Working with children is a hugely rewarding career. As a teaching assistant, you will be supporting the educational and emotional needs of children from all different backgrounds and at all different levels. Many people have the capacity to become good teaching assistants, but only a few possess the ability to become great teaching assistants.
This article and infographic will explore what you need to be a great teaching assistant, including the required teacher skills and qualifications.
The path to becoming a teaching assistant begins with the qualifications.
You can earn these qualifications through online courses such as those provided by CTC. CTC offer several online courses:
- 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)
You will need at least a level 2 qualification to become a teaching assistant.
We also offer education training courses if you wish to teach in the adult sector. These qualifications include:
- Level 3 Award in Education and Training (RQF) – PTLLS
- Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (RQF) – CTLLS
- Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (RQF) – DTLLS
With CTC, you can complete these courses at your own pace. Simply enrol on a course and you’ll gain access to our 24/7 student portal where you can access course content and upload assessments at any time on any day.
An exciting part of being a teaching assistant is that no two days are the same. You will be working with different teachers, different pupils and in different lessons, so it’s important you have the ability to adapt.
Being flexible in the workplace is all about reacting to the needs of different classes. Some students will need more help than others with their work, and some teachers may not have as much time to provide you with guidance. You need to be prepared for all circumstances, recognise what is needed and assist appropriately.
Being flexible also applies to your time. You may be required to work a little earlier or later than usual, so you are open to a flexible schedule.
Friendliness and warmth
As a TA, you’ll need to build relationships with pupils, staff and parents.
Being a friendly face will build trust between you and your students, allowing them to feel comfortable enough to raise any issues or concerns they might be having.
Being friendly to parents and guardians is important for building a rapport. You want to make sure they trust you to look after your child in school.
Teaching won’t always stick to a script. If the teacher has their hands full or needs to leave the lesson for any reason, you may need to use your initiative to support the class. This may include creating an activity on the spot or temporarily taking over the teaching role.
Being able to communicate clearly is a key part of being able to engage with students and their parents or guardians.
You need to pick the right words and tone at the appropriate times. Sometimes you will need to be considerate and warm; other times you will need to be serious and stern.
Communication will help you support students and build a rapport with their parents or guardians.
Passion and energy
Being a TA isn’t easy — but it is rewarding. You need to have a passion for your job to be able to overcome the difficulties. A positive attitude and bubbly energy will help you to thrive in a hectic environment.
Think you have what it takes to become a successful teaching assistant? Earn your qualifications through CTC Training and see where you could go. CTC allows you to earn qualifications from the comfort of your own home. Our training courses are available online and can be completed at your leisure. Simply log on to our student portal at any time, any day of the week to access your course content and upload assessments.