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Teaching Assistant - how to get started

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by CeeMac, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Hi All,

    I would like to apply for the GTP programme (in Primary education) next year and wanted to get some experience as a Teaching Assistant until then. Lots of the ads I have seen ask for a 1st class honours degree which seems peculiar given the GTP does not specify this. I do however have a 2.2 degree in Integrative Counselling and have been practising as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor for almost 4 years. Can anyone advise whether I will still be able to apply for a Teaching Assistant post and indeed whether this is the right route to take? I really can't afford to go back to uni at this point.
    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    I assume you mean that a First class degree is being asked for to take part in GTP, not for Teaching Assistant posts. Any questions about GTP might be better directed to either Potential Student Teachers or Student Teachers section, CeeMac, rather than this one.
    In terms of usefulness of working as a TA will be for your intended career, I think you will find many training providers will be expecting some kind of TA experience, either as a volunteer or an employee, in any applicants for primary teaching. We have someone working voluntarily for just one day per week in our school who has been accepted on GTP next year with a degree which is not particularly linked to a curriculum subject (this appears to be a requirement for some courses, though possibly more for PGCE than GTP programmes.)
    I understand that there are still many Local Authorities where applications for TA positions will be considered from anyone - no qualifications of any kind required! If this is the situation where you live then I would have thought your background would be more than suitable for consideration. In other areas there is a genuine attempt to employ only TAs with relevant qualifications and it would really depend on the school whether your qualification would be considered relevant. It is possible that it might be seen as useful for a mentoring role, rather than a TA one, but these are not easy to come by, I'm afraid.
    I appreciate that you cannot afford to go back to uni, but it may be that you should look for voluntary work in a primary school and try to get some other kind of part-time paid job to tide you over in the meantime. Once you get that first experience it may be that you will be able to move on to a paid role. Good luck anyway!
  3. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Sorry - 'Prospective' student teachers - not 'Potential' ones!
  4. Thanks Ophelia. I am sorry if I was not clear, its actually some of the TA posts that are asking for a 1st class honours degree. In any event, you gave some sound advice about working part-time and volunteering which I am no stranger too given my counselling degree. I will still keep a look out for any TA posts that don't require qualifications/experience.
  5. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    I'd be a little wary of those, CeeMac - sounds like a school which might want to exploit your need to gain experience and expect you to do far more than you should for a rather low wage! (I could be wrong, of course - but do treat those with caution anyway.)

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