A day in the life of a teaching assistant


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.

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.

Tradewind Recruitment are an education recruitment specialist and with 11 offices across the UK, we have tons of fantastic temporary / supply, long-term and permanent jobs in primary, secondary and SEN schools, including:

Primary teacher jobs

Secondary teacher jobs

SEN teacher jobs

Teaching Assistant jobs

Interested in applying? You can view all of our jobs here or alternatively you can submit your CV - your local education recruitment consultant will get in touch with you shortly.