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Teaching Assistant Success Stories: Stephanie

Stephanie - Teaching Assistant

What was the reason you chose to take a Teaching Assistant course?

I have experience in working in Early Years settings with children aged 2-4 years since I left college with relevant qualifications. When I had my son, 9 years ago, I left the job and started work in the hospitality sector, where I remained for the next 8 years.

I enjoyed the social aspect of this type of work, and it fit in really well with my son going to his dads as it meant that I could be with him all week and when we went to his dads at the weekend, I worked – perfect!

However, there was no real sense of job satisfaction. I missed knowing that I was making a positive impact on someone else’s life and so always wished to return to the education sector.

Why did you choose The Training Room?

My partner asked why I never returned to the sector, and I didn’t have an answer, so we searched online for teaching assistant qualifications. I read through success stories myself, researched the qualifications available and made the call.
He lent me the money to get qualified so I could make more of my life and return to what I love doing!

What did you enjoy about your course?

I have gained a great depth of knowledge, which has greatly improved my understanding and confidence levels in knowing this is the path I need to take.

Were you able to fit your course around other commitments/your lifestyle?

Yes, although this was a tricky aspect for me. Having started my course in January 2020 and then the pandemic happening less than two months later, I did find it a real struggle and I was very anxious about deadlines. However, within my first two months I had already completed two units and started my work placement in a local school (having still been working in the hospitality sector part-time).

Then, in October 2020, I gained full-time employment at an early years setting locally and was then faced with working full time, running the house, looking after my son and trying to study. I found this difficult, but I was so happy and managed to complete my qualification in less than six months.

What was your experience of the course?

My tutor, Kerry, was very helpful. She replied to any emails and queries that I had very promptly, often the same day, and was always very complimentary of my work – and kind! There was one period where it took a little later than stated to mark my work and receive it back – but this was during the pandemic and I totally understand as she was working from home, as well as training up another member of staff!

What's the biggest challenge you encountered on your course?

There is a lot of information to take on board, and it was a lot harder than I had imagined but it was manageable. I think the worst aspect was that I studied during a pandemic, causing lots of anxiety about completion.

How have you used your qualification?

I am very lucky that I haven’t had to access the Career Support Team offered by The Training Room as, luckily, just after I qualified, a job vacancy came up in a school I have always wanted to work in which is very local to home.

I used a lot of the content I had learned throughout my course in the interview and, although I was very nervous, I made a good impression and they told me there and then that I had the position! So, I start the career of my dreams in September, working as a Teaching Assistant in a Year 2 class.

Have you completed any other training since graduating with us?

I have four other courses to complete with The Training Room, however, I am halfway through my Level 3 Understanding Autism course. It’s really interesting and I’m sure will support me further throughout my career, I have passed three units so far and have just begun Unit 4 out of 6.

Having completed the course, what advice would you give people who are considering it themselves?

Working full-time and studying is very difficult and very tiring, however, it is well worth it in the end when you can pursue with your dream career! Do it!

Tutors are helpful and the feedback provided is so in-depth and elaborates on the tutor’s further knowledge and experiences – something I found really nice to read and to complete extra research (if you want to).

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you Training Room! The courses and content are brilliant so far and I look forward to completing my other qualifications with you soon!