Have you just qualified as a teacher or are you ready to embark on your teaching assistant career but worried that you haven’t secured a permanent position for the coming September? Don’t panic, you aren’t alone
You can work in the classroom and feel fulfilled as a cover teacher, teaching assistant or learning support assistant with SupplyWell and you can start as soon as the new term. Here are 5 reasons why working as a teaching assistant is for you this September…
1. Confidence building
Working as a cover staff member can be daunting at first, especially if you choose to do short term supply, but typically teaching assistants are given long term opportunities. You do naturally grow in confidence the more you go into schools and you will develop a wealth of knowledge and experience under your belt which will be a confidence booster for applying for future roles and makes you an even more appealing candidate.
2. Try out different settings
Going into schools as a supply teacher or teaching assistant means that you have the opportunity to discover and explore different school environments. You have a choice of different settings and responsibilities that you might not have had during your placements or in previous roles. For instance you have the choice of SEN schools, secondary schools, primary schools, schools that are acadamised or grammar schools, plus many more. The world is your oyster!
The beauty of working as a cover TA is that you are empowered to pick where you want to work and who for. You might already know what type of school you want to work in, but the option of variety will be refreshing. This is a fantastic way of gaining a vast variety of experience, insights and skills that will make you even more appealing to potential employers and will help you move up the pay scale.
As well as trying out different settings, you will also get to grips with what kind of environments and schools cultures that you prefer. Have you thought about what kind of school ethos resonates with you? Are you someone who appreciates strong behavioural policies and values respect? Do you love working in schools that emphasise pastoral needs for students? You can see an extensive list of school value examples here that can help you get inspiration on what kind of things YOU value in a school culture. Working in different schools will empower you to know what kind of school community and ‘vibe’ suits you best.
If you are apprehensive about going into supply as a teacher, you can consider starting cover in a different role. It’s increasingly popular that some teachers who are returning from a long absence from the classroom prefer to work as teaching assistants while they acclimatise to cover life and then move towards teaching roles as they become more confident. This is another different option that could be for you this September.
3. Lifestyle choice
More and more teaching assistants are choosing to work on supply as the lifestyle suits their needs. Working on cover has flexibility which doesn’t happen in permanent roles, you are able to work around other life commitments.
Depending on your role and qualifications you could be earning the equivalent wage or even more, in comparison to a permanent position even with working less days per week. On top of this, the longer you work with SupplyWell alongside completing CPD means that you are able to move up the pay scale, embarking on a SupplyWell TA career.
4. Access to CPD
At SupplyWell we have regular CPD events to help you keep up to date with the latest developments in the education industry. We recently partnered with SendScope who provide tuition and training in an alternative school setting to year 6, 7 and 8. This means that teaching assistants have regular opportunities throughout the year to attend the training sessions regardless of their career stage. Attending SendScope training sessions will help you build your confidence and skill set especially if you’re working in a SEND role.
5. Professional support and advice
SupplyWell is built by a team of ex teachers and education staff who are specialists in supporting cover staff. Our team is on hand to help you with any anxieties or worries you might have when you’re working in schools. You are always able to get in touch if you want any advice or ask any questions.
Our partnership with the Everymind At Work app means that SupplyWell registered TA’s, teachers and cover supervisors have free access to the mental health and wellbeing resources on the app. Through engaging content on mindfulness and stress management you are empowered to be proactive about you mental wellbeing, find out more about Everymind here.
Education Support have been helping support teachers and education support staff for 145 years and are the UK’s only mental health charity dedicated to helping teachers and education staff in schools, colleges and universities. You can visit their website here.
As part of SupplyWell’s generous refer a friend scheme where you and your referred friend earn rewards worth £75 we also donate to Education Support for every referral made. You can find out more about the partnership here.
In summary, working as a cover staff member will build your confidence and make you an even better candidate for future roles. Being a cover teaching assistant allows you to have plenty of choice of excitingly different settings and roles that can keep you working in schools. It can be convenient for your lifestyle and you can embark on a rewarding TA career, especially with the CPD we have on offer. On top of this you will have the best professional support and advice around.
We hope you’ve found this guide helpful and that you are considering your many options. Ready to have a chat and find out more? Fill in this quick form and we will be in touch!