SEN Teaching Assistant: The Quiet Hero
For many of us, the school was a time where we were taught by teachers. We had some that we loved and others who just didn't meet our needs. But what about the people who helped those teachers? The ones are known as SEN Teaching Assistants or TAs for short?
Say hello to one of the unsung heroes in education!
What is a SEN Teaching Assistant?
A SEN Teaching Assistant, also known as an auxiliary or support worker, works in schools to provide assistance for teachers in delivering an exciting and engaging curriculum. They offer additional learning opportunities for pupils, helping them to develop academically, socially and emotionally.
They assist with activities associated with the day-to-day running of a classroom. For example, they may be responsible for administering medication or overseeing playtime in nursery schools.
Their work varies depending on what grade level (primary school/secondary school) and what subject area (science/art) they are working within.
What does a SEN Teaching Assistant do?
For students with
special educational needs (SEN) to get a thorough and quality
education, they need help. And who is better than an SEN TA? These
teachers work hard both during school hours and outside, often
going above and beyond what is required. They contribute endless
time and effort to better their students' lives and learn new
skills, all the while being a great example of what it is to be
How to become a SEN Teaching Assistant?
The path to becoming a Teaching Assistant starts by gaining the required qualifications. This will depend on what grade level and what subject area you are interested in working within. While it is possible for people with no formal education past high school, it is recommended that those who want to become SEN Teaching Assistants earn at least an undergraduate degree.
What it takes to become a SEN Teaching Assistant
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to enjoy working with other people
- to be flexible and open to change
- excellent verbal communication skills
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- the ability to understand people's reactions
- active listening skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
How do I become a SEN Teaching Assistant with no experience?
There are several ways to become a Teaching Assistant with no experience.
Most people start off as an agency worker and then seek paid employment when the school knows what they can do based on what you learned in training at your last agency. You may also be able to find work through social media, like LinkedIn or Facebook groups for parents, or through your local newspaper.
Can I become a SEN Teaching Assistant as a recent graduate?
Working with children is a great way to get experience while you are still studying.
You might not get paid, but you will be gaining the experience that employers are looking for.
Working with children can be a great way to gain some experience while studying, and it could even help you land a job after graduation. It is also an opportunity to develop interpersonal skills and learn more about working in this sector. You can often find opportunities through schools, colleges, or local charities – you just have to look around. You will usually not get paid, but you'll be gaining the valuable experience that employers are looking for!
What qualifications do you need to become a SEN Teaching Assistant?
A Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant needs to have a high school diploma or GED. You must also be at least 18 years old and pass all of the required drug tests, background checks, health examinations, and other screenings in your area.
What is the difference between a special education teacher and a sen teaching assistant?
A special education teacher works directly with the child on a one-on-one basis, while a SEN Teaching Assistant assists the student's regular education classroom teachers. You may be assigned to work as a reading or math tutor for example. This position often requires you to do some travelling from school to school depending upon what students need assistance with what.
How to find a TA for your child?
The big question for parents with SEN children maybe how do I find out if there are any TAs available? There's no easy answer as this differs depending on where you live and your child's school. The best thing is to find out what your school's SEN policy or plan says, as this will give you a good idea of the support, they offer students with special needs and how it works within the school environment. It may also explain whether there are TAs available for specific subjects that your child takes.
Whether you have an existing TA or are looking for extra support, make sure you let them know what your child's needs are. They will want to help as much as possible and may have some great ideas for doing this. It doesn't just stop with parents either! Talk to other teachers in the school about whether there is anything that could be done to improve your child's learning or a particular subject they could do with some extra help.
If your child is working towards exams, make sure the subject teachers are aware of this and that any extra support they can give will be greatly appreciated. TAs don't just work with students daily, though; many also attend SEN training courses to ensure they have all the information needed to do their job well. These courses help TAs develop their skills and knowledge and build a network of fellow SEN teachers.
Being a TA is not an easy job, but it's certainly rewarding when you see how much your hard work makes a difference to the lives of all the children you support! It takes dedication and resourcefulness to help so many students on such different levels, let alone do this alongside any teaching you may be doing!
Applying for SEN Teaching Assistant jobs
If you would like to consider becoming SEN teaching assistant, there are several ways to get started. The first way is that you can work in a school or college as an unqualified teacher, which means that although you might not have the qualification yet, your employer will give you some experience and training. But, at the same time, they wait for you to complete it (although this isn't always possible).
Because the job requires less formal education and training, your resume should be more focused on evidence of what you have done in jobs before this one. For example, if you have experience working one-on-one with children who require special attention or even babysitting for families that have kids with disabilities then be sure to include it.
You should also mention what your role was in the situation and what kind of work you did (helped out with homework; helped keep them active; etc.). You may want to consider including what kinds of activities you enjoyed doing while helping these children too. This will show potential employers how enthusiastic and energetic about this type of work you are which is important because there's a good chance they will ask during the interview process!
You are a true hero if you choose to be a teaching assistant. These dedicated professionals work hard every day with young students. They help create an environment conducive to learning, and they play an invaluable role in the education of our youth.
What do you think?
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