How to be a Teaching Assistant
There are many people involved in a student’s education – could you be one of them?
There are course leaders and classroom teachers, there are playground supervisors and play leaders. There are teachers with specialist knowledge and there are teaching assistants. All these professionals – and others – are involved in helping students to access learning in a way that suits them.
Being a teaching assistant is rewarding, yet challenging choice of career. You can work in many educational settings from primary and secondary classrooms, to colleges, pupil referral units and day nurseries.
The TA plays a vital role. From encouraging students to be proactive in their learning, to working with a student on a one to one basis to occasionally leading small group sessions, there are many tasks and activities that a TA could be asked to carry out.
The rewards are enormous. A TA is often the professional in the classroom that alongside the class teacher, helps a child to flourish, to learn in a way that suits them and to succeed. Children and young people will often remember the TA for years to come.
A classroom is a busy place and with educational always being a political hot potato, educational and school policies, guidelines and practice can change frequently and quickly too.
Students can also have a complex mix of needs and as a TA, you would be expected to be able to deal with emotional and behavioural issues.
There are many training courses from which a TA could benefit, including those ‘awareness raising’ courses that focus on key issues in the modern classroom including autism, speech and language, as well as managing behaviour.
In this guide, you will understand what you need to become a TA, as well as pathways in how to become a TA.