Being a Teaching Assistant can be an incredibly rewarding role. As an Assistant Teacher, you play an essential part in supporting pupils and enabling them to reach their full potential, as well as helping them with any challenges or obstacles they may face along the way.
However, many Teaching Assistants reach a point where they are ready to move on from the role and want to take that next step in their careers. The natural progression from a Teaching Assistant is to become a qualified Teacher.
If you are thinking of transitioning from Teaching Assistant to Teacher, it's a good idea to understand what differences there are in the role, what will change, and the benefits you'll receive as well. Here we'll break down the process of becoming a Teacher and what to expect as you begin this exciting new chapter in your life.
Teaching Assistant Vs Teacher - What's The Difference?
One of the most notable differences between being a Teaching Assistant and a Teacher is that you'll have many more responsibilities in your Teacher role. You are no longer in a supportive role but are spearheading the delivery of education to those in your class, and this is a position that requires a much greater depth of knowledge in your subjects and experience in delivering the national curriculum.
As a Teacher, you will be responsible for lesson planning and delivery and ensuring that your lessons align with the national curriculum guidelines. Where, as a Teaching Assistant, more of your time was probably spent helping children individually or in small groups, your role as a Teacher means your focus will be on the classroom as a whole. Aside from lesson planning and delivery, some of your new responsibilities will include:
- Marking work
- Tracking and reporting on student progress
- Forming closer relationships with parents and carers
- Working with support workers where necessary
- Developing your own knowledge and learning as well as keeping abreast of any changes in the education industry that may affect your role.
Transitioning From Teaching Assistant to Teacher - What Are The Benefits?
While stepping up from a TA role to a Teacher role will see you with a more significant workload and accountability, plenty of benefits go along with it too. Here are some of the most apparent.
You'll earn more
Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in England and Wales benefit from a starting salary of £25,714 up to £32,157 per annum, depending on location.
These figures are far greater than the average salary for Teaching Assistants, starting at around £17,000 per annum once Teacher Assistant training has been completed.
You'll Get More Job Satisfaction
Becoming a Teacher means that you have the opportunity to shape young people's lives, influence their career paths, and help them make significant decisions for their future. A good Teacher can have an important impact on the future of their pupils, not just in terms of their careers but in all areas of their lives. So stepping into teaching can be incredibly rewarding if you are up for the challenge!
You'll Increase Your Knowledge
As a teacher, you'll be expected to continue to learn about the subjects you teach. Engaging in lifelong learning and becoming an expert in your topic is hugely gratifying, and you'll be given opportunities to learn and develop your expertise that you would not be offered should you remain in a TA role.
Ready To Begin The Transition From Teaching Assistant To Teacher?
Deciding to take that next step in your career can be exciting but a little daunting too. However, because you already possess classroom experience, you'll already have a fantastic foundation upon which to build.
To become a qualified Teacher, you'll need to undertake Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The most straightforward route is determining whether your school participates in a Straight to Teaching scheme. If not, you may have to achieve your teaching qualification at a university.
If you already have a degree (in any subject) and achieved a 2:2 or higher, and are a graduate Teaching Assistant, you should be able to apply for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). You can complete this course in one year.
If you don't have a degree, you'll instead need to apply for the undergraduate ITET programme at a university with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Most people achieve this by applying to study for a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree with QTS. This can take three years to complete.
There are still options if you don't have any of the qualifications required to get you onto a university course. You could apply to study for an Access to Higher Education Diploma. The Diploma equates to the 3 A-levels that would be necessary to apply for a university course, and you should be able to apply for your further study from there.
Start Your New Teaching Career Today!
However you begin your journey to transition from Teaching Assistant to Teacher, when you are ready to apply for your new teaching role, Horizon Teachers is here to support you every step of the way. We are education recruitment specialists here to help ensure you find the perfect position to take that next step in your career. Browse our jobs board, or get in touch to see how we can help you today.