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NQT Year or TA First?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by jessica_mcconnell96, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. jessica_mcconnell96

    jessica_mcconnell96 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I've just graduated in my PGCE in early years and I've been struggling to find a permanent job. At the moment I'm working as a HTLA but my contract is about to run out. I've spoken to a few people and they said that maybe working as a TA for the year might be a good idea until I can find something suitable.

    I'm worried that working as a TA instead of going straight into my NQT year would look bad on my CV and might put potential employers off. Would this be the case?
  2. sidekick125

    sidekick125 New commenter

    I definitely would not work as a TA when you are a qualified teacher. If you cannot get a teaching post, then do supply until you can find a permanent teaching post.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    If the only posts are support and you want to work in schools then there is no choice. September and early October are poor months for teaching posts. Advertisements for January should be appearing soon. Do look carefully at your travel to work area consider extending it.
    peter12171 likes this.
  4. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    I’ve done both and they both have advantages and disadvantages. Some are listed below.

    Supply - you get to work as the teacher at the front of the class, and if you’re lucky in your own subject. However, the kids will be less likely to behave, you might not often teach your own subject and there is no guarantee of work and no pay during the holidays.

    TA - you have a guaranteed income and work, albeit on a lower salary. However, you might lose touch with some pedagogical developments and you might get frustrated with the lessons as you would teach things a different way.
  5. fluffy81212

    fluffy81212 New commenter

    I completed my SCITT route PGCE with QTS in June last year and had my first day of supply before the summer. I have been on day to day supply since September and applying for every job that came up I had my first interview for a January start on Tuesday and got the job I did also have an interview on Wednesday before I found out the results of Tuesdays and I have had to cancel one next week. It isn't true that there aren't jobs check tes, eteach and teachvac nationally and your local council job sites as well.

    I wouldn't go for a TA role unless you are holding out for a September start next year there are still plenty of jobs on the boards right now advertising Nov and Jan starts.

    Supply is interesting, and will push you to be better if you go in with the right attitude. The work is very unpredictable but well paid when you have it. You have less responsibility overall and it is relatively low stress. You will be challenged by behaviours, adapting to dozens of different behaviour and reward systems, you will walk in to classes and discover there is no planning or you are teaching in different years to the ones you have anticipated. You will see inside all sorts of schools and get a stronger feel for where you fit, your comfort zone and your preferences. Overall it is a bit of a baptism of fire, but it will put you in an amazing position for those lesson observations in interview and the insight into different schools is pretty helpful when you're answering questions.

    It is really down to what works well for you but I wouldn't go down to straight TA as it is harder for you to show your commitment to the teaching role and you might find you are a bit out of touch and out of practice.

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