June 30th, 2012
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Teaching Assistant Training
The role of a teaching assistant is a highly responsible one. You will be assisting teachers in helping children to learn all manner of things, and in order to be able to do this properly you will require training.
However once you are trained and experienced in the position you will find it to be extremely rewarding. Just imagine being able to help young children learn a range of new skills they can use as they go forwards in life. With that in mind, let’s find out more about the teaching assistant training you will need to help you fulfil this role.
Do you really need training to become a teaching assistant?
Very often the answer is yes. Occasionally you may see a position that invites people to apply if they are studying towards a particularly relevant qualification. However you should assume you will need to gain a qualification before you consider applying for any teaching assistant position.
One commonly required qualification is a certificate in ECD level 4. ECD means Early Childhood Development, which explains rather well what you will learn when you take the course. There is also a level 5 qualification which gives you a higher certificate, but many jobs will ask for the level 4 as a minimum.
If you are seeking work in a crèche or nursery that focuses on assisting with very young children, you may benefit further from a Diploma in Child Care or a similar qualification. It is not a requirement to have a First Aid certificate but you may find it gives you an edge over fellow applicants who do not have this certificate. It can make you more employable.
How important is it to have prior experience with children before undertaking teaching assistant training?
It is very important to have prior experience, even if this involves having children of your own. You may also be able to demonstrate looking after a young relative for a period of time. You must have some evidence of working with children to show the interviewers that you have some idea of what to expect from the job.
Can you seek further education and qualifications to further your career?
Yes you can: indeed some teaching assistants look on this as a path into teaching proper. Some teaching assistants will study to attain a teaching diploma or degree course while they are working in their current role. It is also a good way to attain a basic qualification (the ECD qualification) to work in this setting while deciding whether or not to progress to become a teacher at a later date.
So you can see it is worth planning out the training you need to take in order to have a good chance of applying for a range of teaching assistant jobs in South Africa. This is one area where plenty of jobs are typically available in all areas, so it can be a promising career to enter into, with good prospects for the future as well. Could it suit you too?