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18-12-2020 - - 0 comments
Day in the life of a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Our Graduate Academy is designed to help graduates take their first step on the teaching ladder and offers them a paid opportunity to discover whether teaching is the right career choice for them.

We asked Beth, who joined our Graduate Academy earlier this year to give us a run-through of what life is like in the classroom and what is expected of her - the good, the bad and the ugly. However, you’ll be pleased to know (as we were!) there’s no too much bad, or ugly for that matter! Here’s is what she had to say.

Since joining the Smile Graduate Academy I have had the pleasure of working with a range of year groups in a secondary school based in Shropshire. It’s an independent school, otherwise known as a private school, which operates as both a day and boarding school. Understandably, when joining I was slightly nervous but both the staff and the students have been brilliant and so welcoming!

Each period brings new lessons and challenges and I have had the opportunity to teach or support the teacher in teaching each year group from year 7 to year 11. Better still I’ve got to be involved in a range of subjects from maths to geography and everything in-between. My favourite, however, has been English - I did my degree in English Literature.

Fortunately, I haven’t faced too many challenges since taking the Graduate Teaching Assistant Role. Of course, there are the usual issues such as overly chatty students or students not listening. Some classes will definitely test you, especially if you haven’t taught them before so, it’s important to set out your expectations from the start and make sure you follow the school’s behavioural policy. Thankfully, though, I haven’t had to hand out more than a couple of detentions! 

Another challenge is technology - one I’m sure that we can all say we encountered! Due to the pandemic, some classes are being taught over Google Meet and so there are issues that arise from that such as bad connection etc.

On the whole, though things are very positive. My year 7 English class is my favourite to teach. They are a treat to teach! They ask engaging and thought-provoking questions and have intelligence beyond their years. I’m also pretty pleased to say I have handed lots of merits for good behaviour which is always nice! 

When there are no classes that require cover, I occupy myself by creating revision guides for my students or catching up on my safeguarding reading. There’s always something to do so there really never any time to bored!

So far, I am loving my time as a Graduate Teaching Assistant through the Smile Graduate Academy. I have learned so much in such a short space of time. An opportunity to gain hands-on experience like this doesn’t come up all too often so I would encourage anyone considering teaching to join the Smile Graduate Academy. 

If you’re interested in teaching and want to take Beth’s advice, then send your CV our way. We accept graduates from any degree subject or university - all you need to have, in addition to a degree, is a good work ethic and an interest in teaching. 

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