How to Become a Teaching Assistant

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Learn more about becoming a Teaching Assistant in the UK.

Job Description

Teaching Assistants are persons who are responsible for helping people in a learning environment. They are usually employed in primary schools, or in schools where there may be pupils with additional needs in order to ease pressure on teachers. Teaching Assistants are generally expected to be reasonable, fair, Level -headed and Inspiring. The hours are usually term time, 7am-5pm. being a Teaching Assistant is a good job for many people, but the key traits to have are a sociable personality, helpful, intuitive, a good sense of humour and calm under pressure. You must be able to listen, speak clearly and not be prejudiced towards anyone.

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Entry Requirements

To become a Teaching Assistant you need to find out what guidelines the local education authority has in place. You will have to pass a CRB check, and it will be beneficial to you if you have been volunteering in a school or have worked with children before. There are no official entry level requirements.

Responsibilities and duties

Standard duties involve assisting pupils in their learning, so you may have to assist a child with a learning disability to write down what they are thinking. You may have to speak on behalf of a mute child. You may also be required to assist in preparing the lesson plan, materials and the classroom. You may be responsible for tidying up the classroom after the lesson. You may be responsible for creating displays with the children, or of the children work. You will almost certainly be responsible for assisting during field trips, making sure that all children are accounted for, and where they should be. Teaching assistants are allowed to be employed alongside their own children, so you have to be capable of working alongside your own children or relatives without showing prejudice or preference in the classroom.

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Working hours

These may vary depending on the duties and job you are doing. Many Teaching Assistant Jobs can be 9-5, whilst just as many can be out of hours. Usual shift length is 12 hours. Not many Teaching Assistants are expected to work weekends and evenings. If you are a Cover Teaching Assistant you may have to work at very short notice and your hours can be sporadic and differing.

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Skills and Training Development

Teaching Assistants can expect to progress through their careers with improving skills and knowledge as well as time served. You may find if you hold additional skills such as speaking more than one language, or have an advanced knowledge of mental or learning difficulties that you might be promoted to a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. You have to attend a college course in order to attain this promotion. Holding afterschool clubs or sporting activities may make you a more suitable candidate for promotion as it shows dedication to your pupils.

Average Teaching Assistant Salary

The average salary for a Trainee Teaching Assistant is £11,000 PA.
The average salary for a qualified Teaching Assistant is £16,000 PA.

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