5 Key Qualities of a Teaching Assistant

Is it your dream to become a teaching assistant?

Teaching assistants are an important part of schools and education and are crucial to help support teachers. A teaching assistant can work in a primary school or secondary school and often work with small groups of children or students to develop their learning.

Take a look and see if you have these 5 key qualities you need to become a teaching assistant...

Building strong relationships

When working as a teaching assistant you will not only have to build good relationships with your pupils but staff and parents too. Support staff have as much interaction with parents and pupils as teachers do, so it’s vital that you build up a strong rapport.

You need to get to know your students, for them to relate to and trust you in the classroom. Parents also need to feel confident that you can meet their child’s educational needs.

Know how children develop and learn

Whether you would like to become a teaching assistant for early years or secondary school students, you will need to know how your pupils learn and develop. You need to have a clear and thorough understanding of educational, learning, and development theories.

You should also have the ability to know when your students need extra support so you can work alongside the teacher to form a development plan for them.

In primary schools, support staff will often take small groups of children out of the classroom and develop their literacy and numeracy skills with different learning activities. This is often the pupils who need extra support. Understanding development levels are vital in helping them progress.

Ability to work in a team

A school operates as a team, so it is important for you to work together with your colleagues. The teacher and assistant form a vital team within the classroom. For a lesson to run smoothly you will both have to work well together.

Have passion and energy

You should have a passion for working with children and developing their learning. Daily responsibilities can vary from day to day. Some of these include assisting with lesson planning, creating displays, and engaging your pupils.

Good communication

Dealing with different types of people every day, a teaching assistant will need to be a good communicator. Being a ‘connection to knowledge’ for students will mean explaining information clearly in a way that your pupils will understand.

If you're thinking about changing your career and becoming a teaching assistant, take a look at our CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools course. If you're already a teaching assistant and looking to progress your career, our CACHE Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner for Schools and Colleges may be for you.

You can also read our full guide on how to become a teaching assistant.

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Sharnie Carter

Passionate about marketing and education. Currently studying a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing via distance learning. When I'm not working or studying, I'm spending time with my young son and husband or hinching!

5 Key Qualities of a Teaching Assistant