Many talented teachers begin their careers in education as Teaching Assistants (TAs) where they develop their organisational skills and build strong working relationships with children and adults. If you’re a TA and you’re keen to progress and develop a career as a qualified teacher, it’s important to understand the different paths available before deciding on the route that’s right for you. Fortunately there are many ways in which you can achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), including (but not limited to):
- A one-year university-based PGCE course (if you already have a degree).
- A school-based Teach First course if you have a degree with upper second class honors or above
- Three-year university-based ITE courses, for which you don’t necessarily need a degree
If you do not yet have an undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification, but are not overly keen on spending three years at university to obtain QTS, you may be able to take a foundation degree on a part-time basis over a number of years, combining this with working as a TA. Simply Education has helped many Teaching Assistants who have wanted to kickstart their teaching careers, and we would be happy to point you in the right direction.
Even though there are lots of different steps to becoming a Teacher, it’s incredibly important to understand what is expected of you in terms of skills, experience and passion. Whether you’re currently a Level 1, 2 or 3 Teaching Assistant, it’s recommended that you undertake Continuous Professional Development Training, which is something we make easily accessible to all TAs and Teachers who register with us. The more knowledge you can acquire on positive handling strategies, behavioural management and risk reduction, the better equipped you’ll be for the journey ahead, building confidence and competence.
As you develop experience and gain the relevant qualifications to become a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), you will discover there are further challenges ahead, especially considering the fact that approximately 35,000 NQTs enter the job market each year. With such competition for places, it’s important to search for schools that are right for you, not just in terms of locality, but also ambition. You can then begin to visualise the environment you’d like to teach in and research those schools. As you do, you will develop an understanding on the teachers they’re hoping to recruit. At Simply Education, we help NQTs find their dream jobs by ensuring they are 100% prepared, carrying out thorough research and prepping them for their interviews.
Working as a Teaching Assistant is immensely rewarding and challenging, and you’re already playing a major role in ensuring students get the best education possible. You may not be 100% sure on where you want to be in 3, 5 or 10 years time, but if you do decide to make the jump, we can promise you that the journey to becoming a teacher will be one of the most rewarding and exciting adventures in your career.