Anyone Here a Teaching Assistant??

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  • Hey guys...

    I'm really interested in looking into becoming a Teaching Assistant for a primary school or perhaps a school for children who need a bit extra support...

    I'm currently studying English Lit, so I think I would have a transferable skills necessary, but lack the experience..anyway so I just wondered if anyone out there was doing this job and how they got the experience needed to qualify. There doesn't seem to be any voluntary kids projects in the area when I've been searching online...I was thinking of maybe contacting the schools and asking but not really sure where to start :S Thanks x

  • Cool so you think just asking if they need any assistance for work experience is the best way? I think I might email around rather than phone, I'm definitely better on paper! hehe

  • My next door neighbour started to be a teaching assistant then the school sent her to college to do her nvq she was 49 when she started now for the last three years she has been helping a disabled child go through mainstream school supporting him etc
    As tam says hun just ring round schools then when you have your foot in the door so to speak maybe ask about the nvq etc

  • Yeah there's always a good chance internally...I emailed all the local primary schools last night and this morning got a reply back from one of them saying they're always looking for help in the classroom. So that's exciting...There's no formal qualifications necessary for teaching assistant with the Devon council, so hopefully getting as much experience as I can within classrooms will eventually get me an actual paid job doing it.

  • That's good news for you.

    You are right in saying that there are no formal qualifications. Some (mainly colleges offering the course) will try and suck you down the NVQ path. If someone else will pay for them (about £900) then fair do's, but they are pretty Mickey Mouse 'qualifications' (not much more than tick-lists, to be honest). The job of TA is, however, becoming more professional. There is a Higher Level TA (HLTA) qualification which is more akin to a cover supervisor (although the pay is generally less than that role). Some Uni's offer a Foundation Degree in Education and Learning (EDL) for TA's with some experience/appropriate background that can be the basis of a full-blown teaching qualification.

    Based on my own experience, as someone coming from a very child-unfriendly background (!), I would thoroughly recommend offering your time as a volunteer in school. Depending on what age group you hope to end-up working with, don't overlook nurseries (particularly state/non-commercial ones), family centres (i.e Sure Start), community initiatives and charities. Regarding the latter I would suggest Action for Children and Barnardos, and, if you can afford the time away, CHICKS (Country Holidays for Inner City Kids) which provides 6 day respite breaks either on Dartmoor or down near Padstow. Volunteering with some of these organisations changed my life.

    I ended-up going to Uni at the age of 39 and doing a degree in Children and Young People's Practice and currently work with BESN children, mainly doing outdoor activities. And I LOVE it! I'm constantly extending my own practice and hope to be working towards a Masters next year. The pay is crap but the good bits more than make-up for it!

    Please shout if I can be of any further help. I wish you the very best of luck.

  • hiya im hoping to start the course next september anbd curemttly waiting for a call backfrom the deputy at my daughters school. im hoping to do some voluntary experience and told have to have a crb but expected that anyway. i have a degree already in community studies so could do a pgce for a year to become a teacher but its a bit much at moment with three lil kids of my own so teaching assitant job is better suited to me at moment.

  • Do they require specific qualifications where you live to be a teaching assistant? As I know it varies council to council. Where I am you just need some experience really...And I guess if you've already got 3 kids your halfway there...