How to Train to Become a Teaching Assistant

How to Train to Become a Teaching Assistant

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Education is constantly changing and evolving. The way in which students learn is different from one person to another.

Education is constantly changing and evolving. The way in which students learn is different from one person to another. Teaching styles and methods have also changed; as a result, the role of teaching assistant has evolved too.

At one time, the teaching assistant tidied away the paint and the glue, they soothed upset children and supervised hand-washing. But the role has evolved and in classrooms across the country, the teaching assistant can be a linchpin of every lesson.

As a result, teaching assistant qualifications have changed, the subject areas widened as the education profession realise that having an additional educator in a classroom, in a supporting role for all or specific children can improve learning.

What you need to know about how to become a teaching assistant

Employment forecasts are that the number of teaching assistants across the education sector will continue to rise. Thus, if you plan on becoming a teaching assistant, become qualified with an accredited and valuable qualification is simply essential.

The basics
You will need a good level of education to be able to act as support within a classroom. Your numeracy and literacy levels will need to be high – not only will you be working one-to-one with children, but you may also be asked to supervise and work with small groups of students.

You will need to be confident, and have a high reading ability too. Being open and caring, non-judgmental in your language and actions are also important for this role. You may be asked to assess the learning of the children that you work with, as well as being creative in your outlook and activities on occasion.

There is also the possibility of working within a specialist area of education, known as additional learning (AL) or special education needs (SEN). This is where students will have significant barriers to accessing education. Many teaching assistants are placed to work with children on an individual basis, as well as support them in the mainstream lesson.

Many local education authorities and schools also promote a higher level of qualifications for teaching assistants, called the Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA).

Specialist courses
Once you have a basic teaching assistant diploma or equivalent qualification, it is possible to train in specialist areas. Autism, for example, affects many children and young people. Understanding autism, and how it can impact on the learning of a child is important, and thus, many teaching assistants go on to specialise in this type of work.

How to become a teaching assistant, however, will vary from one school and local education authority to the next. This is why in many cases, studying for teaching assistant qualifications from home can be the right move for many people.

Accredited qualifications
Before you plunge headlong into a course, you will need to be confident that the course is accredited and recognised by schools and education authorities. In essence, you should be looking at a diploma at a minimum of level 2. Some people go on to study at a higher level or, choose to specialise in a certain area.

Get more information by following these simple steps in our how to become a teaching assistant guide.

The benefits of home study

There are many advantages to studying at home or in your own time:

  • Many people are already in a teaching assistant role and choose to improve their qualifications on their own
  • Other students who are training to be teaching assistants work in another role but can continue working while they study for their qualification
  • You can study at your pace and at a time that suits you; this may be in an evening, once or twice a week, or you can study on a weekend
  • We provide a full support package, with an expert tutor on hand for advice and guidance whenever you need it
  • There is no pressure to have work completed by a certain deadline and, not being in a formal situation is far more enjoyable for many students

Enrolling is easy too

With flexible payment options, you can secure your course with a small deposit and begin learning today. You can opt for a paper course where all the course materials will be printed and sent to you or, if you prefer you can learn online.

When you enrol, you will be given login details for the secure area for students. Here you can access all the information you need on a module by module basis. This is how you will access tutor support too.

Enrolling is easy – simply complete the online form for your course, pay the deposit via our secure checkout and take the first steps to a new qualification.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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