How to become a Teaching Assistant
Education is constantly changing and evolving. The way in which students learn is different from one child or adult 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 handwashing.
Today, the role of the teaching assistant has changed, with the TA often being the lynchpin of the classroom.
As a result, teaching assistant courses 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.
#1 What you need to know about how to become a TA
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 ac-credited 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. Many local education authorities and schools also offer a higher level of qualification for teaching assistants, called the Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA).
- Literacy & numeracy - Your own numeracy and literacy levels will need to be high – not on-ly will you be working one-to-one with children, but you may also be asked to supervise and work with small groups of students.
- Personal qualities - You will need to be confident, and have a high reading ability too. Be-ing open and caring, non-judgmental in your language and actions are also important for this role.
- Additional responsibilities - 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.
- Special or additional needs - 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 when students will have significant barriers to accessing education.
- Individual students support - Many TAs are placed to work with children on an individual basis, as well as support them in the mainstream lesson.
- Gaining experience in the classroom - many schools will welcome volunteers into schools. With the correct Disclosure and Barring check (this replaced the Criminal Records Bureau check), many schools will help you gain experience in the classroom, from being part of a lesson to helping with reading and so on.
Much like schools, playgroups, nurseries and crèches are inspected against a set of professional standards, so are childminders.
#2 Gain a recognised qualification
Once you have a basic teaching assistant diploma or equivalent, it is sometimes a good idea to train in specialist areas to improve your chances of standing out when it comes to interviews.
Autism affects many children and young people. Understanding autism, and how it can impact on the learning of a child is important with many teaching assistants go on to specialise in this type of work.
Becoming a teaching assistant 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.
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.
#3 Study from home
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
- 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 for-mal situation is far more enjoyable for many students.
#4 Enrol with NCC
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.