If you help out at a club or group assisting a coach, you might want to take things further by getting some qualifications. There’s a whole spectrum of qualifications you could go for, with specialisations in a broad range of sports available. A basic level qualification will improve your skills when assisting a lead coach but beyond that you can qualify to coach on your own.
Some course providers offer one day coaching workshops for a range of levels. These are great as a taster and may give you an idea of which route you want to go down, as well as giving your skills a boost and having the opportunity to meet and chat with other coaches. These day courses are easy to fit in around work making them great for volunteer coaches.
If you’re really serious about coaching there are great college and degree level courses available. Consider whether you want to specialise in coaching for certain groups (eg. disabled sports) If you want to work with children you’ll need to pass an enhanced disclosure check.
Teaching assistants (usually referred to as TA’s) work in the classroom in a subordinate role to the class teacher. Your primary role is to help pupils in their learning, either as groups or individually, and sometimes supervising the class when the teacher is out of the classroom.
In secondary schools, you may primarily work in learning support, helping those pupils with special needs. Primary school TA’s will work mostly in the classroom and will also work making resources and putting up displays.
While there are no set qualifications, there can be strong competition for TA roles. A good route can be to volunteer at a local school and then train up. There is the potential to become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant with more responsibilities. TA jobs are often suitable for part time workers.
Being a teaching assistant is a rewarding job. If you are well organised and enjoy working with children it may be the job for you.
All teachers have their own way of teaching students. As a teacher you will need to be flexible and be able to adjust to the age group, ability and subject you are teaching. One of the most important skills a teacher needs to learn regardless of the above, is classroom control. Having a classroom that is unruly or has lost concentration can not only hinder learning but also have a long lasting effect on how much respect you gain from the pupils.
Most senior teachers advise that you need to lay down the ground rules from day one, you are there to teach and they are there to learn. You can of course make lessons fun and interactive, whilst still keeping a certain level of control. If you are a teacher and feel like you may be struggling with this a bit then talk to your colleagues. You will probably find that the majority of them have experienced the same thing at some point in their career and are more than happy to share ideas with you.
After school activities are a great way of keeping children occupied whilst doing something that they enjoy. If you are looking to start an after school club then there are many options of what you could do, for example you could do a sporting activity such as rugby or football and get the children to play in teams against each other, this is a great way to encourage children to stay fit and healthy whilst having fun. Other great sporting clubs include hockey, basketball and tennis all of which are great especially if you have an outdoor space where they can be run.
Another option could be a dance club where you could teach street dance or contemporary dance to help the children learn a new method of expression and teach them valuable skills that they could continue into their exams by taking performing arts. Along the same lines is a drama group where you could organise local plays or productions that the children could be involved in, this would boost their confidence and allow them to make friends and be part of a team.
After school activities can be great for children who are struggling socially and really can make the difference to their school life.
Teaching although a very rewarding job can be both mentally and physically challenging at times and as a teacher (unlike in some other professions) you can’t just book time off when you feel you need a break. People moan about how much holiday teachers get, but actually if they are having problems whether it be work or home related mid-term they have to see it through until the next scheduled school holiday.
All teachers need support and this can be found in many ways. Family and friends are often a first port of call for a place to vent or discuss concerns. If the concern is to do with an individual pupil or specifically school related, then this may not be appropriate and you may find it better to talk to a colleague or head teacher. Alternatively there is the NUT National Union for Teachers that have recently set up a dedicated helpline for teachers to call with any concerns they may want to discuss.