Getting the Skills You Need For a Job as a Teaching Assistant
On average, 1 in 3 employees in a school are Teaching Assistants and are integral in supporting students to maximise and fulfil their potential. But, how do you gain the skills to begin a career in this field?
Why Become a Teaching Assistant?
The role of a Teaching Assistant represents one of the most rewarding career paths to take – in fact, a recent survey of those working in education agreed that their work makes a difference (89%)
and feel satisfied and secure in their role (92%)
As a Teaching Assistant, you’ll be responsible for nurturing and supporting pupils, assisting the teacher with classroom preparation and providing one-to-one guidance to struggling pupils. Does this sound like a potential career for you? If so, here’s some of our top reasons to become a Teaching Assistant:
- Job Satisfaction – you’ll be assisting with developing and challenging the minds of the future, not just academically, but perhaps even more potent, as people. A teacher does not have the time to monitor and dedicate attention to individual students – this is why Teaching Assistants are an integral part of struggling students’ growth.
- Flexibility – Of course, we all miss having those 6 weeks off each Summer as a student. Well, guess what? Teaching staff get this time off too! This, along with flexible working hours make for a great, easy-to-manage work-life balance.
- Salary – Salary, of course, varies dependent on location and experience and you can earn more with Special Educational Needs qualifications. Entry level Teaching Assistants can expect to earn around £15,000pa to begin with, and Senior Teaching Assistants earning up to £25,000pa!
Not to mention, if you want to progress your career into becoming a teacher, this is great experience! If you’d like to find out what a typical day looks like for a Teaching Assistant, read our blog: A Day in the Life of a Teaching Assistant!
How to obtain the necessary skills to become a Teaching Assistant?
Now that’s the benefits of the role covered, but what about the skills required to land a position as a Teaching Assistant?
Officially, there are little prior qualifications or experience needed – except for a Grade ‘C’ for both Maths and English GCSE – however, realistically speaking, there are many skills, experiences and personality traits which will enhance your chance of being hired.
Each school around the UK will have their own criteria when hiring Teaching Assistants – for example, many schools will require previous experience of working with children and some will need an industry-related qualification. Due to the highly competitive nature of the Teaching Assistant job market, these two criteria will help you stand out amongst other applicants.
Here are some skills and traits that we believe will help you stand out:
Being a Teaching Assistant is a very rewarding career, however, to achieve success you’ll need to possess certain characteristics.
- You should be kind, caring and patient as you’ll most likely need to explain certain aspects multiple times, whilst maintaining calmness.
- You should, of course, love working with children.
- You should be approachable as students may not be able to confide in the teacher with problems.
- You should be firm, but fair, as children may need support with maintaining focus and discipline.
These are just some of the personality traits we believe provide you with the basic tools to start a career as a Teaching Assistant. To see more, download our Teaching Assistant Fact Sheet.
Teaching Assistant Qualifications
There are several certified, affordable Teaching Assistant courses which can give you real, expert knowledge that supports your career progression, or entry, into the Education sector.
To further progress your career as a Teaching Assistant, it’s worthwhile enhancing skills in specific, high-demand areas including Special Educational Needs (SEN), Autism Awareness and ADHD Awareness. The number of pupils with SEN has increased for a third consecutive year, now representing 14.9% of the total pupil population – that’s almost 1 in 7 pupils who require special attention.
This demand, however, means that on average a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant earns 35% higher salary than a standard Teaching Assistant!
Former Students’ Success Stories
Take a look at the journey of some of our former Teaching Assistant students. You may find inspiration from a previous role, experience or even a reason as to why they chose this is a career path! Follow the link to read our students success stories.
What are the next steps?
The Training Room offer expert industry training which means you get qualified and certified with the skills you need to achieve a successful career as a Teaching Assistant.
Each of our Teaching Assistant courses require you to complete a work placement within a real school to gain experience – helping you stand out when applying for roles. All students receive a dedicated Career Support Officer who will guide you through updating your CV, applying for roles and interviewing. There are also flexible learning options, meaning you can learn and complete the course around your current role or family responsibilities.
Our Intermediate Teaching Assistant course includes:
- TQUK Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- TQUK Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Autism (RQF)
- TQUK Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health (RQF)
Our Professional Teaching Assistant course includes:
- All Intermediate course modules
- Level 3 Special Educational Needs (ABC Awards)
If you’d like to find out more information about how to begin your career in education, download our prospectus now.
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