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How To Become a Teaching Assistant

Becoming a teaching assistant requires certain education and certification. Moreover, you need to build skills through online courses and experience working with students. So, research and apply for opportunities as a teaching assistant. And, prepare a resume highlighting your teacher assistant certification and start your journey as a teaching assistant!

Teaching Assistant

What is a Teaching Assistant?

A teaching assistant is a helping hand in the classroom. They assist teachers with tasks like setting up lessons and grading. In addition, they provide students with extra help in small groups or through one-to-one teaching. Moreover, they ensure everyone in the classroom has a successful learning experience.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Be a Teaching Assistant?

Starting a career as a teaching assistant, certain requirements must be met. Namely, educational qualifications, skills, and certification or training are necessary to be successful in this role.

Educational Qualifications

The least educational requirement for entry-level positions as a teaching assistant is a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some institutions may prefer candidates with post-secondary education. For example, an associate degree or higher.

Skills And Qualities

Successful teaching assistants hold a variety of skills and qualities essential for the role. These include strong communication skills, patience, empathy, organisational abilities, and the capacity to work together as a team.

Teacher Assistant Certification And Training

Getting a special certification for Teaching Assistant jobs can help you stand out as a stronger candidate. These courses teach important skills like classroom management, helping kids learn, and clear communication.

Furthermore, there is a very convenient way to earn such certification. Namely, online courses! Online courses are flexible and self-paced. So, you can squeeze into your daily schedule without worrying about juggling your routine. Moreover, they are completely set to your pace, so you can go as fast or slow as you like. Thus, they are a great option for anyone looking for qualifications but doesn’t have the time to attend live classes. 

In fact, Wise Campus offers you teaching assistant courses. When completed, they offer a CPD Certificate as proof of your learning. As a result, it can help you start your career as a teaching assistant.

Steps To Become a Teaching Assistant

There are many steps that you can follow to become a teaching assistant. Here are some important steps you may follow:

Qualifications: 

Most positions require a high school diploma, but some schools or universities might prefer an associate’s degree in education (check their websites!).

Gain Experience Through an Internship:

Many associate degree programs include internships that provide aspiring teaching assistants with real-world classroom experience. This practical exposure complements their academic learning. As a result, it will prepare them better for the challenges of a teaching assistant role after graduation.

Skill Up: 

Consider getting a certification or training to learn classroom management, child development, and teaching methods. These programs give you all the right skills to succeed in this career path.

Look for job offers

You can do this by looking online through various websites such as Reed or Indeed. Furthermore, you can also check social media, newspapers, or even through your people network! You can even approach various schools and other institutions for any available positions!

Prepare for interviews: 

During an interview, you should show your passion for education and your desire to help students succeed. Highlight any relevant experience and the skills you bring to the table.

How Much Does a Teaching Assistant Make?

Teaching assistants play a key role in education, although their salaries can vary depending on several factors. Here’s a quick breakdown to give you an idea:

The Averages:

In the UK, teaching assistants can expect an average salary of around £14,000 to £21,000 per year.

What Affects Your Salary?

  • Location: Generally, Teaching Assistants in bigger cities or high-cost-of-living areas tend to make more.
  • Experience: Teaching Assistants with experience or higher degrees can command a higher salary.
  • Education Level: Some Teaching Assistant positions, particularly at universities, may require a bachelor’s degree or higher, which can influence pay.
  • Type of Institution: Teaching Assistants at universities often earn more than those in elementary or high schools.
  • Work Schedule: Some Teaching Assistant positions are part-time, while others might offer full-time hours. This can impact your total earnings.

Career Progression Opportunities

Being a Teaching Assistant is a fantastic way to begin your journey in education. A Teaching Assistant position can open the way for numerous exciting career paths! These include:

Becoming a Qualified Teacher

This is a natural progression for many Teaching Assistants. The experience you gain in the classroom gives you a head start on understanding curriculum, classroom management, and different teaching methods. Many countries offer programs that allow you to transition from Teaching Assistant to qualified teacher while gaining the necessary qualifications.

Specialising in a Particular Area

Working as a Teaching Assistant might draw passion for a specific subject or age group. You can leverage your experience to pursue further training and specialise in areas like special educational needs, gifted and talented education, or early childhood education.

Exploring Educational Leadership Roles

Schools and universities often have leadership positions outside the classroom. You may consider roles like instructional coordinator, curriculum developer, or assessment coordinator. Your experience as a Teaching Assistant can be valuable in understanding the needs of both teachers and students.

Moving Into Educational Research

If you have a research-oriented mind, your experience in the classroom can be a great foundation for educational research. You could pursue postgraduate studies and contribute to research projects that improve teaching and learning practices.

Branching Out into Educational Support Services

The education sector offers a variety of support services beyond classroom teaching. You could explore roles like educational therapist, guidance counsellor, or school librarian. Your experience working with students can be highly beneficial in these supportive roles.

Pursuing a Career in Educational Technology

With the growing role of technology in education, your experience can be valuable in combining technology with classrooms. Consider training in educational technology or instructional design to support schools in installing new tools and resources.

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