Being a Teaching Assistant

What’s involved in being a Teaching Assistant Level One
Typically, Teaching Assistants (TA’s) work Monday to Friday during term time, with their annual leave coinciding with school holidays.  Most TA’s work 8.30 am to the end of the school day, but this will vary dependant on the extracurricular activities on offer by school, such as sport.  TA’s can work both full-time and part-time, as with other supportive roles. Obviously, time off during term time is tightly controlled as it is with teachers.

TA’s are a vital member of the school workforce and now play a pivotal role within the classroom. Their role is to assist the class teacher and support pupils with a wide range of learning activities, as well as performing key administrative tasks.

There are different levels of TA’s based on experience and qualifications, here’s a summary of responsibilities based on level one, but every role will differ slightly according to classroom requirements.

Purpose of the Role
To work with teachers to support teaching and learning, providing general and specific assistance to pupils and staff under the direction, guidance and direct supervision of the classroom teacher1.

Key duties:

  • Work with individuals or small groups of pupils in the classroom under the direct supervision of teaching staff and provide feedback to the teacher.
  • Support pupils to understand instructions and support independent learning and inclusion of all pupils.
  • Support the teacher in behaviour management and keeping pupils on task.
  • Support pupils in social and emotional well-being, reporting problems to the teacher as appropriate.
  • Prepare and clear up learning environment and resources, including photocopying, filing and the display and presentation of pupils work and contribute to maintaining a safe environment.

Teaching Assistants in this role may also undertake some or all of the following:

  • Record basic pupil data
  • Support children’s learning through play
  • Assist with break-time supervision including facilitating games and activities
  • Assist with escorting pupils on educational visits
  • Support pupils in using basic ICT
  • Invigilate exams and tests
  • Assist pupils with eating, dressing and hygiene, as required, whilst encouraging independence.

Obviously the more experienced and advanced a TA becomes more responsibilities and duties are transferred from teacher TA, for further insight into advanced duties you may want read our TA summaries of level, 2, 3 and 4.