I have completed 2 years of a BA (hons) in primary education with qts. I left after 2 years as I struggled with work and childcare, i am hopefully going to return to finish my final year at somepoint.
I have worked as a TA in a year 4 class in Primary for the last 2 years but my contract ended this summer.
I have an interview for a TA3 position in a secondary school on Friday and would really appreciate some advice/tips on what to expect at the interview and the major differences between Primary and Secondary (apart from the obvious!!) TBH, i have no idea what to expect! I really need this job though, DP left us 8 weeks ago and I am really struggling financially, any help would be helpful!
We don't have TAs in our school, but I have worked with many when I was supply/contract in mega schools.
One thing to consider (may not be an option) - which part of the curriculum would you like to focus on - English, Maths, Science, Humanities, Tech?
TAs tend to work with slower learners, and with medically disadvantaged children. The slow learners may need help by being read to, having questions rephrased, and help with composing answers and writing - as well as general organisation stuff. The disabled children may be very bright, but need help getting around school, and some may need in-class support (eg if visually impaired).
As QTS, you could also offer cover work - they may like this flexibility, and it could be a stepping stone to teaching for you if that is what you ultimately want.
Nixz, wouldn't it be better if you asked TAs what questions they got asked?
I think one thing TAs need to be able to do is to be unobtrusive and supportive at the same time. Many times TAs are called upon to support more than one child in the same room or to give general support to the whole group. It is not just about 1 to 1 with a child which sometimes is important for that one child to have you back away and by working with the whole group you are supporting an environment in which the one(s) with special needs can become more independent.
So maybe a lot of flexibility, a definite sense of humour and a willingness to be thrown into a new situation at the drop of a hat are important.
I think an element of quiet sternness is good because a lot of times secondary kids are reluctant to see TAs as an authority figure. I insist that the students I teach show my TAs the same respect they show me but I don't think all teachers give the same support.