LITTLEJOHN: Scheduling easily derails TA policy

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Limited applicants may shortchange teachers

web_Littlejohn_mugshotBY JAKE LITTLEJOHN
[email protected]

Roseville High School’s new policy on teacher assistants is designed to lower the number of TAs and, in most cases, allow teachers just one TA per term. The policy also requires students to fill out an application and only allows two applications per teacher, unless the teacher requests for additional aid.

While motivations for changing the policies are understandable, the limited number of applicants creates unnecessary hurdles for students and teachers, and could potentially leave teachers without a TA – a situation most would rather not risk.  

Students have no guarantee of fitting in a period for being a TA, having to be outside a teacher’s off period and while alongside students required classes for graduation. If the schedule doesn’t work out, then the TA selection will simply be replaced by an alternate selection.

This could mean if just one of the two allowed applicants has their schedule changed a teacher could be without a TA for an entire term.

With a scenario like this in mind for teachers, I do not see why they would not request for more TAs, trying to get some extra room for error. Also, if it all works out fine, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having some extra TA’s around their classes.

Motivation for the policy came after discussions with staff where they agreed that there was an excessive amount of TAs present to fit teachers’ need in classes.

While there is a portion of TAs who take advantage of the situation and do little work, that comes down to their teachers. I think a majority of teachers do a decent job keeping them occupied.

While the teachers teach the class, they can have an assistant do work for them. TAs accomplish a lot while the teachers teach. Instead of the teacher making their way to the office to do copies, the TAs can do this for them, which saves them a ton of time.

Although most students pick their favorite teachers to TA for and are looking for a more relaxed class, they still usually get a lot accomplished for the teacher in a period.

For the most part, TAs do work that is both rewarding and helpful to the teachers. I’d think most teachers would prefer to keep their aid.