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What to look for when hiring a teaching assistant

What To Look For When Hiring A Teaching Assistant

Date posted : 17 January 2022

Teaching assistants are an integral cog in our education system and are crucial to the support of teachers and pupils inside and outside of the classroom. Whether they are working one-to-one with students that need more support or working in larger groups, a successful teaching assistant can develop students and help them get the most out of their education.

Hiring a teaching assistant with the ideal skills and attitude is an important task for schools as it can have a significant impact on their students’ education. At Teaching Personnel, we know the impact a great teaching assistant can have on teachers’ and students’ lives, so we’ve put together the key traits to look for when hiring a teaching assistant.

Passion and enthusiasm

When we think back to our days as students, we’ll all remember a teacher or teaching assistant that was bursting with energy and left a true impression on us. Enthusiasm is an essential skill and a top teaching assistant should possess a genuine passion for developing pupils, whether that be in early years, SEN or primary and secondary. An encouraging and energetic way of working will create a positive classroom environment, inspiring students to want to learn.

Passion and enthusiasm are contagious and are a key cog in keeping students engaged throughout a lesson. A teaching assistant that displays both traits in abundance would be a brilliant addition to your team and would greatly benefit your students.

A complement to your team

While it may seem tempting to hire a teaching assistant whose CV looks the best and ticks all of the boxes, it’s important to take your current team into perspective. If there are areas within your teaching department that could be improved with certain expertise, it may be wise to look for teaching assistants that have the skills and attributes to fill that void.

For example, if your school is experiencing a behaviour management issue, a teaching assistant that has knowledge in that field, but may have less experience and qualifications than other candidates, could be the perfect fit. By adopting this method, you can develop a group of teachers that are a well-oiled team and get the most out of their students.

Ability to adapt and be flexible

Teaching is an ever-changing experience and techniques that work with one set of students may not work with the next. Therefore, to succeed in a teaching assistant job, the candidate must be flexible and ready to adapt to a variety of situations. Each teacher will have their own style and it’s important that an assistant can complement their methods, meaning that they should alter their methodology depending on the teacher. In addition, a set of circumstances can quickly change the dynamic of a classroom and teaching assistants need to be flexible enough to spring into action and maintain continuity in the class.

Excellent teamwork and communication

Communication skills and the ability to work in a team are vital strengths to a great teaching assistant. Teaching assistants often act as a channel of communication between teachers and students, requiring them to explain tasks, learning objectives and instructions in a comprehensible manner. Being able to effectively communicate with both the teacher and the students can have a substantial impact on the environment of a class and can lead to improved learning potential.

Additionally, teaching assistants are responsible for relaying information on the performance and progress of students within a class. If some students are excelling in certain areas of a subject, whilst others may be struggling, it’s crucial that the teacher is made aware of this so they can adapt their lessons accordingly.

How Teaching Personnel can help you

Teaching Personnel is an agency with over 25 years of experience supplying teaching assistants in the education recruitment sector. With our expertise, we can help you find the best candidates for your school and your students.

If you’re looking to add a teaching assistant to your team, our workforce of flexible education professionals has the right skills to contribute. Contact Teaching Personnel and a member of our team will get in touch with you to discuss your school’s needs.

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