Supporting Stories

Being a Teaching Assistant

December 2010
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    21st December 2010
  • ISBN 9781858564814
  • Language English
  • Pages 166 pp.
  • Size 6.875" x 9.75"

There are over 180,000 teaching assistants working in England. Originally tasked with routine, low-grade tasks, they are increasingly used today to stand in for teachers and their vital role is braided into policy thinking about raising standards and reducing teacher workloads.

Supporting Stories investigates the lives and experiences of a small group of primary school TAs in a compelling, inside-outside picture of classroom life. This unusual combination of ethnography and autoethnography stitches together stories of feelings and everyday lives and everyday politics in a carefully crafted collection which offers valuable insight and shared knowledge into TAs and would-be TAs and to trainers, students on research methods courses, and everyone who would like to peek inside the primary school classroom.

Part 1 – The research project
1) TA matters: TAs matter
2) What, why, how, who, where?
Part 2 – The stories
3) Sometimes you end up in Workshop
4) Tell me what happens
5) A funny thing happened
6) Just one more record
7) A class act
8) Magic at the manor
9) I don’t think about school too much
10) Notes on an observation
11) The wrong shoes
12) We hate our jobs but we love what we do
13) Wicked – I love this game
14) Who would be a teaching assistant?
15) Autoethnography
Part 3 – Discussions
16) Reflections on the data
Advice for TAs
Advice for Colleagues

Celia Dillow

Celia Dillow worked as an assistant in six schools in four towns on two continents before embarking on the ESRC funded research into the lived experience of teaching assistants that inspired this book.