What is a Graduate Teaching Assistant?

19/05/2022 | All

It is more than likely that you are familiar with the term Teaching Assistant (TA). Teaching Assistants are the backbone of many classrooms, providing 1:1 and group support to a wide range of students. In this blog, find out more about the role of a Graduate Teaching Assistant and how we at i-teachers can help you to become one!

What is a Graduate TA?

For many graduates and university students, a career in education is extremely appealing. After 3-4 years of studying a specialist subject, many university students feel a calling to share the passion and knowledge they have accumulated with young people. This is where many students/graduates decide to explore the potential of a career in teaching!

When deciding which route to take into teaching, the process and options can certainly be a bit of a minefield! With teacher training routes such as PGCEs and SCITTs on offer, it can be confusing knowing where to start – especially with little experience in teaching to consolidate the decision to become a teacher! This is where the option of becoming a Graduate Teaching Assistant comes in!

Graduate Teaching Assistants are graduates wanting to gain some classroom experience before jumping into a teaching/education role! By supporting students and teachers during lesson time, in a wide variety of subjects, Graduate Teaching Assistants can gain fantastic skills and experience to take forward into their potential teaching career. Whether Primary, Secondary or SEN based – there is a role for every passionate grad!

What are the day-to-day duties of a Graduate Teaching Assistant?

As a Graduate Teaching Assistant , you will usually be expected to be in school for normal school hours Monday – Friday. However, there may be times you will be expected to come into school early and finish later – such as involvement in extracurricular activities. No two working days will be the same and your day-to-day schedule is likely to be extremely varied. 

Day-to-day duties are likely to differ depending on whether your role is supporting Primary, Secondary or SEN students and also depending on the subject specialism you are supporting. However, typically duties include:

  • Supporting pupils on both a 1:1 and small group basis in and out of the classroom
  • Helping teachers to create and adapt classroom resources
  • Learning to adapt to individual students’ needs 
  • Running intervention sessions 
  • Providing cover or assisting in teaching a class when required to
  • Assisting with the running of extracurricular activities 
  • Delivering mini-lessons to students and explaining certain concepts
  • Helping to monitor and feedback student progression to staff and parents 
  • Supporting teachers with general admin
  • Supervising breaks/lunches/school trips
  • Create engaging and immersive learning resources

What does it take to become a Graduate Teaching Assistant?

Each individual Graduate Teaching Assistant role will have its own detailed person specification which will greatly depend on the nature of the school, subject and age group involved. However, typically this is what it takes to become a Graduate Teaching Assistant:

  • A 2:1 or a 1st degree in your specialist subject
  • A strong academic background (A-Levels & GCSE’s)
  • Passionate about education 
  • A genuine interest in a teaching career/career in education
  • Enthusiastic and empathetic mindset
  • Inspiring personality
  • Great organisation and time management skills
  • Previous experience working with/supporting children is desirable (e.g. coaching or tutoring experience)
  • Reliable and highly motivated to work with young people

How can i-teachers help you to become a Graduate Teaching Assistant?

A i-teachers, we specialise in placing talented graduates in Graduate Teaching Assistant roles in a wide variety of subjects areas. We work with a wide range of Primary, Secondary and SEN specialist schools across the UK to provide you the perfect role in the perfect environment!

i-teachers’ Step into Teaching programme

At i-teachers, we aim to support you and allow you to explore teaching roles with our ‘Step into Teaching’ programme to support all graduate roles in education. Our experienced education consultants will place you in a paid teaching assistant position that is perfectly suited to your skill set, in a school that suits your personality. We believe that practical experience is invaluable and learning from teaching experts is key. On your ‘step into teaching’ programme you will get to experience the life of a teacher or teaching assistant, and truly impact the lives of pupils, whilst in a fully supportive environment. It is fantastic work experience both for your own personal development as well as for your CV, and you can earn whilst you learn!

Take a look at some of our current Graduate Teaching Assistant roles now, or contact us for more information!