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Want to become a Teaching Assistant help

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by emma_dennon, May 12, 2020.

  1. emma_dennon

    emma_dennon New commenter

    Hi everyone

    Hope everyone is safe and well.

    I am just after a bit of help. I currently work in a mental health unit as a medical secretary, however I have been thinking of getting into working in a school in some capacity and rather than working in the office think I would really enjoy being a teaching assistant!

    I know the current situation is a nightmare at the moment in terms of a career change but hopefully things will be back to some form of normality in the next few months and schools will still require these positions to be filled.

    I have been online looking at the TA course but there are just so many it's a bit overwhelming/confusing and I have no idea which one to go for.

    Would anyone please be able to point me in the rfight direction of which courses are the most beneficial?

    thank you

    Emma
     
    lau_bellagamba likes this.
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Hi Emma,

    First of all - I don't know anything about a medical secretary's salary, but I imagine it is considerably higher than that of a TA. That's worth thinking about before you consider starting on your journey. There are various different admin/secretarial roles in schools - our admin staff are very much part of the team, so that's also a possibility.

    But if you're really keen on a change and would like to try a TA role - go for it. I was a TA for many years and have now been a HLTA for the past 10 years and wouldn't want to do anything else.

    I'm sure your English and Maths are at a good level, given your current role. The majority of schools do require TAs to hold a level 2 or 3 qualification - NVQ in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, or similar. Your local college (when they re-open) will be able to advise you about the courses they offer. If full time study is not an option, there are many on-line courses available. I have no personal experience of these and know it's something of a minefield; some of the qualifications they offer are not worth the paper they're written on. But there are some good ones - I've heard good things about Stonebridge College - just make sure that the course they offer is CACHE accredited. If at all possible, don't go for on-line study.

    If you are able to, it would be a good idea to volunteer at a local school to get the feel of what the job involves. Send a letter to local schools - no more than one side of A4 - explaining what you want to do, being clear about how much time you can offer and any particular skills you have - art, music, a language, sport, great interest in books/reading. etc. This can also be useful as any course you do take will require you to find a placement in a school - if you are already volunteering, the school will probably be willing to be your placement school.

    Very best of luck - post again if you have specific questions.
     
  3. emma_dennon

    emma_dennon New commenter

    Thanks so much for the reply and all the info!

    You’re right, the salary definitely will be higher for what I’m doing now. However, I turn 40 this year and feel like I’m at a time in my life where I want to be doing something I really enjoy, rather than just earning more money if that makes sense!

    Sorry, I should have clarified, it's an online course I would be looking at rather than actually going to college. As you say there are so many it's hard to know which ones are any good. The last thing I want to do is spend £600 on a course that can't get me anywhere!

    I will check out Stonebridge College as you suggested!

    thanks again for the help!
     
  4. rolls

    rolls Occasional commenter

    I really would not suggest a course that does not involve classroom practice. It is like studying motor mechanics without having been near a car.
    You need to show you can work with children. Once we are allowed out I suggest you look at volunteering opportunities. If you cannot Get time off work to be in a school consider youth clubs, scout groups, after school clubs, Saturday schools .....
     

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