If you are considering becoming a teaching assistant, you may be feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of information and terminology you are being exposed to. You’re likely wondering which route is right for you and where to begin. We have put together a guide on the difference between a Level 2 and Level 3 teaching assistant, the courses that you will need to complete and what it will mean for your future career.
Thinking of becoming a Teaching Assistant?
There are many reasons why you might want to become a teaching assistant. You may be interested in a career in teaching but want to gain some experience before starting teacher training – or perhaps you have graduated in a subject that you are passionate about and want to share with the younger generation.
Regardless of your reason, if you are thinking about enrolling on a Level 2 or Level 3 Teaching Assistant course it may be a good idea to get some work experience in a school beforehand. Perhaps try contacting some of your local schools or a school you attended to ask if they offer some unpaid work experience. This will be really useful in determining whether the career choice is right for you and could also help to steer you in the right direction (for example what age of students you would like to work with or the type of school you would prefer to work in).
Becoming a Level 2 Teaching Assistant
A Level 2 Teaching Assistant qualification aims to qualify you with all the basics. Although not essential to carry out a Level 2 qualification before a Level 3, it might be a good idea to do one if you have no TA or school experience.
Some of the basics you will learn on a Level 2 Teaching Assistant course are:
- The fundamentals of becoming a teaching assistant
- Enhancing pupil’s learning
- Assisting with lesson planning
- Providing feedback to teachers on progress and areas of concern
- Supporting pupils when it comes to literacy skills
- Supporting pupils when it comes to numeracy skills
- Supporting pupils when it comes to ICT skills
- Offering admin support
A Level 2 qualification requires less work experience than a Level 3 course, however as a Level 2 TA you can expect to have less responsibility and likely to also be paid less than at Level 3.
Becoming a Level 3 Teaching Assistant
The Level 3 Teaching Assistant qualification is the more popular option for aspiring TA’s as it is much more in depth than the Level 2. By completing a Level 3 qualification, you will be fully qualified and ready to assist in the classroom. If you’ve gained some experience and are sure you want to be a teaching assistant, this option would be more relevant.
The qualification covers all the basics of Level 2 but goes into more depth and gives you the extra skills and experience needed to become a fantastic TA – greater improving your employment opportunities. For example:
- Understanding child and young person development
- Learning about different patterns of behaviour and ways to intervene
- Working with SEN students
- Understanding how to provide the best support to students
- Safeguarding and its importance
- How to create a supportive and safe learning environment
- Supporting health and safety in a learning environment
How can i-teachers help you to become a 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!