Teaching Assistants play a huge part in the classroom – it’s a vital role that many people find incredibly rewarding and flexible. It can also be a great way of dipping your toe in the water if you’re considering training as a teacher. It’s the perfect way to test whether a full-time career in the classroom is right for you (if you don’t like it as a teaching assistant, being a teacher probably isn’t for you).
There are so many advantages to working in the classroom, here are our top 5 highlights that’ll have you ready to start your career as a teaching assistant!
1. The Light Bulb Moment
You probably remember that feeling when you were in school. You may have had a tricky mathematical equation or confusing Shakespeare prose explained to you multiple times. It didn’t matter though, you still didn’t get it. It probably took someone special to sit down with you and take the time to explain it. And then just like that, something clicked. You finally understood it!
That light bulb moment is what so many classroom assistants and teachers say is the highlight of their career. Seeing a child finally understand what you’ve been explaining is incredibly special and makes the job worthwhile. You could be that special person to a struggling student.
It’s often said that working in a classroom means no two days are the same. And it’s true! Every day brings new challenges, delights and successes – you’ll cover different topics, work with different children and interact with colleagues of all levels. One day you could be helping an art class in a relaxed environment, the next could see you in a difficult literacy lesson with the most challenging student. These varied situations keep you on your toes and often deliver the most gratifying results.
Undoubtedly, working with children can sometimes be difficult – you need to be patient and hold your nerve. Because every day is different things rarely go to plan. Being flexible will help you embrace the daily changes and form a rewarding career. And while you’re being kept on your toes, you certainly won’t have time to get bored!
3. It’s Fun
Have you ever had a grey job? You know, one of those careers where you do the same thing. Every. Day. It makes the week feel grey, uninspiring and DULL. Well you won’t find that in the classroom – being a teaching assistant is fun! You don’t have the pressures and responsibilities of a teacher, so you have more freedom to enjoy the smaller things that might get overlooked; you can get your hands dirty in art class, help choreograph plays and mix cake batter!
Creativity in the classroom ranks as the fifth most important thing that inspires young teachers and classroom assistants. So, if you’re looking to break out of the monotony of your 9-5, starting your career in the classroom could be the enjoyable career you’ve been looking for.
4. Flexible Working
Remember those long, hot summer breaks you had as a kid? The time off felt never ending, you packed in so many adventures, made new friends and basically had the time of your life!
Working in a school means you get to relive those days all over again…we can’t promise they’ll be hot though! When school’s out, that’s when your holiday time begins – that’s as much as 12 weeks out of school every year!
You also have shorter days which means it’s a great career option if you’ve got your own little ones to pick up from school and after school clubs – it’s the perfect fit for family life as you are off work when you children are out from school.
5. You Become a Celebrity
Remember those days when you were helping your parents with the weekly food shop and see your dinner lady or teacher doing their shopping in Tesco? You may have been too nervous to say hello, or you may have bound toward them full of excitement (and slightly bemused to see them in JEANS!). Working in a school means the shoe will be on the other foot! You may even get recognised in the supermarket now too – you’ll become a local celebrity!
As a teaching assistant, you have between 60 to 90 students who look up to you for guidance, advice and support. As the term progresses, you’ll build up a great rapport with your students and get to know them on an individual level. They’ll also get to know you too. That means wherever you go in school, you’ll have students asking you questions and wanting to speak to you.
If you love the idea of inspiring young people and helping them progress, you’d be a great teaching assistant!
Learn more about our comprehensive teaching assistant course here