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Alexinwonderland
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05 Jan 2017, 12:14 pm

Hi everybody,

I currently have two part time jobs as a playworker, one is for a couple of hours every day and the other is bank work. I am currently only working these jobs to gain some experience working with children, so in the near future I can apply for a job as a teaching assistant once I have passed my probation . I do not want to apply for a TA job at the school I work at as the pay isn't good and several TAs leave every year which isn't a good sign of a good employer.

I have done some volunteering as a TA at two different schools and I very much preferred it to doing playwork.

There are a few problems however I have as a playworker, I find both my jobs extremely boring and I want to pull my hair out on almost every shift. All I do is put toys out at the beginning of the shift and at the end of the shift, watch the children play and do a bit of cleaning. About 80-90% of these children are nonverbal as they have autism and learning disabilities. I can't really have many convos with them and as I am not a teacher or TA some of the children do not listen to me when they misbehave. As us playworkers get 0 to no training we are in the dark on how to deal with children who have violent outbursts, I know TAs get regular training which I find unfair.

At the job I work at every day my boss doesn't like it when I speak to other staff. Speaking to other staff as well as watching the children helps the time go faster for us. If I hardly speak to anyone on my shift it makes it harder to hide my boredom.

Doing a job like this is soul destroying as I am not using my brain, there is no stimulation there for me. I am someone who likes to keep busy otherwise I lose concentration. These jobs make me miss university a hell of a lot as I was doing something I enjoyed.

Like, don't get me wrong I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I was given and my managers are mostly lovely people and they know about my nonverbal learning disability, I am not sure if they know how it affects me in certain ways but they do make some reasonable adjustments.

Are there any tips on how I can hide my boredom? As I am on probation I can't tell my boss I would like more things to do as I am bored lol

Xxxx



underwater
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05 Jan 2017, 2:16 pm

Perhaps obsessively observing the kids to see if you can figure out something on your own? I have run into some extremely repetitive jobs, and the best way to deal with them was to start focusing on whatever interesting details I could find, just to not pass out from boredom.

Also, is it possible for you to quiz your colleagues who do have training on what they have learned? Maybe your boss won't be mad if you're showing interest and trying to become better at your job? I don't know your boss, so it's your call.


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Alexinwonderland
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05 Jan 2017, 3:44 pm

A couple of TAs have told me about what the job involves and what the classes are like etc and she us playworkers should be put on the same training days as we are also working with the children every day. I bet it's cause they don't want to spend the money on us. Us playworkers get moaned at for talking but nothing is ever said to the TAs and they talk even more than us. I just find it really hard to show any enthusiasm for this kind of job, I can't show that I want to do a job if the children won't talk to me, some are verbal but only speak to the TAs or listen to me.



friedmacguffins
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06 Jan 2017, 5:25 pm

Then, what would you find intellectually-stimulating.

Even if you can only pursue it, in your limited, personal time, it would still give your work a sense of purpose.



Alexinwonderland
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06 Jan 2017, 6:27 pm

Playing with and talking with the children as it would make the time go faster. Just standing there and watching all of them from a distance in silence is extremely boring. Maybe being given other tasks to do during the shifts too.



SerinaSings
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06 Jan 2017, 8:59 pm

I'm a little confused about what they are actually paying you to do. Just put toys out, wait several hours, and then clean toys/area up? It sounds illogical for any center to pay multiple people just for that. Is there something that maybe they are expecting you to do between times that you might not be picking up on because it is unwritten/unspoken expectations, not actual job description?

Or even if not, is there some way you could add value to your employer by taking the initiative to do something useful, even if it is not part of your job description? I don't mean talking to the kids, as they clearly don't want you to do that, but is there something else? Even menial work? It would not only help you pass the time, but increase your value as an employee, so you would be more likely to pass your probation period and get hired on as a TA or better.



Alexinwonderland
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07 Jan 2017, 6:13 am

In my main job I work at a school and they have three main playgrounds which needs three or four playworkers each to put toys out and away and look after the children, that is what the job description is, really. My boss and the other playworkers haven't really said anything else needs to be done except make sure the playgrounds are tidy. My other job is basically the same role, except also feeding the children. Even my boss said to me our main priority is putting toys away so I don't know what else I can do.