How to become a Teaching Assistant – start a new career like student Sue

September 16, 2019 / Libby Barrett

Open Study College student Sue realised working with children was her dream career path. After seeing a teaching assistant role open up at the local school, she found the motivation to enrol onto a course and succeed in getting the job she wanted!

Whether you have moved to another country with different education systems or missed out on key stages in compulsory education – you can be left feeling unable to progress in your career. Be it a lack of qualifications or little belief in yourself, it can be quite crippling.
Thankfully it’s never too late to return to learning, as many of our students have shown us. Sue’s education was disrupted in her teens, but now she’s working as a teaching assistant in a job she loves.

What’s your background in terms of education?

I lived in South Africa from age 2 to age 14. I moved back to the UK at the end of year 9. Had I stayed in Africa, I would have been in education until I was 21 years old. In the UK I left school at 16 with just a couple of GCSEs. The upheaval had a big effect on my education.

What made you want to study your chosen course?

The school in the village where I live was recruiting for a caretaker, which I successfully applied for. I was asked to help out with lunches, which made me realise that I loved working with children, and I wanted to pursue it as a career.

What was your motivation for studying?

My positive attitude and enjoyment of working with the children was noticed by senior staff. There was a teaching assistant role opening up within the school, but I needed to complete a CACHE qualification in order to be considered for it, and there was only 5 months to do it.
I enrolled on CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools with Open Study College and was able to complete the course, and the required 100 placement hours, within the required time. I was offered the job!

Why did you choose distance learning over traditional study methods?

I chose distance learning due to the flexibility of the course. It fitted in around my family life and current job.

Why did you choose to study with Open Study College?

I looked at a lot of online courses. I read the positive reviews about Open Study College and checked that the qualification was recognised. This gave me the peace of mind to enrol and start my studies.

What have you enjoyed most about your studies?

I have enjoyed building my confidence. Because I left school with few qualifications, I didn’t think I was smart enough. Achieving my qualifications with limited help was the most enjoyable and rewarding part of studying for me.

What have you done with your course since completing your studies?

After completing and passing the CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, I was offered the job I love. I then enrolled on, and completed, the next level (CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools), purely for my own personal growth!

Do you plan to study any further in the future?

I am considering studying Maths at GCSE level.

What are your career goals?

I would love to be a HLTA (higher level teaching assistant) or perhaps even progress onto teacher training in the future.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to thank both of my tutors, who were amazing. They were very responsive and marked my work very quickly, which helped to achieve my first qualification within the short space of 5 months.

Thanks Sue, for sharing your experiences with us.
Sue’s motivation to get the qualification needed for the teaching assistant job role meant she stepped into her dream career working with children! It’s incredible what you can achieve when you really want something!
If you feel inspired by Sue’s return to education and want to start your journey towards a job you love, distance learning could be the right path for you. Visit our website to browse 550+ courses, or speak to us on 03300 563100 to find out more about the courses we offer.

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Libby Barrett

As Digital Content Executive for OSC, I'm currently studying my IDM Digital Marketing qualification through distance learning. I absolutely love all things creative and when I'm not at Open Study College, I'm being a complete theatre nerd, performing in panto or amateur productions!

How to become a Teaching Assistant – start a new career like student Sue
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