Duties differ depending on the age group you’re assisting but can include everything from hanging up coats to giving out fruit and trying to get a class settled before the lesson begins.
Teaching assistants make up a quarter of the education workforce and the main job role is assisting students who need help. This could be underachieving students, students with behavioural issues or pupils with SEND.
On certain occasions, if a teacher is sick or unable to attend school for whatever reason, it is the TA’s job to provide the cover with everything they need. Therefore, the ideal TA should display initiative, self motivation and exceptional organisation skills in order to shine!
Any teacher will tell you that the role of a TA is integral for the school and pupils, so if you’re considering taking it up as a career, here’s what a typical day could look like for you…
The day of a teaching assistant will commence long before the pupil’s, when at school it’s up to them to assist the teacher with preparing the classroom for the day ahead.
This could include a variety of tasks including setting up desks, chairs, printing, photocopying and more. Then arrive the pupils and the teaching assistant will get them to settle down as well as communicating with them and getting them prepared and excited for a day of learning.
During lessons, teaching assistant’s are there to aid students who may need a bit more help or encouragement. This is all done whilst the teacher continues with the lesson, allowing the day to flow smoothly.
When break begins, it’s up to the teaching assistant to patrol the outdoor areas and insure the safety of children, talking to any who may be in need of assistance as well as making sure they all stay on school premises.
After more lessons, what usually follows is lunch, which permits teaching assistants to take a break, address any important matters and communicate with other members of staff.
The afternoon will then be a series of lessons and depending on the school, perhaps another break that will allow students to get some air. A teaching assistant’s job can vary during lessons and you may be there as an aid to a teacher or even have to take over a lesson in case of absence.
Then, it’s finally home time which means many students will set off whilst some will have to stay behind for detention which may be distributed between teachers and teaching assistants depending on what is decided at the end of the day.
The truth is, every day differs as a TA’s job varies. On some days, you might not be assigned detention duty but told to call up the parents of absent students. On other days you could be in charge of extra curricular or creative tasks.
Regardless of what tasks a teaching assistant tackles, it is safe to say that schools would be helpless without one!
They play essential roles in the team, contributing their skills in helping pupils learn, grow and develop into productive members of society.
TA’s help teachers become more effective in their mission to educate children. They help build happy and purposeful relationships with pupils, parents, teachers and other members of the school staff and I think we speak for everyone when we say, they’re greatly appreciated and invaluable to the success of a school!
Thank you to all our hard working teaching assistants!
If you think you’ve got what it takes to become a teaching assistant, we’d love you to join our team! Come take a look at the exciting TA positions available for you here.