What is a Teaching Assistant?
Usually, a teaching assistant (TA) is a trained person who is the qualified person with responsibilities of ensuring students and safe and support them with their learning.
At level 2 you will be a classroom teaching assistant with no additional responsibilities you will oversee the whole class and work with everyone. You may prepared resources for work, make display boards, support in trips and keep the classroom safe and clean.
You will have to respond to the needs of the children with or without SEN, (Speical Educational Needs) Teaching Assistants at Level 2 will work under the guidance of a classroom teacher in ensuring that the lesson runs safely and smoothly. They are an extra pair of hands and eye. They would have a line manager who would be an HLTA. Higher Level Teaching Assistant.
Some teaching assistants even contribute to the development of the teacher’s lesson plans. To give the students support in areas that the TA has I identify. At level 2 this might be providing feedback to the class teacher. At a higher level such as HLTA this might be to make and make a lesson. Read more about HLTA.
After, level 2 TA you might want to become a Level 3 TA or become an HLTA.
I have been asked this question several times now and I find it hard really pinpoint myself. However, I think there is a few things to bear in mind. When talking about Specialist Teaching Assistant and an HLTA.
To start off with its important to understand that the employer have an overall say in what happens within your organisation in regards to Teaching Assistants job role, however, there has to be considerations in regards to workload and subject knowledge and how confident you feel. Advice can be found on the following website about this.
A HLTA is a teaching assistant with supervisor responsibilities over other teaching assistants and may plan and cover lessons as and when required.
They work with teachers and SENCOs to improve and raise standards of learning and wellbeing.
A level 3 TA has not got management tasks or supervisor responsibility for the other TAs they would normally have a subject they are confident in and would support and oversee projects to do with that subject e.g. English TA would attend all core skills meeting and work with the teacher closely. They may deliver planing from the teacher but they would not make lesson plans. However, they are allowed to contribute to lesson plans they may also ask have meetings and information.
What is a PGCE? and what do I need to know.
What is a PGCE?
PGCE stands for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. This course is for people who have a Level 6 to 7 Degree in their chosen subject to teach in.
The PGCE is two years part-time and one-year full time. This usually is academic years.
Part-time you would attend a classroom of trainee teachers and work on all your coursework in your own time. To take this course, you often need to be teaching at a school up to 150 hours a year.
Full time you would attend the classroom lessons 4 to 5 days a week, and you would work and complete all your work in and out of the classroom. Towards the end of the degree, you would do a 3 to 4-week placement. You might have to find this yourself, or your provider will find one for you or help.
Depending on the type of PGCE you go for you will have to apply to be a qualified teacher at the end of the PGCE. A PGCE is a qualification demonstrating your ability as a teacher and proving you have been trained as a teacher.
However, to become and qualified teacher you will need to apply for QTS or QTLS may have QTS. This is your licence to practice and proof of competence.
Some PGCE have QTS included in their PGCE. However, you must check this before applying for your PGCE as it is pricey to pay on your own.
For more information on QTS and QTLS subscribe.