What is a teaching assistant?
Teaching assistant jobs can be full or part time roles and are term time only; this can be an ideal role if you have children of your own.
The role of a teaching assistant is varied and often includes the following:
- Working one to one or with small groups of pupils
- Supporting pupils with learning difficulties or disabilities
- Preparing the classroom for lessons
- Tidying up and keeping the classroom in good order
- Creating displays of pupils’ work
- Helping on school outings or at school events
Why might I want to become a teaching assistant?
It is a very rewarding role which will see you having an impact on the lives of the children you work with day to day. As a Teaching Assistant your support really will make a difference, if you already work as a TA you’ll know exactly what we mean. Imagine how you will feel when a child does something new for the first time because of what you’ve shown them, or a pupil suddenly grasps something that they’ve been really struggling with, that is what makes a career as a Teaching Assistant really worthwhile.
In school everyone is working towards the same goals, with the pupils the centre of everything that goes on. In school you may work with a variety of different people, teachers, subject specialists, special needs professionals, parents and other teaching assistants and many more, all with the children’s needs influencing everything they do. It’s also possible to specialise in areas that interest you, for example, if you speak a foreign language, enjoy working with special needs pupils or have a passion for a specific subject, your school may encourage you to develop your skills in these areas to carry out a more specialised role.
What qualifications do I need?
There are no nationally specified requirements for becoming a teaching assistant – though each local authority or school will outline their specific requirements. Most schools will request a QCF Level 2 or 3 qualification; you can contact your local education authority for information on their accepted list of qualifications.