July 30th, 2012
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Would You Make a Good Teaching Assistant: Yes or No?
Lots of people think about becoming a teaching assistant. On the surface it looks to be an incredibly rewarding job, and indeed this is often the case. However it will only hold true if you are the right sort of person for the job. If you are currently thinking about going into this career, it might be worth trying to answer some of the following questions to get your ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.
Do you love interacting with children?
This is a must for whatever age group you want to work with. For some would be teaching assistants, this might mean working well with five year olds or slightly older children. For others who want to work with pre-schoolers, it might be a case of having experience with toddlers. You don’t need to have children of your own to be a good teaching assistant; however you do need to have an enthusiasm for the kids you know through friends and family.
Are you generally a positive and happy person?
Children tend to react to the people around them. If you are happy and positive they will enjoy being around you and respond to your teaching skills. If you have a bad day, they’ll react to that too! You need to be positive and enthusiastic at all times and never have an off day (or at least if you do, it should be well hidden as far as your class is concerned).
Are you prepared to learn and develop your skills?
As a teaching assistant you can learn a lot from the teacher(s) you will be supporting in your role. Even when you have appropriate qualifications prior to starting your job – such as an ECD level 4 for example – you still need to be prepared to learn in the classroom or nursery setting.
While most children can be quite pleasant and well behaved, some are not. It would be foolhardy to suggest the class or group you are assisting would not have one or two misbehaved children in there. This holds true whatever age group you work with. So you must be able to handle these children and to provide disciplinary measures that are appropriate. This is one of the issues that are typically dealt with during your training, so you will learn more about this.
In truth, you will probably already have a fairly good idea of whether or not you would make a good teaching assistant. Those who follow this career path will already have an idea of what to expect, and will also be inspired to work with children. After all, if you didn’t like kids you wouldn’t even consider this career path in the first place.
One final tip for you – see if you can talk with someone who is already working as a teaching assistant. This will enable you to find out more about the job and what it entails.
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