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Becoming a TA

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by p_uamart, May 24, 2018.

  1. p_uamart

    p_uamart New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I've just completed my Level 3 STL and I am now looking for a TA job and it will be my complete career change!
    I've been working almost 6 years in a different sector and I have a secure position.

    I would like to know if anyone starts your career as a TA with the agencies. I've registered with 3 agencies and I also applied directly to the school but still waiting if I am shortlisted. How do you manage during school break and summer break if you are working for the agency as they don't pay you for that? I've been paid for my holidays with my current job.

    I will need to attend trail days, have you ever been on a trail day? How was it? What to be expected on that day?

    And my last question is what is your opinion of TAs whose English is not their first language? What do the schools think?
    Are there equal opportunities for not native English speaking TA's?
    I moved to the UK after I graduated my BA but never ever felt confident that I can work in English school setting as I feel that I will not be accepted and it is preferable English native speakers. During my practice, I had supported children and assisted the teacher and I've gained lots of knowledge and confidence which makes me feel that I really need to follow my passion and become a TA!

    Any thoughts will be much appreciated :)
  2. annie2020

    annie2020 New commenter

    Hi. I can't answer your agency questions (schools in my area don't use agency TAs) but can address some others.

    I completely changed careers to become a TA a few years ago as well. I took a year out to gain a recognised level 3 qualification as well as lots of experience (volunteering, after school clubs, midday supervisor etc). In addition to the experience it gave me confidence which shows in applications/interviews (in my opinion). Are you volunteering?

    Do you speak a language that is common at a nearby school? Having a foreign native speaker can be an advantage there. One of the schools I worked at had a number of non-English TAs. It is illegal for schools to discriminate against applicants based on their nationality. Having said that your English does need to be fluent in order for children to understand you at all times. TAs often teach phonics group where clear and correct pronunciation is an absolute must. Also make sure your job applications are 100% correct with regards to spelling, grammar and punctuation.

    Good luck. It's such a rewarding job.
    p_uamart likes this.
  3. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Good advice from annie2020. I have no experience of being an agency TA so I can't offer any advice about that, but I can tell you that we use agency TAs - not as often as we used to; we do try to 'move people around' to cover absences. But that isn't always possible - like many other schools, our staffing levels are slowly being cut to a minimum, so we do use agency TAs now and again. We have also, in the past, offered a permanent job to an excellent agency TA.
    Several of our TAs do not have English as their first language - as long as your spoken and written English is of a good level, speaking another language fluently is a positive asset, especially if it is one that is spoken by the families at your school.
    Some agency TAs I have known have taken on temporary jobs at holiday play schemes to boost their income outside of term time.
    Good luck with the job hunting.
    p_uamart and Trekkie like this.
  4. p_uamart

    p_uamart New commenter

    @annie2020 Thank you so much for your advice. I was volunteering for over a year whilst I was doing my CACHE Level 3 and I lead art workshop for children last year. I am not shortlisted for the first school which I applied directly but I will keep on trying.

    @sunshineneeded Thank you very much for your comment, very kind of you. It's tough but I will do my best. I sent an email to the school which I applied directly to inquire for a school tour as they are welcome the candidates to visit but I got no response and I'm not shortlisted.
  5. Hello All,

    I live in London, and keen to get into teaching as a career. I am looking out for learning support assistant jobs. I have tuition experience in India. I received two interview calls from schools, but I didn't get through.

    Can anyone please advise me, what is the exact criteria for learning support assistant jobs? What do schools expect from candidates? When I look at the job description, it appears to me that I meet the criteria. However, no breakthrough so far!!

    Regarding my academics, my post-graduation is in Chemistry (Organic), with an undergraduate degree in Maths, Physics and Chemistry (from India).

    Appreciate your time and help.

    Many Thanks,
  6. p_uamart

    p_uamart New commenter

    I got rejected after applied directly to my local schools. I've registered with several teaching agencies and the head teacher of one school was particularly interested in me. So I went for my first ever trail day but the headteacher left without an interview or even a chat!

    I was told by my agency as agreed with the headteacher that it would be a half day trail but when I got there no one expected to see me and the deputy headteachers tole me that I needed to be with different classes until 3.30. but I had to go back to work in the afternoon as I was told that I will finish around 12.30. So I stayed until 2.30 as there was no one to cover my shift and I was late for work.

    I did my best and all that I could, it was a super lovely school so I enjoyed my trail a lot. Unfortunately, I haven't heard anything from them even if it is a no and it has been more than 2 weeks now! So sad and really disappointed.

    I know exactly how you feel @Sumagudur. We are on the same boat!
  7. olunchick

    olunchick Occasional commenter

    What is a trail? Pardon my ignorance.
  8. olunchick

    olunchick Occasional commenter

    I think you meant trial, I answered my own question. Sorry.
  9. p_uamart

    p_uamart New commenter

    Yes, it is a trial day, not trail. I didn't check it. Thank you for correct it.
  10. smallgiraffe

    smallgiraffe New commenter

    There seems to be a big disparity between positions from local authorities and some agencies. The agency I signed up with required no teaching qualifications or experience.

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