If you love children, have a natural ability to communicate and relish the thought of a career that really makes a difference, then training as a teaching assistant might well be something that appeals to you. The best way to gain the relevant education for this is to enroll in at a teaching assistant school, where you’ll be trained in the most up-to-date methods, giving you the utmost chance of finding the right position post-qualification. Teaching assistants work at all levels of education – from the first school years right through to high school education. There is also the opportunity to work in various special educational needs schools for those that have undertaken the relevant teacher assistant degree courses.

What are teaching assistant degree courses all about?
Enrolling in a teaching assistant school is all about learning the necessary skills to help raise the standard of education in the classroom. For a teaching assistant, this is primarily carried out by providing support for the students, the teachers and the school itself. While a teaching assistant degree course will not qualify you as a teacher per-se, what you will learn is many skills that will be invaluable to both you and the teacher in charge of a class. You might choose to specialize in your teaching assistant degree course – perhaps in numeracy, literacy, special education needs, creative arts, languages or even music. Whatever path you choose for your particular teaching assistant degree, you can rest assured that you’ll be moving into a dynamic and challenging career that will provide you with a great deal of mental stimulation in your working day.

What will I learn on a teaching assistant degree course?
It goes without saying that every teaching assistant school has its own methods of presenting its syllabus. However, you can expect to cover some or all of the following:

  • Communication skills
  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Legislative rules and regulations in regards to working with children in the teaching industry
  • Record keeping, child assessment and strategy planning
  • Assistance in course and lesson planning
  • Carer, parent and guardian communication
  • The opportunity to specialize in subjects of your choice, including that of special needs, languages, creative arts and more.

What methods will a teaching assistant degree course use to teach me?
While you can expect to undertake a fair amount of theory, in the form of lectures, seminars, self-led study and workshops, you can also be sure that a lot of your time at teaching assistant school will consist of practical training. This is highly likely to include on-site training, and you might well find yourself spending more and more time in the real classroom as your course progresses. After all, what better way to learn than by actually gaining real-life experience? Depending on the particular teaching assistant school you enroll with, you might or might not have to undertake formal examinations at the end of your course. Some will assess you using other methods – such as project work, professional development projects and by observing you as you work. Others might require you to complete a dissertation or thesis, or complete end of term or year examinations.

After gaining my teaching assistant degree, what options are open to me for employment?
Teaching assistants are now a staple of the classroom throughout the United States, and indeed the world. Most people move into a hands on teaching assistant position after qualification – be it in a general role or a more specialized one. Other people use their assistant teacher training as a stepping stone to becoming a fully qualified teacher.