To ask if any of you are teaching assistants

(77 Posts)
Madratlady Sun 24-Feb-13 12:13:56

And whether you could tell me what sort of questions to expect at a job interview for a secondary school TA? It looks like it'll be working with the more 'challenging' kids.

I have no experience in this area so I'm really nervous!

Littleturkish Sun 24-Feb-13 12:16:02

Do you have to be shadowed first as part of the interview?

Do you have no experience at all? No children of your own?

What made you apply for the job, how will you react if a student refuses to follow a request by you/the teacher, what will you do if you are disclosed something by a student that suggests they are in danger etc

Madratlady Sun 24-Feb-13 12:32:44

It didn't say anything on the letter about shadowing.

No experience with secondary age kids. I'm 22 so none of my own yet. I've been a volunteer Brownie leader but that's younger children.

Littleturkish Sun 24-Feb-13 12:54:59

Well, they might ask you to shadow an LSA and then would ask you questions about that- that's quite normal.

How about younger teenage siblings? I think your brownie leader experience is totally transferable- you know how to use your voice/tone to convey your instructions, not to shout, have a rapport with young people etc

Also, you were recently a teenager! I always think that helps when you start out ;)

thebody Sun 24-Feb-13 13:34:03

Hi I am a TA in a first school so different ages.

The role is to help the teachers deliver the national curriculum so that each child has the best opportunity to succeed. Every child matters policy

However you need to be thinking along the lines of safeguarding, sharing of information and confidentiality.

How you will work to the schools own discipline and reward schemes.

Being a good role model, positive and enthusiastic but understanding your own limitations and when to ask for help.

This is all on line, also look in the schools website.

Are you going to do the college course? Good luck btw.

poppywillows Sun 24-Feb-13 13:38:35

They'll ask what you would do of one of them came to you to tell you they were suffering abuse either at home or school, what you would do if a student was abusive to you, the usual asking for examples when you've dealt with a difficult person before and also do lots of research on the school so you have questions at the end. The reason I know this is because I know someone who has just had an interview at a secondary school for teaching assistant for challenging kids smile

TroublesomeEx Sun 24-Feb-13 14:28:00

What would you do if you suspected a child was at risk of harm/being harmed/made a disclosure to you that you were worried about?

You will definitely get a question along those lines. The answer is to tell the designated teacher for child protection and record it appropriately. Or something along those lines. It doesn't need to be a fancy answer because the above is what they want you to do and they also want to know that you're not going to conduct your own mini investigation.

You will probably have something along the lines of:

What is your understanding of the role of a teaching assistant?

You will be working closely with the class teacher/other teachers in the year group/key stage. How will you go about ensuring good relationships within the team?

Look at the person specification again. Make sure you have an example to offer of your experience for each of the points on the person spec. Make sure you know your 'personal statement' bit of the application form inside out and can elaborate on the evidence you gave in that.

Remember, you've already impressed them because you've got an interview. All they want to do now is cross the Ts, dot the Is and make sure they get the right person for them.

Oh and make sure you smile and look the interviewers in the eye, don't be afraid to ask them to repeat a question or take some time to think about it or to come back to a question later. Don't make jokes, but come across as human and someone that they warm to. They want someone who's looking out for their kids.

Good luck x

cocolepew Sun 24-Feb-13 14:46:45

I work in a special school with children with challenging behaviour.
Like others have said you will need to mention confidentially, say thay it is a priority to know who the child protection teacher is, and the first aider . Maybe the children will have behaviour protocols or IEPS and it will be a priority to learn these and the classroom protocol.

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Feb-13 14:53:00

You really need to get yourself some training in order to stand a chance.

Last year the Head at my DS's Infant school advertised for a TA.

Within 3 days of that advert going out, she had 30 applicants and nearly 60 by the end of the week.

The job actually went to a qualified teacher in the end who had decided to return to work after a few years off and decided to be a TA.

Having said that, I do live in London so maybe that's the difference?

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Feb-13 15:00:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CelticPixie Sun 24-Feb-13 15:01:38

It's actually very hard to get a job as TA, especially in a primary school. Unless you have a child there, are an ex pupil, or already know a member of a staff then I wouldn't even bother applying. They will always get first dibs, speaking from personal experience.

Madratlady Sun 24-Feb-13 15:05:58

Thanks everyone!

I'm actually a qualified nurse bit I'm not sure that I want to continue with a career in nursing. It does mean that I have a good knowledge of confidentiality and safeguarding though.

This interview is only for a temporary job but I want to get some experience working with young people.

Worra I'm not getting my hopes up too much, but you don't get anywhere if you don't try!

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Feb-13 15:11:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coconutty Sun 24-Feb-13 15:20:45

I got my first TA job without any experience, that was a good while ago now though. They had over 100 applications for 3 jobs. I think I was just lucky, I did do well in the interview though, could just tell at the time that they liked me.

Also had to spend a lesson with the most challenging class which went well. Be prepared to answer lots of what would you do if...questions.

HorribleMother Sun 24-Feb-13 15:57:00

OP got an interview without any relevant experience or qualifications?! That doesn't happen around here. sad

Madratlady Sun 24-Feb-13 16:04:25

Yes Horrible, I assume it might be something to do with transferable skills.

Some of the replies here have been really helpful. Not so sure about the few basically telling me that I have no chance of getting the job though!

spg1983 Sun 24-Feb-13 17:11:09

I was about the same age as you when I first became a TA in a secondary school and I got asked lots of questions about what I would do if the pupils got over-familiar or didn't respect me as much because I was young. I was the youngest candidate and the others weren't asked those questions but they formed a major part of my interview.

MadamFolly Sun 24-Feb-13 17:40:36

I'm a TA but also a qualified teacher which helps.

I would mention that you are a good team worker who can present a united front to the children with other staff. You could also say you are happy working in the classroom, with small groups and one to one with students. Mention the importance of keeping records in order to track student progress and help with funding applications.

It would be a good idea to learn some of the lingo: SA, SA+, ADHD etc

MajaBiene Sun 24-Feb-13 17:42:24

If you have got an interview then you have a very good chance - they will only interview people who meet all their criteria.

HorribleMother Sun 24-Feb-13 18:12:22

I know a lady with PGCE, and another 30 yrs of nursing experience and they tell me that have no hope of getting an interview for a TA job without TA NVQ (both working on it).

BatmanLovesVodkaAndCherryade Sun 24-Feb-13 18:36:59

Madrat, they won't be interviewing you if they aren't genuinely interested in you - there's not enough money in the budget for that!

Well done on getting to interview - your CV must look good smile

I second / third / fourth all the people saying Child Protection will come up, and it's likely they will ask what you would do if a child was challenging towards you in any way (answer: follow the school's behaviour policy, and if still no go, talk to class teacher / SENCO / Head of Year etc)

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Feb-13 18:41:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

willesden Sun 24-Feb-13 18:44:26

OP didn't ask whether she had a chance actually getting the job, so not understanding WorraLiberty's reply which was very very negative.
As a qualified nurse, you are halfway there, especially with safeguarding and confidentiality issues. You will receive training; they won't expect you to know it all, and as they have invited you to interview, you are in with a good chance. I would ask to spend some time in school before the interview, to pick up on the atmosphere, etc. It will give you more questions to ask in the actual interview too. Good luck.

MajaBiene Sun 24-Feb-13 18:45:17

It will vary from area to area, and the level of TA job. Some jobs might ask for a specific level 3 qualification, or for any equivalent, or just experience, or something else entirely. It is impossible to generalise for all schools across the country.

JambalayaCodfishPie Sun 24-Feb-13 18:51:10

I'm a secondary TA - I was asked the above questions - about confidentiality, disclosures etc.

I was also asked basic literacy/numeracy questions etc.

My previous experience was restaurant management - plus a bit of voluntary work in a primary school.

I got offered the job after telling a rowdy class waiting by the interview room that 'Considering you have no idea who I am, or why I'm sat here you are not giving a very good impression of your school.' They shut up instantly, the panel overheard, and were impressed. grin

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