If you think you know what a Teaching Assistant (TA) is and does, then you might want to think again. We are debunking some of the common myths around being a TA to shine a light on the truth of what it actually means to be a TA and the crucial part they play in the learning environment.
Myth 1: Teaching Assistants are only there to support teachers
The truth: While a large part of the TA role is to provide support to teachers, the role consists of so much more including:
- Encouraging pupils to engage with lessons and keep them on track during activities.
- Supporting the emotional and social development of pupils.
- Promoting positive behaviour.
- Helping the Teacher manage challenging behaviour in the classroom.
- Administering first aid when necessary.
- Assisting with after-school clubs and other extracurricular activities.
Myth 2: There is no career progression for Teaching Assistants
The truth: Qualifying as a TA can open many doors in your education career. TAs can decide to move into a more specific field such as the SEND department or expand on their experience by completing further teaching qualifications. There are many progression courses and specialist subject courses such as Advanced Autism Awareness to expand your knowledge and skill set. At Smart Teachers, we offer a range of CPD training courses for all our staff to support their development.
Myth 3: You need a full set of GCSEs to become a Teaching Assistant
The truth: While you may need some GCSEs to complete a course, for example, a Level 2 course usually requires GCSEs or equivalent in both maths and English, it is not the only route to becoming a TA. Many people gain experience through volunteering, which can lead to paid work. The Government website outlines what is required for the different routes and entry requirements into being a TA.
Myth 4: There are no Teaching Assistant jobs around
The truth: In the last couple of years, TAs have been in demand like never before. At Smart Teachers and across the Group, we work closely with over 4,700 schools and colleges, so we know that schools are always looking for TAs - whether it’s for permanent positions, short or long-term roles or to help deliver catch-up learning sessions… the list goes on. Just take a look at our TA vacancies to see the range of great jobs available for TAs.
Grow your education career
Our friendly consultants have years of experience in helping people grow their education careers. Give your local branch a call today and they’ll be able to help you find the best TA opportunities available for you.back to all libraries
Got a question
We’re available 7:00am - 6:00pm, Monday to Friday during term time. If you need us urgently outside these times, our on-call phone line is available 24/7