English schools now have over 265,000 teaching assistants, which is approximately one TA for every two teachers. It’s become a very popular career, particularly for parents of young children due to the compatible working hours and holidays.
If you are thinking of starting a career as a TA, then your job will mainly include:
- Giving extra help to children with special educational needs (SEN)
- Supporting children across the curriculum (often with maths, reading and writing)
- Motivating and encouraging pupils
- Helping with school events, trips and activities.
- Assisting with marking and correcting work
- Attending meetings and reviews
Like most other jobs, there will be times of pressure and stress. The secret is to learn how to minimise the pressure and enjoy your chosen role. It can be one of the most rewarding careers there is.
Many TA’s spend a lot of time supporting children with special educational needs (SEN) and sometimes this includes those with disabilities (SEND). This can be a challenge, but the rewards far outweigh any stress that is incurred. If their development is slow, don’t take it personally, persevere in a kind and patient manner. Helping these students to overcome hurdles will bring untold delight to them and joy to yourself.
Every day is different, so be prepared to be flexible and learn to speak out about any problems you have with particular pupils, conflicting responsibilities, or even parents. You’ll find that it delights most teachers to work in partnership with you. They will be happy to listen and change whatever they can to support you.
As a caring teaching assistant, you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and young people. Total satisfaction comes from seeing them achieve their goals, knowing that your work has long-lasting effects.
This comment from a seasoned TA sums up what can be gained from a career as a teaching assistant:
“Helping children become confident young people is a hugely rewarding experience. Seeing them overcome challenges and succeed gives you an immense sense of pride that you would not find in a normal job,”
If you’re reading this as an aspiring Teaching Assistant, learndirect can help you take the next step. As the leading UK distance learning provider, they offer many online courses that can help you prepare for Teaching Assistant roles.
Browse the ones we have available on our teaching and education faculty page by clicking the link below.
You can also visit our blog for more information about life as a teaching assistant and how to manage your online studies.