The teaching assistant role is a challenging but rewarding job that provides a wealth of experience in an education environment. If you’re an empathetic and hardworking individual with a passion for helping children, a teaching assistant may be the perfect role for you.
In this article, we outline the responsibilities that you can expect to have in the teaching assistant role. We’ll also detail the top qualities and requirements needed for landing yourself the job.
What is a teaching assistant?
A teaching assistant provides support to teachers in the classroom. This may include working directly with teachers to plan lessons or mark work, or it may be working one-on-one with students to assist with their learning.
What are the responsibilities of a teaching assistant?
The responsibilities of a teaching assistant can vary significantly from day to day. This makes it a varied role that will keep you on your toes.
- Preparing the classroom for lessons and tidying it up afterwards
- Assisting with lesson plans
- Supporting children across the curriculum
- Providing extra assistance to children with special needs
- Recording and reporting a student’s progress to the teacher
- Marking work
- Motivating and encouraging students
- Supervising students during school trips or activities
- Attending meetings
- Looking after children who are unwell or upset
Higher level teaching assistants may also take additional responsibilities, such as:
- Teaching classes on their own
- Covering planned absences
- Managing other learning support staff
What are the qualities required to be a teaching assistant?
Becoming a teaching assistant isn’t for everyone. It takes a particular individual to thrive in the role. In addition to being committed and passionate about helping children, you also need the following qualities:
- Good communication skills with the ability to communicate clearly to teachers and students
- Active listening skills
- Compassion and sensitivity towards children
- Knowledge of the curriculum
- Ability to use a computer
- Can work well under pressure
- Ability to adapt to whatever the situation requires
- Maturity and professionalism
How can I become a teaching assistant?
There are no mandatory qualifications required to become a teaching assistant. However, earning suitable teaching qualifications will improve your CV and make you a better candidate for the role. Plus, they will also give you the foundational skills and knowledge that will assist you in the job.
The qualifications that can help you towards becoming a teaching assistant include:
- Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools (RQF)
- Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 4 Certificate in Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) (RQF)
All of the above qualifications can be completed at your pace with CTC Training. The Level 2 Support Work in Schools and the Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools can be completed without a placement in a school as there is no observation required. The other qualifications will require you to have either a paid or voluntary placement in school, as you will need to be observed in a classroom to complete the course.
At CTC Training, we provide a range of online learning qualifications to help you progress into your desired career. Our online courses can be completed from anywhere in the world and on a schedule that suits you. Simply enrol on a course and you’ll gain access to our 247 student portal, where you can access course content and upload assessments at your own pace. You’ll also be assigned a named tutor who will be available to help you throughout the duration of your course.
Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (STALIS / STLS)
Helping to develop professional skills in preparation for a job as a teaching assistant.
Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (STALIS / STLS)
Develop skills, knowledge and understanding to enable you to work in diverse supporting roles.
Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (STALIS / STLS)
Provides learners with the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding to enable them work various supporting roles.
Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
Developing the knowledge and competence of learning support staff.
Level 4 Certificate in Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA)
Aimed at learners employed in a teaching assistant role who wish to progress to Higher Level Teaching Assistant status.