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What does exactly do a Teacher Assistant?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by pabloasturias, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Hello there,

    My name is Pablo and I'm a Primary School Teacher here, in North Spain. At present I'm teaching English as a Second Language to childred aged 5. For a long time I have been considering asking for a leave to work in York for several years. The thing is that I have been advised to start working as a Teacher Assistant... I have also seen an advert for a Nursery Assistant... But I'm not pretty sure of what taking this role means... I have also heard of Language Assistants... and... In just a few words: I'm getting lost!

    I would like to work in Education in the Yorkshire and sorroundings. What do you suggest me?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    There are some qualified teachers who work as Teaching Assistants but the majority of TAs in this country are not actually teachers. There are quite a large number of qualifications which are accepted as appropriate for Teaching Assistants and in many areas no formal qualifications are required at all! This is the source of much discussion and disagreement on this and other forums - people working as TAs might have a university degree or no educational qualification of any kind.

    I have obviously not explained very well - Teaching Assistants may take on a lot of the one-to-one working with certain children but there are teachers who have overall responsibility for whole classes and for specialised areas such as Special Needs - again it depends on the school and local authority policy how the work is allocated - in some parts of the country there are special needs teachers similar to those you describe. Schools may also have links with outside experts for things like speech therapy or support for pupils with disabilities.

    The person I mentioned was not employed by the school - she was a university student on an exchange visit who came into school without any payment to gain experience for her university course in English.

    You might want to try writing to some schools in York or other areas which appeal to you to ask if they might consider employing you in any role - I will try to find some kind of link to a local authority site with school addresses tomorrow night - you might get more appropriate advice if you contact them directly.

    Will 'speak' to you again soon - and keep hoping that someone else might explain better!

  3. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Here is a link to the list of schools in the York education authority - there will also be some private schools in the area which may be worth looking into if nothing comes from these ones:


    I have taken you in on the Secondary page because I think that your best chance of getting work would be as a Language Assistant to begin with - my friend tells me that the first school on the list has quite a large language department and has the status of a Languages College - it also has a translation option on its website so that you can read it in Spanish.

    You might want to email some or all of the schools listed to ask if any of them might consider employing you and what role you should be applying for.

    I haven't checked whether you have also posted your question in the Modern Foreign Languages section on this forum but if you have not then it might be worth doing so as teachers working in this department can probably offer some advice.

    Once again, I wish you good luck and hope that you will be successful.
  4. Ophelia 9, definitively you ARE A TREASURE! [*]

    ¡Un millón de gracias! (One thousand thank-yous!)

    I'm going to bookmark this link you've posted. I also appreciate very much your advise, it's really good for me, as I'm not really familiarised with the English System (and that is why I need some time to process all the information I get), Getting to know someone with so many ideas is simply GREAT!

    I posted a similar message on that Forum. But there wasn't any answer when I checked it. As you suggest I will post a brand new topic there too, to see what people have to say. Tho' I'm already happy with what I'm getting in here, thanks again!

    I'll come back to the forum and let you know my movements...

    Thank you!
  5. Hello,
    If you would like to teach in the UK then you might want to go through the appropriate process that is to say either get your certificate recognised in the UK or train over there. However, you can contact the British Council and become a language assistant but this is not a long-time solution as the BC only helps you for one year.


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