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Could I become a TA if my maths is really bad?

(51 Posts)
chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:00:45

Hi, I'm looking for a bit of a career change. At the moment I work in a home for young people with autism who have left school and are preparing for independent living. I work nights as it fits in around my 10 year old daughter. I obviously have experience of learning disabilities, autism, epilepsy, first aid and many other care related qualifications.
I'd really like to work in a primary school as a TA. I've looked into the qualifications and I'd be happy to do the TA training but my maths is shocking! I was always really bad at it at school and it states you need a C grade GCSE. I've been looking at some GCSE related course work and it still makes no sense to me. I could get by with primary school maths... I think. If I do decide to take the GCSE again, how long would it take?
Also could I do some voluntary work in the school while taking the course? I have an up to date CRB check.

Feenie Fri 24-Jul-15 14:04:16

But what you airily call 'primary school maths' can easily go up to what will be in September an old level 6, which is around a D at GCSE, I believe.

mrz Fri 24-Jul-15 14:06:44

Level 6 is roughly D-C at GCSE

cuntycowfacemonkey Fri 24-Jul-15 14:07:27

I'm fairly good with maths but the way it's taught now in primary schools is vastly different to when I was at school. You may be ok at the lower end of the school but you may really struggle from year 3 up.

I would imagine you can do GCSE as an evening class but I'm guessing that would be a year long course?

chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:08:51

Ok, maybe not then...

mrz Fri 24-Jul-15 14:10:47

You can do an equivalency course

chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:13:49

Ok, it's the younger one's I'd like to help out with anyway. I'd be willing to re-take maths in order to do this but not sure I'd ever get a good grade.

chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:17:25

Thank you. My GNVQ was classed as the equivalent to GCSE's, that's how I got around my lack of maths before. Realistically though, I do need to be able to do it as I don't want the children having to teach me. blush

OhYouBadBadKitten Fri 24-Jul-15 14:20:13

Why don't you aim for infants?

chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:21:21

Would I be able to do some voluntary work within the school while I'm studying? Maybe hearing the children read, helping to set things up etc? That way, I would get some experience and see what it's like before committing to the dreaded maths.

mrz Fri 24-Jul-15 14:21:45


chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:24:28

I could do. What do they class as infants? pre school or key stage one?

chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:29:13

Sorry mrz your hmm link won't pop up. It could be my computer..

WhatWouldBlairWaldorfDo Fri 24-Jul-15 14:30:16

You do need to be able to do basic maths. Im a Ta and last year i was in year 5 (so 9/10 yr olds). As an example, my bottom table in bottom set spent the last month on

Gathering info from a line graph

Plotting points and extrapolating

Adding fractions with different denominators, then simplifying. eg, 3/8 + 17/24 = 26/24 = 1 2/24 = 1 1/12

Converting fractions to decimal / %

I would struggle to assist tbh if i couldnt work things like that out quickly in my head.

I think its always worth trying to improve your own maths, whether for work or just for yourself. We use maths all day every day (time/money etc). Maybe coming at it as an adult you will find it easier than as a child?

Maybe look online at some of the childrens games/quizzes for that age and familiarise yourself with what they are actually learning, and even do some games yourself to freshen up your skills. You may surprise yourself smile

ouryve Fri 24-Jul-15 14:30:33

You could, but you could easily find yourself in a position where you're supporting a child who is better at maths than you.

Rummikub Fri 24-Jul-15 14:34:20

Go I to the move-on website. Try the assessment on there. Of you assess at level 2 then you could go for a GCSE in maths. Some courses will accept a level 2 equivalent.
If you assess as below level 2 then you'll need to get the basics first.

Rummikub Fri 24-Jul-15 14:35:09

Oops lots of typos.

chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:37:57

Hmm, I'm not sure it's going to be for me in that case. What you've explained, makes very little sense to me. I get by day to day with maths, but that's about it. I could well be supporting a child who is having to teach me.
I'll have a go at some of the on-line games and see if I do pick it up any better as an adult. My daughter has severe learning difficulties and possible ASD, so I haven't had any experience of what average children in her year group are learning.

chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:39:22

Ok Rummikub, I'll have a go. Thank you!

Rummikub Fri 24-Jul-15 14:41:37

There will be places you can go to learn maths. Probably in 2-4 hours a week. Be patient with yourself. Get the basics then go up a level.

WhatWouldBlairWaldorfDo Fri 24-Jul-15 14:46:43

Also keep in mind that methods have really changed over the years. Im 29 and do things a completely different way in my head, than how the kids do it on paper.

That may be good for you if things didnt stick last time. Maybe a new approach is what you need? Dont write yourself off just yet smile

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Im good at maths, ICT and science, but im shite at art. So out of lesson time i focus on more practical stuff, the other TA does all the displays etc, while i sit marking books and filling out records. Though it could all change in september depending on who im paired with smile

Definitely volunteer if you can, to get a better feel for the job x

chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:46:56

Thank you, I will. I do love to study, I'm a bit strange like that. Maths is the only thing that doesn't interest me at all though. Maybe that is why I never picked it up. I used to feel sorry for my maths teacher.

chuffinalong Fri 24-Jul-15 14:51:29

Thank you. smile I am another arty one. I am very creative and write children's stories, mostly in rhyming text for my daughter just for fun. I've always had a love of literature.

Millymollymama Fri 24-Jul-15 17:50:17

You need to look at the educational requirements for the job and the last time I looked a C at GCSE Maths (or equivalent) was necessary. If your GNVQ is equivalent to a C for Maths GCSE, then you are OK. It does not matter what work the children are doing, you will be qualified to do the job. Although you need English GCSE to of course.

There are plenty of teachers who struggle to teach the new Maths curriculum for the upper ages in a primary school becuase it now contains work previously taught in year 7. So at about level 6, you won't be far ahead of some of the children. Try and work to your strengths if you can. Check your qualifications are equivalent though.

insanityscatching Fri 24-Jul-15 18:35:51

My dd has TAs attached to her because of her statement. We have had experience of one TA who appeared to be barely literate judging by the spelling and grammar mistakes in dd's communication book. I'm afraid that even if she was a kind, supportive and experienced TA I couldn't get past the poor literacy particularly as dd is pretty able and was correcting them.
Could you go to night classes alongside volunteering with a long term view to becoming a TA?
Dd's current keyworker and sole TA next year is a qualified teacher and it seems to be becoming increasingly common so you might be up against stiff competition in any case.

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