It is a fact that you do not have to have formal qualifications in order to become a teaching assistant. You do have to have a basic level of education of course; it is a good idea to have good English and Maths qualifications at the very least.
But it is worth considering taking one of the many teaching assistant courses that are available today, because it might improve your chances of getting the position you want.
Lots of different places offer these courses, and they are all different from one another. This means you should consider all the courses you can find in order to choose the best one for your needs. Since there is no recognised formal course to take, it is very important to research all the available courses.
Some will undoubtedly offer better value for money than others, and will give you a better set of skills and insight into what you will be required to do. The best thing to look out for is an accredited course.
This means you will end up with a qualification that is recognised in the workplace. It would be a shame to go to all the expense and effort of studying a course that is not recognised, when a little extra effort will ensure you can get a proper qualification.
A typical example would be to get a diploma course that has been formally recognised by the NCFE. This ensures that your course will be recognised when you finally come to apply for the position you want.
These courses will give you an extensive overview of what the job itself entails. Think of it as a learning curve that will teach you many of the skills you will need to display once you get into the classroom.
You will learn how you can help the teacher and interact with and assist the pupils too. You will also learn about the national curriculum, what it means and how it is adhered to in schools. Literacy and numeracy will also be touched upon, because you must understand how important these are to a child’s development at school.
You will understand why you must have good English and Maths skills and qualifications when you apply for a teaching assistant position as well. In short you may apply for a teaching assistant position without having any formal qualifications (other than good English and Maths grades of course, as we have already mentioned). But you can probably see that if you get a recognised qualification as a result of taking one of the formal teaching assistant courses that are available, you will stand a far better chance of getting the job you want.