After the first two days I began to notice something interesting. During our resource time (students go to a resource class each day for 90 minutes) my TA would disappear. At first I found this upsetting because I had so many questions and I couldn’t get her to sit down with me to talk. Eventually it became annoying. As a teacher you will find yourself coming in early and/or staying late to make sure everything is in order for the following day(s) ahead. This means copying papers, completing paperwork, classroom clean up, inputting data and also trying to take a small mental break before going back into the lessons.
Because we have a two grade or split classroom I rely on the TA to teach one lesson while I teach the other. With her taking off we didn’t have time to discuss any concerns or discuss next steps. With her taking off it left all the work for me. As a planner and someone with high anxiety (not the Mel Brooks movie although that movie is hilarious) I realized my grandmother’s words were correct, you can only rely on yourself. So after three weeks of the disappearing act I spoke to other staff members on how to make changes in the classroom so I was no longer reliant. It was decided I would send my 2nd graders to the 2nd grade teacher for English and math with the TA for support. I would then combine the phonics and reading lessons into one and continue with the social studies and science as before. With the new changes it no longer requires two teachers in the classroom and now I am no longer reliant on a magician.
Unfortunately this created a new problem I will discuss in the next post, The Angry Disappearing TA.