Being a teaching assistant can be one of the most rewarding roles there is. You’re helping to develop the minds of future generations, not to mention your commitment, patience and genuine interest in supporting students…does that sound like you? You could be a perfect teaching assistant!
As a teaching assistant, you’re a vital part of the day-to-day running of a busy classroom…including all the trials and tribulations that come with it (we’re talking stroppy children, naughty behaviour and the occasional stressful situation)! But with that, you’re supporting the class teacher in educating a class full of young minds, which makes those tricky situations all worthwhile.
If you’re looking for a job where no two days are alike – this is the role for you! Tuesday could see you helping a group of students with a difficult maths equation, Wednesday could be spent listening to a child read on a one-on-one basis. The scenarios you encounter on a daily basis are always varying…if you get bored easily, this is the career for you!
Teaching assistants (also known in some schools as classroom assistants or learning support assistants) carry out the tasks that allow the class teacher to concentrate on the whole group. Leading by example, you’ll show the pupils how to behave correctly and how to interact with each other in a positive way. Not only will this improve your student’s social skills, but it will give them a positive outlook that will enhance their lives in the future!
Interested? Here are our top reasons we think you’d love being a teaching assistant:
Education is one of the most rewarding careers available. As a TA, you’ll be helping students reach their full potential…is there anything more satisfying than watching your pupils learn and grow as the school year progresses?
The role of a teaching assistant often requires you to support the struggling pupils of the class, with your guidance and support, watching these students reach the light-bulb moment is invaluable – it’s one of the top reasons people decide to work in the classroom
Variety is the spice of life, and keeping your career varied and interesting means you’ll be happier and more fulfilled at work. If you’re someone who doesn’t adapt well to change, and struggles with a varied schedule, this might not be the career for you.
If you can’t think of anything better, being a TA gives you plenty of room for you to flex your creative muscles and show off your academic knowledge too.
Alongside reading, writing, numeracy and communication skills, schools often look for TAs who have specialist skills such as a second language. This helps you stand out from other TAs when you’re applying for your next opportunity.
Whether you are just naturally good with kids or your have a little family of your own, one of the many benefits of working as a TA is the flexible working hours and long holidays (as much as 12 weeks holiday a year!)
This career is a great way of balancing work alongside your family life.
No set qualifications needed
The UK currently has no set entry-level qualifications; however, you’ll need a passion for seeing young people succeed and have an interest in education.
As a teaching assistant you’ll be supporting pupils across a range of abilities as well as helping to free up the teacher’s time by helping out of daily tasks, such as preparing the classroom and handing out paperwork.
Many people start their career in education as a teaching assistant as it offers a great opportunity to gain the necessary experience to become a teacher in the future. You can also increase your chances of promotion and pay rises by furthering your qualifications and gaining further skills to offer in the classroom.
Yes, job satisfaction is of course an important factor, but unfortunately it won’t pay those bills! If you are wondering about the loose change you’ll have in your pocket at the end of the month, it’s not something you’ll need to worry about.
Although pay can vary a lot depending on location and experience, salaries for entry level teaching assistants begin at around £15,000, with senior TAs earning up to £25,000! You may even earn more if you hold specialist qualifications, like Special Education Needs (SEN) responsibilities.
Skills that are good to have:
- The ability to motivate and inspire
- Able to build a rapport with people from all walks of life
- A positive approach to working with children
- Strong reading, writing, numeracy and communication skills
- Excellent team work skills
- Creative ability
- Able to multitask
- Organisational skills
- A passion for improving the skills of the students
TA roles can be highly competitive so it will definitely help to have some relevant work experience to help you stand out from the crowd. Perhaps you have helped with some neighbourhood sporting activities or youth work? Great! Pop it on your CV and be ready to give a few examples in your interview.
It’s worth mentioning that you will need a CRB check for this role – however some schools require this during the application stage and some schools will accept this after offering you the job but prior to your start date. Take the time to do a little research of TA jobs in your area and find out what you’ll need to do before you apply.
Find about more about getting a CRB check here
The work you’ll do in the classroom will not only have long-lasting effect on student’s lives, but also gives you a wonderful feeling of satisfaction.
Whether you have a dream of becoming a qualified teacher in the future or simply love working with the pupils, the role of a TA can be one of the most rewarding career decisions you’ll make!
Ready to begin your career in education?