What Does A Primary Teaching Assistant Do?
The role of a primary teaching assistant is to support the class teacher, and they will act as an extra pair of hands in providing children with attention and care regarding their educational and social development. While the main duties of a primary school teaching assistant will be classroom-based, there may be an expectation for the teaching assistant to be involved in extracurricular activities and school events or trips too.
What does a primary teaching assistant do? An overview
The roles and responsibilities of primary teaching assistants can change depending on the school they work for. However, the basic requirements of the role and the typical duties of a primary teaching assistant are laid out below:
- Getting the classroom set up at the start of the day
- Gathering and setting out resources for the children
- Lesson planning assistance
- Providing one-to-one support for pupils. This could be generally, or may be more focused on those with behavioural problems or special education needs (SEN)
- Helping to manage disruptive pupils
- Overseeing and supervising classroom activities, helping children to move on to the next tasks, and ensuring all pupils are keeping up with what is being asked of them
- Cleaning and tidying the classroom after the lesson has finished
- Helping out at school events or with extracurriculars such as sports days or school plays
- Training and personal development within the role
- General administrative tasks
A primary TA will be directed by the classroom teacher, and their duties may vary day-to-day depending on what is being taught and what additional support the class teacher requires. Typically, a primary teaching assistant will work with smaller groups of children during the lesson or one-on-one with those who need some extra support.
What skills and experience are required to become a primary school teaching assistant?
While primary teaching assistants donâ€™t require specific qualifications to apply for the role, some skills will make your application more desirable. These include:
- Solid communication skills (not just with pupils but staff and parents too)
- Being organised and good at multitasking
- Basic computer literacy
- Being reliable and positive
- A good work ethic and a strong sense of responsibility
- Compassion and empathy
- A passion for education and bringing out the best in pupils
- Good literacy and numeracy skills
- Being imaginative and fun
- Ability to manage groups of children confidently
- Ability to deal with challenging behaviour
Application requirements for a primary teaching assistant role can vary, and schools will state what they are looking for in their job vacancy posting. Some may require experience and qualifications, while others are more concerned about getting the right kind of person in the role and are happy for teaching assistants to learn as they go.
Typically, obtaining A-C grades in GCSE maths and English can help with your application, and any childcare qualifications or experience working with children can be beneficial when applying for primary teaching assistant roles
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