and those '24 jobs' that unions fought to get for teachers has completely flown the nest now.

I apologise for not noticing the age of that - it was only posted out on Saturday as news! Note to self: look at dates in future, even from the BBC!
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3 years 6 months ago #39584 by Baldilocks
I think that there are 2 issues that haven't been mentioned yet.

One is insurance and liability. If something hits the fan and the precise circumstances aren't in writing then I suspect that there will be mass denial by everyone meaning that you carry the can. What are you expected to do in this class if Jimmy the psychopath kicks off or someone has a seizure? Teachers are trained and insured for this sort of eventuality.

The second is 'acting up'. If a teacher acts at a higher level than their pay grade they are usually paid for it OR get brownie points towards their next promotion.

Ian

“Do not believe everything you read on the Internet.” -Abraham Lincoln
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3 years 6 months ago #39585 by momomikan
Surely I can't be success in my life because I can't shut my mouth :huh:

I said NO to a couple of people (one was HOD and the other was SLT) last week and they are sometimes quite rude (if they ask me nicely I might've done it, the teachers tell the kids everyday 'what is the magical word?):sp.
They are asking me to do something, why can't they be polite??

However, I negotiated with HOD if he asked me nicely a couple weeks before I'm happy to help the kids only practical bit and also said I can't be 2 places at the same time.

Today I learnt instead of saying NO, saying yes yes yes but not doing as same as others. At least I'm learning something new everyday :laugh:

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3 years 6 months ago #39588 by AndyG
I have done this in the past, and also not done it in the past ... On each occasion I insisted on a contract for the 'assistant' job as, already being fully employed, I would have to do it as extra work above and beyond my normal duties.
Much HR huffing and puffing either results in a contract and extra pay for the extra hours (as overtime at a minimum) or "we'll get someone else to fill in." depending on whether they (a) want to pay or (b) want the hassle of generating a contract for an hour or two's work. We *never* did 'part time teaching' without a signed contract in our hands.

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