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.
If you are thinking of becoming a supply teacher, you may want to know why other teachers have chosen that career route. There are many reasons why some teachers in Grantham have chosen to work as supply teachers.
Among the major reasons for choosing this career path is flexibility. Most teachers are only able to plan holidays during times set out in the school calendar. However, supply teachers do not face such constraints. This allows supply teachers flexibility which enables them to avoid crowded travel destination. They also benefit from cheap travel prices during off peak seasons. Additionally, this teaching allows you to take off days for personal purposes such as birthday of a loved one.
Autonomy is another reason why many teachers choose this career path. The daily routine of a teacher involves assessments, meetings, target-setting and planning. However, supply teachers do not have to endure all these tiring tasks. When in supply teaching, you avoid all the tiring and time wasting paperwork, planning and meetings. You are also relieved from sniping and nagging colleagues as well as competitive environments. This teaching also keeps you protected from harassment by parents and other staff members. Continue reading
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.
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.
Applying for TA jobs takes a lot of caution and even more time in a scenario where CVs are barely accepted. Schools have the capacity to vet candidates to choose the best, the result of which is ferocious competition. To stand out from other applicants and possibly land the job, think about some major issues surrounding the process, your role and your skills.
Schools have unique needs, which determine the role of a teaching assistant, but it is good to polish your communication skills and display your love for working with children. You must also show commitment to the school’s goals by showing readiness to work as part of your team. It is important that the TA can motivate, tolerate and assist children with learning difficulties to help them catch up and perform as well as the ‘good’ students.
A Level 2 or three Diploma or Certificate should accompany this set of personal skills as proof. In rare cases, employers may accept evidence of work experience in the job. You will be carrying out a number of tasks as the assistant and even if it is difficult to say exactly what you will do, it is obvious that it is a hands-on job. Continue reading