Being a teaching assistant is possibly one of the most rewarding careers that anyone can opt for. Working within a classroom setting, you can work with students on a one to one basis, or in small groups.
You can help students with additional needs to reach significant milestones, and you can also challenge more able and talented children too. With NCC Home Learning’s Teaching Assistant courses, you too could soon be enjoying the challenge of the classroom.
So how do you become a Teaching Assistant? Follow these five steps to a great career:
#1 Make sure you know what the job involves
If you think that being a teaching assistant is all about gluing and sticking, then think again. The role of the teaching assistant has evolved in recent years; you can work with small groups on certain projects or work, or you may be required to work with a child on a one-to-one basis.
The teaching assistant is relied upon by the class teacher to deliver the lesson objectives and to provide support to all children. It can be a demanding role.
#2 Decide which sector of education you want to work in
Teaching assistant work across a range of education sectors, and not just primary education as some people think. Assistants are used in classrooms in the secondary sector and in some cases, in further education colleges and settings too. Specialist education settings, such as pupil referral unit also make use of teaching assistants.
Teaching assistants are also needed in additional learning settings too, especially in schools for disabled children. The role of the classroom support assistant in this setting can be very different; for example, providing personal care for disabled children, such as helping them to the bathroom, changing underwear or nappies, as well as feeding. teaching assistants in this capacity can also deal with specific medical issues too.
Knowing what sector you would like to work in is helpful when choosing teaching assistant courses too.
Step 3 – Polish up your CV
Many people assume that in order to get a job as a teaching assistant, they will need to show a long track record of working with children.
Whilst schools may prefer people with experience, it is also worth noting that many schools and colleges look for people with a wealth of experience. This is why creating a CV is important; it shows potential employers all the other skills and aspects of your character that will be useful in a classroom setting and in the school as a whole.
Listing things like previous employment, volunteer work and so on will show that you have the skills and experience useful within the classroom. Don’t forget to add the teaching assistant courses you have completed.
Step 4 – Get experience
Showing that you have thought about the career as a serious option can be further expanded by completing voluntary work in a local school or college.
This will also help you decide which education sector you find the most interesting and enjoyable too. You may think that primary education is your favored choice but after a few days with one age group, you may feel your talents lay with the older years.
Many schools welcome members of the community to help children to read. This is a popular scheme which expands community links so, if you do think the role of teaching assistant is for you, this could be one way of getting further experience.
Many schools will welcome volunteers with Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance certificates and will often provide you with a reference too, for future employment opportunities.
Step 5 – Put in a polished application
Not only should you spend time dusting up your CV, but you should also take your time to complete a brilliant application.
Generally speaking, schools are looking for a high level of education in teaching assistants, including numeracy and literacy. It is possible to sit tests to prove your ability to communicate and use numbers in everyday situations.
Make sure you get as much information as possible into your application, including teaching assistant courses you have successfully completed, along with experience and voluntary work etc.
Teaching assistants are needed!
Many people assume that because Teaching Assistants are support staff, and lower down the pay scale than teachers, that there is an infinite number of assistants in classrooms. The truth is that high-quality teaching assistants, qualified and experienced, can be hard to come by for a school. They play a vital role in the education system and thus, the opportunities to develop within the role have expanded enormously.