How To Prepare For Teaching Assistant job

Teaching Assistant Job

Teaching assistants are a key part of the education system. Their responsibility is to work with children and support teaching and learning. They work under the supervision of teachers. Their duty is to assist students with extra instructions on the lessons. TA’s work is to give students the extra attention they need to make the lessons fruitful. To get a teaching assistant job you need to sit for a teaching assistant interview first. To get a teaching assistant job it’s mandatory for you to know about the duties and responsibilities of a TA.

Different types of teaching assistants

There are various levels of jobs for teaching assistants. But the most common are elementary school teaching assistants. 

  • 1. Elementary school TA’s are the most common. They are also known as paraprofessional educators(PE) or teachers aides(TA)
  • 2. Though rare some secondary schools also employ TA’s for the student’s assistance. 
  • 3. There are also undergraduate teaching assistants and graduate teaching assistants who assist professors conduct classes at college and universities.

It is to ‘be noted’ that UTA’s and GTA’s should not ‘be confused’ with regular elementary and secondary school TA’s. This is because most UTA’s and GTA’s are unpaid jobs students take to get extra credits or get a scholarship.

What are the qualifications of a TA

There is no specialized qualification to work as a teaching assistant. So you won’t need any particular degree to become a teaching assistant. Although having an undergraduate degree will be an extra advantage. Usually, GCSE or equivalent qualifications in Maths and English and the basic knowledge of numeracy and ICT will do.

TA job responsibilities

As a teaching assistant you will need to carry out the following responsibilities:

  • Make sure students whom you are assisting are able to stay on track of the lessons. Follow up on the lessons one on one or in groups. This will ensure engagement in the lessons and help them become independent learners.
  • Enforce the school rules and class rules to teach students proper behaviour. Promote positive behaviour among young learners. Assist teachers in calming down challenging behaviours.
  • Support the social and emotional development of students. This will help young people become well-groomed social beings.
  • Always listen to the group of kids you ‘are assigned’ to. Readout to them and also listen to their reading in a class, group or one to one sessions.
  • Monitor students progress and provide detailed feedback.
  • Prepare the classroom for teachers and also help to clean up afterwards. Ensure an atmosphere where effective learning can take place.
  • Carry out the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the students and give first aid whenever necessary.
  • Make resources for teachers to use during classes. Help our students make an art project and displays.
  • Supervise group activities among children.
Teaching assistant helping children in class

What skills do you need to be a TA

As a teaching assistant you should have the above skills:

  • Carry a positive approach to work, be able to inspire and motivate young children.
  • To have high regards for the proper upbringing and overall well-being of the children.
  • You need to be accepting of diversity and be able to love and respect everyone.
  • Superior communication skills to be able to connect with children, teachers as well as parents.
  • Have a flexible approach to a wide range of school activities. These are cooking, art and science projects and displays.
  • A professional attitude and willingness to keep up to date.

How to answer TA interview questions

As TA’s are all hired by schools the recruitment process may vary from school wise. Some of them might be really formal and others might require you to really act out of the box.

 

Most teaching assistant job interviews consist of two parts. One section of the interview will be a very normal traditional-style interview. A panel of two or three embers will try to know you up close and personally asking you common questions. 

 

The other part of a TA interview you may be asked to work with a group of children. This will help the interviewer get a feel of how comfortable you are working with children. 

 

The interviewer will ask you questions about yourself and how is your approach to life. The interviewer may also ask you questions about how to manage a certain situation in a classroom. Most questions are very common pre-prepared by the panel. So be sure to look online for TA interview questions.

 

Make sure you are fully prepared for the frequent questions. Also, try to adopt the correct mentality for this job and express them in your answers. 

Some frequently asked questions in teaching assistant interviews are as follows:

1. What is the purpose of a TA?

2. Tell us about a time you worked together with children?

3. What would you do if a child disrupts in a class?

4. How would you respond if a child gets bored and stops paying attention to the lessons?

5. Tell me how to make the school a safer environment for children?

 

6. How can you make lessons more fun and interactive for children?

 

Your response to these questions determines your attitude and mental preparedness for getting the job. Here is an article on how to answer the questions in a TA interview.

 

Teaching Assistant job interview activity

A teaching assistant interview may require you to perform a few tasks. The tasks are intended to verify your capability to manage children. Some common activity in the TA interview are as follows:

  • You may be asked to oversee a trial class with the class teacher along with the children. This is to see how comfortable you are in interacting with the teacher and the students. This will also help recruiters verify how good you are at your job.
  • You may also be asked to work with a small group of people with a lesson on Maths or English. The recruiters will be able to verify your competence in teaching.
  • Recruiters may also ask you to play games, make a small art or singing project involving the children. The recruiters will also have to be sure how comfortable children feel around you.

How is the job

Both private and public schools employ teaching assistants. But the biggest scope of employment for aspiring TA’s come from preschools, childcare centres and religious organizations. About 37% of TA’s work part-time. Working hours are weekdays Monday to Friday. You may even need to attend additional training sessions. 

Once becoming a TA you will be busy with a variety of work throughout your working hours. You will have to support several types of children. Even children with learning and behavioural difficulties. You may also require staying back and work extra hours.

 

The job of a TA is a challenging one. But it’s a joyful one as well. You get the experience little children to progress through various stages of development. It will be great fun guiding these pupils through such an important stage of their life.  

Teaching assistant courses

There are a lot of courses that will qualify you for the role of a TA. completing these courses will introduce you to demonstrate professional conduct in your job as a TA. There are various  recognized qualification to become a TA such as:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 2 Teaching Assistant Certificate
  • Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Level 2 and 3 are knowledge-based courses. You have to finish these qualifications before you can get a job as a TA. upon completing the beginner level course and getting some jobs to experience you can complete higher-level courses to gain a competitive edge in your profession. You can also become a TA for children with special needs with SEN course.

Career opportunities

Teaching assistants have a lot of scope of improving on their wages as well as a designation. Upon obtaining additional training and education teaching assistants can easily become kindergarten, middle school and high school teachers. Teaching assistants also has the chance to become special education teachers for children with special needs. This profession has the potential for higher earnings. 

Salary

There isn’t any national pay scale for teaching assistants. But all organizations follow the local government pay scale refer support staff regulations. Teaching assistants are hired mostly on a part-time basis with very casual contracts. Salaries may also vary on the basis of location.

The salary of a teaching assistant may vary depending on your experience, role, responsibilities and educational setting. A full-time level-1 TA typically earns around £17,346 per annum. Experienced TA’s with increased responsibilities earn from £18,000 to £20,000 yearly. TA’s with further experience and specialized training on SEN responsibilities earn £25,000 annually.

The main responsibility of a TA is to support the students and the main class teacher. Make the classroom a suitable place for learning. As being a TA doesn’t need any particular qualification it can be an easy hustle for anyone with the right mentality. It’s also easier to join other professions such as teacher, special education teacher and become a professional with higher training.

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