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Tips and Tricks - 13-06-2023 - - 0 comments
How to Become a Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistants have a hugely important role within the classroom. If you have a drive to help others achieve and want to support individuals in reaching their potential, this might be the perfect role for you. With progression opportunities, flexible hours and the chance to change a student's life, becoming a teaching assistant means choosing a role where no two days are the same.

What does a teaching assistant do?

Teaching assistants are there to support teachers with learning activities within the classroom. They might work with an individual child, with a small group of children or provide assistance for a whole class. They can work in primary, secondary and SEN schools.

Teaching assistant responsibilities

The responsibilities of a teaching assistant can be quite broad, and depend on the student or class they are working with. Some of these responsibilities can include:

  • Helping students who need extra support to complete tasks during a lesson
  • Helping teachers plan and prepare for activities
  • Managing challenging behaviour and promoting positive behaviour from students
  • Assist with reading activities, such as listening to students' reading or reading to them, whether on a group or one-to-one basis
  • Looking after students who have had an accident or need to be taken out of the classroom
  • Supervising group activities and school trips
  • Assisting with getting the classroom prepared for lessons

What qualifications do you need to be a teaching assistant?

If you'd like to work as a teaching assistant, you will need one of the following qualifications:

  • Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education
  • T Level in Education and Childcare

You may also be able to complete a Teaching Assistant Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in order to become a teaching assistant within a school.

Can a teaching assistant become a teacher?

Absolutely! If you're looking for progression after building experience as a teaching assistant, a teaching role is a natural step up for those seeking a change.

In order to do this, you'll need the right qualifications. You may be able to take the Straight to Teaching course, which allows you to study for a QTS while you continue to work at your current school. Depending on the qualifications you already have, you could take an undergraduate ITET course, or a specific course with QTS.

If you are a graduate teaching assistant, you can complete a PGCE to get into teaching.

How to get a teaching assistant job

If you have everything you need to become a teaching assistant, or want to know more about what you need to get into the role, there are a number of routes you can take.

One of these is to apply to a supply teaching agency like Smile Education who can place you in a school that's right for you. Whether you're looking to work specific days, times or want to gain experience in a variety of settings, applying for a teaching assistant role with us is a great way to get started.

We work with primary, secondary and SEN schools across the Midlands and Greater Manchester, and can support you in finding the job that suits you best.

Explore our current teaching assistant jobs on our jobs page, and if you find one you like, you can apply directly by clicking "quick apply".

You can also submit your CV to us, or call our team on 0121 392 6570.

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