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TA or teacher??

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by oliviacs_still, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. oliviacs_still

    oliviacs_still New commenter

    Hey everyone,

    I'm having a bit of internal conflict as i am currently enrolled on a PGCE (primary) as teaching is something I thought I wanted to do for a long time. I was under no illusion before I started the course, what the role of the teacher actually was - I know there is so much more to the job than just teaching lessons! I know this as I was a TA for just under a year previously so I was able to get a bit of an insight. My problem is, since starting the PGCE I have started to realise maybe it's not being an actual teacher that I want, or am suited to. I enjoyed my role as a TA so much that I am considering going back to that - I really like the fact you can support pupils on a more individual basis, and that you can work with children everyday without having the extra worries and tasks that teachers do. I did not envy the teachers who were still working when I left the school at 4:15 every day. I'm just not sure I can commit to being a 'full-blown' teacher so to speak.

    So, I wanted to ask if there are any TA's in this community who have been a TA for a long time? The main thing I worry about is the salary and whether it would be enough to live off, otherwise i'd have no doubt in my mind about being a TA for the foreseeable future.

    Any advice would be appreciated, thanks! :)
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I've been a TA for 30 years - an HLTA since 2006. I love the role and always have. Since gaining HLTA status, I've had a number of roles including line managing a TA team, mentoring new TAs, supporting NQTs, planning and delivering SATs targeted interventions for Y6 .... and now, like most HLTAs, lots of class cover. But I still enjoy my job and get great satisfaction from it. I do work after school and at home too, but nothing like as much as teachers do. As a HLTA, responsibility and accountability are greater than as a TA - but again, far less than a teacher.

    It really comes down to what you want to do, and what you can afford. HLTA salaries are higher than TAs, but definitely not going to pay for your mortgage, car and the odd holiday! But for me, less pressure and a better work-life balance make up for that.

    FWMOW, I would see your PGCE through. You will have so many more options then - you could look at independent schools if you like the idea of smaller classes. If you want, you can take a break and look for a fixed term TA role before your NQT year. You've come this far, it would be a shame not to complete your PGCE. Best of luck, whatever you decide.
  3. rolls

    rolls Occasional commenter

    The TA salary is low and there are a lot more teaching jobs out there than TA jobs. I would’ve push on with the teaching qualification. You may find that with a teaching qualification you can get higher paid support roles even if you decide not to go into teaching.
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  4. Kateray1

    Kateray1 Occasional commenter

    I was HLTA in secondary and have 12 years experience in education at all ages and types.

    I think you will regret not qualifying in the end and you can always go back to TA in the future if it really isn’t for you but not even one years experience will give you a balanced, considered view for a decision.

    Get it done and work as a teacher for at least 3-4 years then decide.
    sunshineneeded likes this.

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