A day in the life of a teaching assistant


Whether you've lined up a teaching assistant interview or you've secured a job, it's always worth knowing more about the role. The role of a teaching assistant is incredibly varied and will differ depending on whether you’re in a primary, secondary or SEN classroom.

With the focus on supporting pupils and encouraging them to succeed, what sorts of tasks and duties should a teaching assistant expect to face daily?

Outlining the key duties

It’s important to stress that a teaching assistant in a primary school will have a very different routine to one providing help in a secondary school.

However, some of the key duties will see them providing assistance to pupils with learning difficulties, often on a one-to-one basis, and being hands-on with group activities.

Other aspects of the role relate to classroom preparation and ensuring that the learning environment is kept clean, tidy and organised.

Teaching assistants make up nearly a quarter of the entire education workforce and they have a pivotal role to play throughout the school day.

Pre-lesson support

The work of a teaching assistant begins before the pupils enter the classroom, by ensuring that the room is ready for the day’s lessons and activities.

This may include preparing photocopied materials, setting up desks and chairs and finding all of the other key resources that might be required.

Once pupils arrive, a teaching assistant will then need to communicate effectively to help them to settle down and prepare for learning.

During lessons

When lessons are ongoing, much of a teaching assistant’s role relates to supporting those that need it – be it pupils that are struggling to grasp the subject matter or those with special educational needs and disabilities. This will involve encouraging students to discuss their learning to better engage them in the lesson.

By providing support in these instances, it removes some pressure on the teacher, reduces disruption in lessons, and gives the necessary help so that each pupil can fulfil their potential.

Additional roles

Teaching assistants may also provide support to teachers during break periods by patrolling outdoor areas and ensuring that all children are safe.

They may also be expected to provide support for after-school clubs or to watch over pupils in detention, depending on what is included in their job specification, which varies from school to school.

Every minute of the day enables you to show your enthusiasm while developing your own skills and helping others to develop theirs.

Apply for a teaching assistant job with Tradewind

At Tradewind, we believe that there's a perfect teaching job for everyone and it's our mission to help them find it. We pay a great level of attention to candidate care, helping people at every stage of the application process so they can focus on making a great impression on their future employers. Browse all teaching assistant vacancies to view our range of roles, including full-time TA jobs, SEN teaching assistant jobs and part-time TA roles.

Haven't got the time to search through the roles? Send your CV and a member of the local recruitment team will be in touch to discuss jobs that are suited to you.