A Teaching Assistant is the foundational support that helps both teachers and students enjoy a great learning and teaching experience. This means that this position plays a pivotal role in the educational world. As a Teaching Assistant, your influence will greatly impact the futures of the children in your classes and will also determine how well they go on to embrace and enjoy learning in the future. If you are somebody who has a love for children and education you have the basic qualities that are needed to become a Teaching Assistant. But in order to nurture young minds and provide them with the right learning environment and support, you should have the right knowledge, skills and experience. If you want to pursue this career path and enjoy a progressive and rewarding career that helps you play an active role in providing a bright future for children, here are some pointers that will prove useful.
Do you understand your role correctly?
You would love to start your career journey in education and teaching support right away, but do you understand the Teaching Assistant role correctly? It’s important to know what your tasks entail and know what standards you should maintain. This article done by the University of Stanford will give you tips on what you can expect in your job. But at the same time, you should also understand the challenges that you will face every day. This video is a great collection of short stories by Teacher’s Assistants that will give you quite a bit of insight.
How do I become a Teacher’s Assistant?
There is just so much information around that it’s normal to feel a tad bit confused about what you need to do first to become a Teacher’s Assistant. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information out there, this is a brief and concise guideline to the basics that you will need to start progressing in your chosen career path.
Graduate from your school
You need to complete your primary education before anything else. Especially in order to become an educator, you will be required to have completed your own education first, even for a beginner level. Because you will be helping around in many subjects as a Teaching Assistant you should aim to be well-rounded in all your subjects at school.
Start working on your skills
You don’t have to wait to start working to start developing skills that are essential for this role. As a Teaching Assistant you will need to have a keen mind and a keen eye both. This will help you be creative and plan out student activities that will help children grasp what is taught better while also allowing you to identify talents in children and how to nurture them. Patience, clear and effective communication, quick problem solving skills, ability to work under pressure and compassion.
Look at what employers are asking for
A great way to understand what kind of academic and professional qualifications you would require to become Teaching Assistant would be to start looking at adverts and job postings that schools and other establishments publish for the role. This way you will have a good idea about what requirements are relevant to your country, state or city.
Do you need a degree to be a Teacher’s Assistant?
You will need accredited, professional qualifications to become a Teacher’s Assistant. In the UK you will need to look at fulfilling the following criteria;
Clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
If possible think about getting into an apprenticeship that will give you more exposure to the role
Experience in working with children will be an advantage
It is mandatory to gain a professional qualification in the field. But don’t worry if you cannot afford a university degree, there are cheap Teaching Assistant courses that are fully accredited and will add value to your CV.
The graph below is a general indication of the relevant education levels to qualify for a job as a Teacher’s Assistant.
But, you would say, where can I find such courses and how do I know that they are recognised?