Top 5 Most Important Skills for Becoming a Teaching Assistant

teaching assistant - woman teaching a young boy

Whilst some people may assume that becoming a teaching assistant is a walk in the park, the reality of the situation is that there is actually a lot of hard work and responsibility in becoming a teaching assistant. Luckily if you become a qualified teaching assistant with NCC Home Learning and read some of our tips, you’ll be qualified in no time.

  1. Patience

Patience is necessary for any training or job you’ll ever do; however, it is extremely important as a teaching assistant, and a skill you’ll have to perfect when you become one. Children can be hard work at times and if you lose your temper, they’ll either lose respect for you, or you’ll get in serious trouble from your superiors.

This is also a key quality to have if you have any challenging students. Some students need an extra hand, which may become tiresome, causing you to feel irritated. Keep in mind the importance of patience in these situations.

Staying patient is also important when dealing with your fellow colleagues. It’s fine to disagree with them on certain aspects of the projects you work on together (as long as you never undermine your colleague), but what’s not OK is to get angry. If you’ve got no patience, being a teaching assistant is going to be a very tricky job for you.

  1. Creativity

Children get bored easily; with boredom comes lack of enthusiasm to work and therefore hinders their learning. If you want to be the best teaching assistant, you need to be able to think of new ideas, new projects, think on your feet and be fun. You need to constantly be willing to seek inspiration from the people and world around you and think up ways to implement them into lessons.

Although the teacher leading the lesson will do a lot of the creative parts, you need to be able to work alongside each other, rather than consider an assistant as a ‘’back-up’’ teacher. Get creative and have fun!

  1. Desire to Work with Children

    teaching assistant - classroom full of students

If you have no desire to work with children, stop. You should only consider becoming a teaching assistant if you actually want to work with children. It’s not fair to the children, the staff and yourself if you don’t really enjoy spending time with kids. Teaching assistants don’t just sit around doing nothing, they work tirelessly with kids every day. If you love spending time with kids, this is the perfect job for you.

If you enjoy spending time with children but have no experience working with them, it is still possible to get onto courses and find teaching assistant jobs. However, gaining some experience in the field will give you higher chances of getting the job you want.

Ask around local charities, schools and volunteer projects who work with kids as a way to gain some experience. This will look great on your CV, but also give you more of a feel for the industry.

  1. Communication and Teamwork

You’ll have to communicate with many people as a teaching assistant. These range from parents and guardians, to staff and more. If your communication skills are lacking, you’ll struggle. Always listen to your colleagues and follow protocols.

Remember that many members of a team make up a school. No one member is over another. Treat your co-workers with respect and you’ll work well together.

  1. Good All-Round Knowledge

Children love to learn about a huge range of topics and they never stop asking questions. If you have a good range of knowledge, you’ll create a bond with the students and they will love to spend time asking you questions.

Good reading, numeracy and writing skills are also essential for becoming a teaching assistant.

As well as the above skills, it is important to think about qualifications. There are multiple paths you can choose to become a qualified teacher, however, usually those with formal qualifications alongside experience are given an advantage over those who do not. Take some time to consider enrolling onto a course to further your chances of working for a school of your choice.

Be Yourself

It’s true that the above skills are essential for being a great teaching assistant. It is also worth keeping in mind that you must not lose who you are in the process. Keep these qualities in your mind as you train and work, but be sure to bring your own flair to the workplace too!

Follow these tips to get the most out of your teaching assistant experience and enjoy yourself along the way.

If becoming a teaching assistant has been on your mind, have a look at these NCC Home Learning courses today.

*A COLLABORATIVE GUEST POST*
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