Parent voices: Do TA’s make a difference?

At ParentsTogether, we know how important it is for children to feel heard. It’s one of the main reasons we created Q4KIDZ, a free service that sends parents a daily creative question to ask their kids.

But we also think it’s important for parents to be heard, especially when it comes to their kids’ education. When we saw that North Carolina’s proposed budget may cut 8,500 teacher assistants and reinvest some of the money to shrink class size, we wanted to hear whether TAs make a difference in our schools’ classrooms. And we knew no one could answer that question better than parents.

Here’s what we heard:

[wc_testimonial by=”Beth from Salisbury, NC” url=”” position=”left”]When I was a teacher, a TA was the only way you could teach because you could be in more places. They know the lessons, you could pull a group and have them working at a different speed with a teacher and the rest of the class working with the other teacher. TAs don’t do just clerical. They are just teachers who don’t have to write lesson plans or administer exams.[/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”Brittany from Icard, NC” url=”” position=”right”]Absolutely they do make a difference in our school! I think it would depend on whether they are rebuilding schools and adding more teaching jobs in order to lower the class size. If not, then I feel that TA’s should remain in EVERY classroom. [I’m] a Homeschooling mother who decided to homeschool mid year, because of the lack of attention and instruction given by my child’s teacher last year.[/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”Julia from Charlotte, NC” url=”” position=”left”]Absolutely they make a difference. We already ask way too much time of our teachers with insulting pay. TA’s take a small amount of that weight off our teachers. They are responsible for the next generation and we wonder why kids are dropping out and teachers are leaving the profession. It’s insane we can’t get this all together.[/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”William from Denver, NC” url=”” position=”right”]Shrinking classes! That’s a load of crap! If the classes are small then I don’t think there is a need for TA’s, but in larger classrooms they absolutely make a difference and I guarantee you most classes where the cuts where made will remain the same exact size![/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”Laura from Concord, NC” url=”” position=”left”]TA’s most definitely make a difference in my son’s class. He is 14yo and has severe autism and is in a self-contained class, with one lead teacher and luckily they have 5 TA’s to almost be one on one in his class of 7….I believe WAY too much responsibility and tasks are placed on our teachers, and I don’t know how they do it all, especially in special education programs. All of these budget cuts are outrageous. Our children are suffering. Ranking and studies don’t lie. NC needs to step up their educational game.[/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”Debby from Charlotte, NC” url=”” position=”right”]Yes without a doubt. My kids don’t just ask who their teachers are, they also want to know who their assistants are. It would be a terrible hardship for both the schools and students if this passes.[/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”Stephanie from Matthews, NC” url=”” position=”left”]I think smaller class sizes would be a great improvement. Teachers only need assistance because classes are too big and out of control. Schools could consider a few floating assistants to help all teachers on a need basis.[/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”Malerie from Goldsboro, NC ” url=”” position=”right”]TA’s are the BACKBONE of the classroom. They help the teacher in so many ways cutting them will be like cutting off your right hand. Also helps with so much chaos in the class. [/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”Mary from High Point, NC ” url=”” position=”left”]The TAs are just as important as the teachers especially in the lower pre-K thru 5&6th grades. Kids are still defiant at these ages and can get out of hand quickly. My son’s TA in his pre-K class is an amazing and wonderful woman that has gotten my son to listen better than me at times.[/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”Adell from Charlotte, NC” url=”” position=”right”]I think they make a huge difference with the students that are struggling academically. Most teachers are not willing to slow down a class to give 1 and 2 students some extra undivided attention to get them up to speed. This is where TAs are helpful.[/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”Dawn from Garner, NC ” url=”” position=”left”][I] think they are absolutely needed!  I am in the classroom often and see first hand, it only takes one child who needs special assistance or who is not behaving to need the attention of one adult. Having a second makes for continuous learning. In addition, there is so much additional paperwork, grading, and students who need additional one on one help that I find it extremely necessary! I would be VERY disappointed if they cut these positions. Have lawmakers spend one full day in a kindergarten classroom and see how they vote![/wc_testimonial] [wc_testimonial by=”Anonymous from Charlotte, NC” url=”” position=”right”]I think qualified teacher assistants can be as helpful to students as the teacher. Many CMS classes are going towards Personalized Learning (Yuck) and many children will spend MORE time in front of screens at school (Not a fan of this!), being instructed through a series of lessons via computer. Our kids need LESS time in front of screens, but this will be another way for schools to increase class sizes and use assistants to help manage kids on computers most of the day. It will not make all of our kids Computer Geniuses! It just in-personalizes learning by putting another layer in between the teacher and the student. But this seems to be where education is headed, unfortunately.[/wc_testimonial]