Being a teaching assistant can be one of the most rewarding roles around. By supporting teaching and learning in schools, you’re helping to develop the minds of future generations - not to mention your commitment, patience, and genuine interest in supporting students will have a positive ripple effect throughout the classroom.
Does that sound like you? You could become a perfect teaching assistant! Find out if this role is the right one for you below.
Is Being a TA for Me?
As a teaching assistant, you’re a vital part of the day-to-day running of a busy classroom including all the trials and tribulations that come with it (we’re talking stroppy children, naughty behaviour and the occasional stressful situation)!
However, with that, you’re supporting the class teacher in educating a class full of young minds, which makes those tricky situations all worthwhile. You may even wish to go down the route of helping children with special educational needs (SEN), in which case you can get SEN teaching assistant training to prepare yourself for this specialised avenue of learning support.
If you’re looking for a job where no two days are alike, this is the role for you! Tuesday could see you helping a group of students with a difficult maths equation, and Wednesday could be spent listening to a child read on a one-on-one basis. The scenarios you encounter day to day always vary so if you get bored easily and want a career that keeps you on your toes, this is the job for you.
Teaching assistants (also known in some schools as classroom assistants or learning support assistants) carry out tasks that allow the class teacher to concentrate on the whole group. Leading by example, you’ll show the pupils how to behave correctly and how to interact with each other in a positive way. Not only will this improve your student’s social skills, but it will give them a positive outlook that will enhance their lives in the future.
Interested? Here are the top reasons why we think you’d love to become a teaching assistant:
Education is one of the most rewarding careers available. Working as a TA, you’ll be helping students reach their full potential. Is there anything more satisfying than watching your pupils learn and grow as the school year progresses?
The role of a teaching assistant often requires you to support the struggling pupils of the class, with your guidance and support, watching these students reach the light-bulb moment is invaluable and it’s one of the top reasons people decide to work in the classroom.
Not to mention, there are ways you can become a teaching assistant with no experience.
Variety is the spice of life, and keeping your career varied and interesting means you’ll be happier and more fulfilled at work. If you’re someone who doesn’t adapt well to change and struggles with a varied schedule, this might not be the career for you.
Being a TA gives you plenty of room to flex your creative muscles and show off your academic knowledge too.
Alongside reading, writing, numeracy and communication skills, schools often look for TAs who have specialist skills such as a second language. This helps you stand out when you’re applying to become a TA.
Whether you are just naturally good with kids or you have a little family of your own, one of the many benefits of working as a TA is the flexible working hours and long holidays (as much as 12 weeks holiday a year!). This career is a great way of balancing work alongside your family life.
No Set Qualifications Needed
There’s never been a better time to become a teaching assistant in the UK currently as there are no set entry-level qualifications – you just choose the one you feel will best prepare you for the role and one that you can study in a way that works for you!
What is a set requirement though, is a passion for seeing young people succeed and an interest in education. As a teaching assistant, you’ll be supporting pupils across a range of abilities as well as helping to free up the teacher’s time by helping out with daily tasks, such as preparing the classroom and handing out paperwork.
Many people start their career in education as a teaching assistant as it offers a great opportunity to gain the necessary experience to become a teacher in the future. You can also increase your chances of promotion and pay rises by furthering your qualifications and gaining additional skills to offer in the classroom.
Yes, job satisfaction is of course an important factor, but unfortunately, it won’t pay those bills! If you are wondering about the loose change you’ll have in your pocket at the end of the month, it’s not something you’ll need to worry about.
Pay can vary a lot depending on location and experience, and you may even earn more if you hold specialist qualifications, like special education needs (SEN) responsibilities.
Skills that are good to have:
Just some of the skills that will help you secure and advance in your TA role include:
- The ability to motivate and inspire
- Able to build a rapport with people from all walks of life
- A positive approach to working with children
- Strong reading, writing, numeracy, and communication skills
- Excellent teamwork skills
- Creative ability
- Able to multitask
- Organisational skills
- A passion for improving the skills of the students
TA roles can be highly competitive so it will definitely help to have some relevant work experience to make you stand out from the crowd of applicants. Perhaps you have helped with some neighbourhood sporting activities or youth work? Great! Pop it on your CV and be ready to give a few examples in your interview.
It’s worth mentioning that you will need a CRB check for this role. Some schools require this during the application stage and some schools will accept this after offering you the job but before your start date. Take the time to do a little research on TA jobs in your area and find out what you’ll need to do before you apply.
Ready To Get Started?
Whether you have a dream of becoming a qualified teacher in the future or simply love working with pupils, the role of a teaching assistant can be one of the most rewarding career decisions you’ll make.
If you’re ready to begin your career in education, we’re here to help you get started on your terms. Find out more about our flexible and affordable teaching assistant courses that can get you on the fast track to this career on our website.