What Does a Teaching Assistant Do?

Teaching assistants play a vital role in supporting both teachers and schools. A diverse and rewarding career, teaching assistants or TAs as they are commonly known, do much more than you probably think. They are the extra eyes and ears the teachers need to be able to do their job. But what exactly does this entail?

What does a teaching assistant do?

The main purpose of a teaching assistant is to do just that – assist the teacher. This can include –

  • Preparing the classroom for lessons and keeping it clean and tidy.
  • Supporting the teacher with lesson delivery – don’t worry, you won’t have to plan and deliver a lesson on your own just yet.
  • Helping children with learning difficulties or special needs.
  • Listening to children and reading stories.

A teaching assistant helps to reduce stress for teachers by keeping disruption to a minimum. But the most rewarding part is providing support to those children that need it the most. You will see first hand the impact you have on the lives of the children in your class and it’s a wonderful feeling!

What qualifications do I need?

There are no specific entry requirements to become a teaching assistant. Some schools will set their own criteria when it comes to hiring. Although good GCSE grades in core subjects will be expected by most. You may have previous qualifications or work experience in childcare or youth work. Showing that you have a passion for these kinds of roles will help when you are applying for teaching assistant jobs.

Once you start as a teaching assistant you will be offered training which can be a college course, apprenticeship or similar. Not only will this give you a great grounding, it will also enable you to progress with your teaching career.

Supporting teachers


What other skills do schools look for?

Since 2000, the number of teaching assistants in schools has more than trebled! It’s a prefect way to start your teaching career and many teaching assistants go on to become teachers or maybe a HLTAs (Higher Level Teaching Assistants) who will occasionally lead a lesson. But what are the skills that will help you secure (and enjoy) your job as a teaching assistant?

  • The ability to build good relationships. Don’t forget that you will, on occasion, be speaking with parents as well as children.
  • Enjoy working with children. Fairly obvious this one.
  • Have a creative flare. When it comes to helping children with crafts, this is a particularly handy skill to have.
  • Patience and a sense of humour. Teaching can be full of surprises and ups and downs, so being able to smile about even the toughest days is a good skill to have.

Search for Teaching Assistant jobs

At Educate, we are always keen to speak to anyone looking for a job as a teaching assistant. We work with schools across North Wales and the North West and have a range of fantastic opportunities for teaching assistants. Take a look at our latest jobs. Or get in touch with our friendly team today.