If I loved going into school and being a parent helper for 3 years

(19 Posts)

in various classes, photocopying homework, filing, glueing, sticking things into books, listening to reading and stuff,

would I like being a teaching assistant?

fwiw I really miss it now the children don't have parent helpers in their classrooms

Leeds2 Wed 20-Aug-14 18:32:46

A lot of people I know have gone on to become TAs following a period of going in as helpers. The couple I know in the private system were funded through the qualification (presume there were conditions!), don't know about the state system.

temporarilyjerry Wed 20-Aug-14 18:46:12

It's the same in the state system, Leeds. TAs in my school started as dinner ladies or parent helpers.

How old are your DCs, OP? Do you still have links with their primary school?

Have links with their old primary.. was very involved with the school.
do you think I should start there or do I need to do some qualification first?

spanieleyes Wed 20-Aug-14 19:32:34

You can't get qualifications without experience and you can't get (paid) experience without qualifications!! Our TA's start as dinner ladies and "volunteer" in the classrooms whilst gaining their level 3 TA qualifications. They then wait until a vacancy arises and hope no one more suitable applies.

so do hours spent as a parent helper/volunteer count towards experience?

spanieleyes Wed 20-Aug-14 19:38:30

Yes,as far as I am aware. I think many TA courses ask for school experience before you start the course and you also need to volunteer whilst on the course too.

temporarilyjerry Wed 20-Aug-14 19:40:14

Why not go and talk to the HT or DHT at the start of term? You seem to be in a good position to work towards this.

eeek thanks.. right.. beginning of term, I will grab the bull by the horns.

cassgate Wed 20-Aug-14 22:15:53

I did exactly what you are thinking about. I was a parent helper at my dcs school and really enjoyed it. I spoke to the school about supporting me through the level 3 at qualification as a volunteer. They were very supportive and I worked 2 full days a week as an unpaid ta in the year 4 class initially but was also offered paid supply as and when needed. This turned into paid part time ta within a few months and I will be full time in September .

CharlesRyder Thu 21-Aug-14 08:24:53

photocopying homework, filing, glueing, sticking things into books, listening to reading and stuff

Depending on the school you may not like being a TA if this is what you would hope to be doing.

Many TAs now primarily deliver intervention, so out of the classroom with a guided reading group or group following a maths booster scheme for example. 1:1 intervention is generally not considered cost effective so expect to be with groups (and associated requirement for behaviour management). TAs also cover the whole class for brief periods of time while the Teacher delivers intervention or has meetings (Annual Review etc).

TAs are also increasingly subject to Appraisal where you would have to demonstrate that your intervention is having an impact on learning.

I would expect the sticking in and photocopying to be a very minimal part of the role.

cassgate Thu 21-Aug-14 11:26:59

I agree with charlesryder. I delivered intervention groups across both key stages and was accountable for progress both in my paid and unpaid role. I like that though many current and wannabe tas don't. I came from a performance pay related background so that doesn't scare me at all. There was very little glueing and sticking as the children do this themselves.

Ferguson Thu 21-Aug-14 17:32:20

As a dad, I started as a parent helper, mainly hearing Yr1 or Yr2 readers, doing half day a week for five years. Also did gardening activities with Yr6 Friday afternoons, and ran an after school keyboard club.

Became a TA in another (infant) school, was there ten years. Then two years in a tough comprehensive. Had a lot of training and courses, and gained experience and became Level 2.

Ran recorder, computer, touch typing and percussion clubs at various times. When Yr2 finished SATs one year, as a 'reward' for their effort, we built a 2m tall tyrannosaurus rex, from cardboard boxes. I worked every day for three weeks, with small groups, in a spare room; as work progressed children showed portions to the other classes, and the finished Rex stood proudly on the hall stage for a few months. (So is you have any special skills, try to expand activities with them.)

Then I retired and continued to do voluntary work in different schools. One of my earliest 'readers' turned up again seventeen years later, when she was in her final year of Teacher Training! Our roles were reversed, and SHE needed to direct ME in the classroom.

So: Yes, go for it.

Iamnotminterested Thu 21-Aug-14 18:58:41

Agree with the last three posters.

I'm a TA and if only my job was as simple as sticking stuff in books and photo-copying! grin

I work with children who need more support, both academically and behavioural and whilst I really enjoy what I do I have to think on my feet constantly and really earn the pittance that I'm paid.

OOh that sounds ace... I love the idea of doing more.. was just keen to make it understood that I am happy to do the basic admin stuff as well as interacting with the children.

Thank you so much for your kind responses.. will the fact that I am an old gimmer make any difference? (am 40+)

cassgate Thu 21-Aug-14 22:18:02

Age not a barrier I am 43. Most of the tas at my school are older than me. A few young ones in their 20's but most are mid to late 40's.

Ferguson Mon 25-Aug-14 19:03:29

In some ways, 'age' may be an advantage, in that you have more experience and 'life skills'. I was 45+ when I started (having been an office supervisor/manager for the previous twenty years.)

gingeme Tue 26-Aug-14 20:17:20

iamnotinterested can I ask how much you earn? I'm currently a CM and am thinking of becoming a ta next year and wondered if it was worth it as far as pay is concerned ?

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