Teaching Assistant Careers

Teaching Assistant Careers: a look at Teaching Assistant Careers through one man’s journey.

About Martin, a Teaching Assistant and his career journey

“I started my Teaching Assistant Career with much hesitation. This was because I felt it was a ‘sector of teaching’ that was mainly directed at women. However, so many of my friends had commented that I had a naturally gifted approach in handling emotional and nervous children. But, the problem was I had no qualifications. I quite openly admit to feeling very flustered at taking exams to assess my ability.  However, I passed what I needed to and this was indeed a massive leap for me.  As a result, it gave me the ‘green light’ to go ahead and receive academic training to go onto becoming a Teaching Assistant.

I have now been working in secondary schools for two years and have so much faith in my own abilities. It is so fulfilling to see a child develop and overcome their weaknesses. Words that are not backed up have no meaning, it is all very well reading a child’s report which may highlight certain issues. However, to put effort and patience into development and then see and witness a child gain in competence is quite another matter and so rewarding (for all concerned parties).

I found it no easy task to take that step into an unknown environment. However, I was so glad I had the courage to do it.  Although friends reassured me and boosted my self-confidence, I still had to go out of my comfort zone to pass exams.”

Typical daily Teaching Assistant duties include:
  • Supporting pupils to accurately follow instructions, to support independent learning and inclusion of all pupils.
  • To support the classroom Teacher in behaviour management and keeping pupils on task.
  • Prepare and clear up learning environment and resources. Including photocopying, filing and the display and presentation of pupils’ work.
  • Take an active part in contributing to maintaining a safe environment.
  • Assist and support with break-time supervision including facilitating games and activities.
  • Assist with escorting pupils attending educational visits.
  • Supervise and offer support for pupils in using and familiarising with basic ICT.
  • Invigilate exams and tests.
How to start your Teaching Assistant Career

You could take a college qualification to get started, for example:

  • Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education
  • T Level in Education and ChildcareTo do this you may need:
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

To read more about Teaching Assistant careers click here