I decided to become a Teaching Assistant with much hesitation because I felt it was a ‘sector of teaching’ that was mainly directed at women, but so many of my friends had commented that I had a naturally gifted approach in handling emotional and nervous children.
The problem was – I had no qualifications – and I quite openly admit to feeling very flustered at taking the school exam to assess my ability. However, I passed, and this was indeed a massive leap for me as it gave me the ‘green light’ to go ahead and receive professional academic training.
I have now been working in secondary schools for two years and have so much faith in my own abilities – it is so fulfilling to see a child develop and master their weaknesses; words that are not backed up have no meaning, it is all very well reading a child’s report which may highlight certain issues – but to put effort and patience into development and then see and witness a child gain in competence is quite another matter and so rewarding (for all concerned parties).
Typical daily duties include:
- Supporting pupils to accurately follow instructions, to support independent learning and inclusion of all pupils.
- To support the classroom Teacher in behaviour management and keeping pupils on task.
- Prepare and clear up learning environment and resources, including photocopying, filing and the display and presentation of pupils’ work, as well as taking an active part in contributing to maintain a safe environment.
- Assist and support with break-time supervision including facilitating games and activities.
- Assist with escorting pupils attending educational visits.
- Supervise and offer support for pupils in using and familiarising with basic ICT.
- Invigilate exams and tests.
It was no easy task for me personally to take that step into an unknown environment but I was so glad I had the courage to do it and although friends reassured me and boosted my self-confidence, in the end it is, as in any case, up to the individual to acquire motivation in order to succeed.
TES, are masters in their own field, they certainly know how to steer the road when it comes to finding that all important ‘placement’ trust in them and you will not be disappointed.