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Graduate TA Jobs - would you recommend ?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by jepturner, Aug 8, 2016.


Would you recommend spending a year as a TA before applying for a PGCE

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. jepturner

    jepturner New commenter

    Hi all. I've been thinking about training as a primary school teacher, and am currently looking into spending a year as a TA to get some experience and help me decide if it's a good career choice for me. Has anyone else done this before applying for school direct or a PGCE? Has anyone used any of the recruitment agencies such as Edustaff, Thames Teachers or Academics to gain one of the graduate TA positions and if so, how have you found them? (I'm based in London, and have seen quite a few of these agencies advertising for graduate TA's with pay around £70 a day).
    I'm looking to find out if working as a TA would be helpful preparation for a teaching career. As someone who has tried a few different career options (nursing, accounting and secondary teaching) I'd like to be as prepared as I can be before making my decision, as in the past I have fallen into things that have been unsuitable for me.
  2. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    I was a grad TA for 18 months before I trained and I loved it. I think you'd be lucky to get £70 per day (I was in London too), but it's definitely worth it for the experience and knowledge of how a school works. I think that the requirement of 2 weeks 'experience' in a school is nowhere near enough, especially when most of that is observing. Being a TA is a good way to get stuck in.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. chloef23

    chloef23 New commenter

    I worked as a TA for two years before gaining a place on a school direct salaried course which I begin in September. I would definitely recommend working as a TA beforehand. It's such an amazing way to gain experience and watch different teachers in action before committing yourself to the training.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. bananatree84

    bananatree84 Occasional commenter

    Yes definitely worth it for the experience! :)
  5. MisterW

    MisterW New commenter

    What do you have to lose?

    Then again, it's something I would recommend more strongly to someone who hasn't already been a secondary teacher, as you say you have. Out of interest, why did you stop doing that? If you stopped because you didn't like the stress and the long hours then I would forget about teaching full stop. But who knows, one possibility is that after being a TA you might find that actually TAing is the job for you - if you can tollerate the low pay then it's actually quite a good gig as you get the enjoyment of working with children without the stress and long hours. The list of professions that you have named look like they are all quite stressful ones so maybe something less stressful is what you need?
  6. happypug

    happypug New commenter

    I am starting a PGCE in a couple of weeks after having been a TA for 4 years. I have to say it's been a real eye opener, in both good and bad ways. The experience you will get will be invaluable; there are so many random situations you'll come across that you have to learn to deal with, or ways of doing things differently to when you were at school. If I'd gone into teacher training back then straight away, I think it would have been a real shock. Sure, the pay is low, but it was a really great job; you get all the fun and challenge of working with children and none of the planning and marking, as already mentioned. I'm going to miss it! I think most of the people on my course have prior experience working with children and I was told by many providers before applying that TA experience would give me a big advantage in the selection process.
  7. Randolphdriblette

    Randolphdriblette New commenter


    I worked as a graduate ta for a year through edustaff in the north west. It was perfect for me before pgce. However, be careful- I ended up teaching 10 lessons a week (with all planning and marking etc.). This was fine for me as if been a tefl teacher previously and wanted UK experience, but you'd need to be aware that Edustaff appear to be selling grad TAs to schools on the basis that they can teach some lessons
  8. Findlotte

    Findlotte Established commenter

    don't just limit yourself to a TA.
    You can be a Cover Supervisor (the schools own cover teacher) and be much more hands on with a whole class instead of one or two.

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