Tips for Supply Teaching Assistants
To work as a teaching assistant, you need to possess specific skills and traits to make a real difference. The qualities of a good teaching assistantcentre around maintaining a real drive and passion for working with children. Also helping them achieve their potential in the classroom.
Supply teaching assistants, unlike full-time ones, have the benefit of being on flexible schedules, and will be expected to fill open slots when permanent teachers are absent or unwell. There are several benefits of becoming a supply teacher or TA, but the day-to-day roles and responsibilities will be much the same as those of a permanent TA.
For many people aspiring to become a teaching assistant on a supply basis, the role is still rewarding and can provide you with excellent prospects for career progression and personal development.
Teaching Assistant Positions
There are different levels of teaching assistant jobs, which you can do on a supply basis:
- Primary school teaching assistant
- Secondary school teaching assistant
- SEN teaching assistant (read our blog about SEN TAs)
- Learning Support Assistant (LSA)
- Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA)
With every level of TA job, you need to demonstrate certain qualities. For starters, you will need to be able to take direction, be flexible, have excellent communication skills, and show you can cope with challenging behaviour. If you want to be a good TA, consider our list of other essential skills which will help improve your chances of making a difference, and when you apply for teaching jobs.
Supply Teaching Assistant Qualities
Take these essential skills on board to become the most effective TA you can be.
Being a good TA will require you to go above and beyond your job expectations and requirements. Show that you are committed to setting the classroom up for the day ahead, think proactively of fun and engaging activities to support lesson topics, and observe the pupils and students throughout the day. Offer help to create further lesson plans outside the classroom, and offer to assist with additional non-classroom or extracurricular activities. Great commitment does not go unnoticed.
Demonstrating a forward-thinking approach is highly encouraged and heavily valued by teachers. It’s no secret that any teaching job, be it as a supply teacher or full-time teacher, is full-on, and they will have their hands full. Your help and input will help take the pressure off slightly; if they recognise that you’re on-the-ball, it will be a massive help to them.
When you successfully apply for teaching assistant jobs, you will need to have demonstrated the ability to build good relationships. Working with children is rewarding and fulfilling, but it will come with its fair share of challenges. Teaching assistant responsibilities vary day-to-day, so demonstrating a desire to help any child when they’re struggling will pay off. Even if that means you spend extra time to offer that help. A positive attitude and constant desire to help will both go a long way in building those relationships.
Supply teachers and TAs often work in a variety of different schools, and acquaint themselves with a huge number of different pupils. Being able to understand each child’s needs for them to learn, is a vital part of being an excellent teaching assistant. As you gain valuable teaching experience, you will develop a broader understanding of each pupil’s needs. Some may require more help than others, and you’ll be able to dedicate individual time with each student and provide extra support if needed.
Having the ability to adapt your time to meet the needs of the teacher will ensure lessons run to plan. Not only that, but students get the most effective learning tools when lessons run smoothly. Being flexible may mean that you start your day earlier, staying later, or helping to make additional learning aids in your own time. Flexibility is one of the greatest perks of teaching assistant positions, and it undoubtedly helps to demonstrate this when applying for teaching vacancies.
Permanent and Supply Teaching Assistant Vacancies
Always Flourishing is a Berkshire-based education recruitment agency, who can work with candidates to land their ideal supply or permanent teaching assistant job. Whether full-time or part-time, your roles and responsibilities will be very similar. So it helps to use the above skills to ensure you’re on the right track. If you’re an aspiring TA, who is new to teaching recruitment agencies, we suggest you read about choosing the right one, and some questions to ask.
Schools Looking for Permanent or Supply Teaching Assistants
Always Flourishing also work with numerous schools in the Thames Valley, who are looking to hire teaching assistants. We have access to a large talent pool of TAs looking for work, and we act as some partner schools’ direct education recruitment consultants. We are passionate about putting wellbeing back into recruitment.