Have a passion for helping students reach their potential?
Want to become a Teaching Assistant?
Worried you don’t have the right experience?
What qualifications do I need?
- In the UK, the only requirement for becoming a Teaching Assistant are GCSEs (or equivalent) of grade C or above in Mathematics and English.
- Schools prefer recent experience of looking after children of a school-age and any recent certifications to prove your experience in areas such as understanding autism, understanding children or young people’s mental health and special educational needs (SEN).
- Ideally you should be available to work the full school day during term times.
- The friendly team at PK will ensure that all your DBS checks are completed and correct.
How do I get experience?
There are a few ways to gain the necessary experience to begin your journey to becoming a teacher; here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Having your own kids counts! If you are already a parent, or you help a relative or friend by babysitting their kids, you can pop that down on your application as experience! No kids of your own? Score some major friend points by asking to help look after your friend’s children for a few months.
- Volunteering at your local school during summer holiday activities, school outings or after school activities – If you have kids, ask if you can help during certain school events. With growing classroom numbers, teachers are grateful for any help they can get, and you will be able to build on that relationship when it is time to apply for a Teaching Assistant role.
- Helping with local community activities and sports facilities, such as sports teams and dance schools – head over to your community hall to see what activities are available during the week and weekends and contact the various tutors to offer your help with the larger groups.
- Assisting the local library with reading groups will help you gain many of the skills needed to be a Teaching Assistant.
- Helping out local families and children with online support will look great when it comes to applying for teaching roles. Look into advertising-free support in your local community to help out families struggling to teach their children from home. You can either make videos or helpful guides that the children can follow. Alternatively, go one step further and offer video calls with the families and offer your support or even present a full classroom-style lesson for the children. You will also be able to use this as a reference in the future.
- Teaching or coaching – are you skilled in areas such as music, sports, language or maths? You could tutor some pupils to gain experience while earning a few extra pounds while you are at it!
- Completing a work placement as part of a Teaching Assistant course – enrolling yourself on a course really shows schools you are committed to your career and you have the relevant experience needed to begin a successful career in the classroom.
What makes a good TA?
Teaching Assistants are the backbone of any classroom. They help teachers around the country by making sure each and every student has the support they need for their lessons. You’ll be on hand to guide the students through each lesson with any extra help that child needs, amongst many other duties.
There are different types of Teaching Assistants, and your role will vary depending on whether you want to help in a primary school classroom, secondary school or specialise in helping children with learning disabilities.
Here are a few key characteristics of a great TA:
Dedication: going above and beyond the job role to help in the classroom as well as continually observing the students during the day to ensure that everyone is learning and having a good time.
Be Creative: building learning aids and thinking up fun activities for the children to do that supports the lesson topics.
Forward Thinking: freeing up teachers to be able to focus on teaching tasks knowing that the logistics of delivery are taken care of.
Be Adaptable: whether flexing your time to meet the needs of the students or coming in a little earlier to help set up the class.
Be A Friendly Face: to build good working relationships with pupils, staff, and parents. Communicating clearly to build trust with the students you are supporting.
Be Understanding: whether it’s gauging the support required by individual students on a daily basis or managing the occasional temper, your ability to diffuse tension will be key.
If you plan on moving up the career ladder and becoming a classroom teacher yourself in the future, having such a hands-on approach will really give you an insight into the world of education and more of an understanding of the everyday life of a classroom teacher.
So what are the benefits?
Here are a few of the many benefits of becoming a TA:
- The satisfaction and reward that you are truly making a difference to a child’s life.
- Every day is different.
- A great way to see if a future career in teaching is something that you would like to pursue.
- School holidays.
We have some exciting Teaching Assistant and Cover Supervisor Roles available now. Give one of the friendly team at PK a call and let’s get you started!
West Midlands: 0121 631 3466
West Yorkshire: 0113 457 0081
North East: 0191 269 6910
South Yorkshire: 0114 272 2212
East Midlands: 0115 959 8301