How to become a teaching assistant

My late mother always used to say I would make a great teacher. I fell into teaching by accident when I became a home educator. I have always said that I feel I would have coped better teaching other people’s children. It is very challenging to be mum and teacher at the same time. That is one of the reasons I returned to Yorkshire so that my teenagers could pursue structured education in school and college. I have a friend who is a higher level teaching assistant. I keep noticing how many women that little bit later in life join this profession. So I thought I would share how to become a teaching assistant as it is a family-friendly job opportunity for women.

how to become a teaching assistant

How to become a teaching assistant

I guess the first thing to consider is whether you actually would enjoy working with children. You may want to reflect on what age group would suit you best. Have you got any particular skills and qualities that you could bring to the role? It is probable that you do especially if you have experience of parenting. Don’t underestimate yourself as so many women do. Are you patient? Are you an active listener? Are you an supportive and understanding person with great communication skills? Can you stay calm when things go wrong or get stressful? All of these aspects of your personality will help you in your dealings with children, parents and teaching staff.

Where to find jobs?

You can search on central or local government websites. Sometimes teacher and teaching assistant jobs are advertised in traditional media outlets such as your regional newspaper. It is well worth you checking out i-teachers as this is the highest rated education recruitment in the UK. Graduates, schools and teachers have high praise for its personal approach to placing the right candidates in the appropriate role. Don’t forget to do some research on social media and LinkedIn too.

Various routes to becoming a teaching assistant

A wonderful thing about becoming a teaching assistant is that you can enter the profession in various ways. You can take a college course leading to a certificate or diploma. You could take an advanced apprenticeship combining learning with practical work experience. Many mums volunteer at schools gaining valuable experience and being on the spot when teaching assistant vacancies come up. If you have a particular school that you would like to work at, you can make a direct application. It’s amazing how many women end up working at the very same school they went to as a child.

Career progression

It is absolutely valid to stay as a teaching assistant for years. You may want to work to towards a higher level teaching assistant role. One option is to specialise in a certain thing such as languages, special needs, behavioural issues or a pastoral role.  It is even possible to become a fully-qualified teacher in due course.

Do you have top tips on how to become a teaching assistant?


My Random Musings

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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