Can I train as a Teacher while working as a Teaching Assistant?


Working as a teaching assistant is highly rewarding in itself, but it can also act as a platform for a career in teaching.

Making the transition from a teaching assistant to a fully qualified teacher is an increasingly common practice, as many of the key personality traits required for one role are prevalent in the other.

From gaining valuable classroom experience to completing teacher training, your time working as a teaching assistant can easily be used to further your career prospects should you want to develop them.

 Using experience

Teaching assistants gain a great deal of experience when working in a classroom environment and they also get to take a close look at how a teacher works.

This enables them to pick up good practice and to recognise how the role of a primary teacher or secondary teacher differs from that of a teaching assistant – something that may ultimately shape a decision to be one or the other.

From their position in the classroom, a teaching assistant can also speak to other teachers and school staff to find out more about the role and responsibilities.

You’ll also have ample opportunity to consider the training and skills that you’ll need to make the switch to teaching – such as an ability to plan and deliver lessons, assess pupils and report on their progress.

Various pathways into teaching

There are a range of different pathways into both primary and secondary school teaching, meaning there is a route that suits your skills and career ambitions.

Initial Teacher Training or Initial Teacher Education needs to be completed in order to teach in state-maintained UK schools.

However, numerous school-based teacher training providers are on hand to provide training routes into the profession – some of which include time as a teaching assistant.

This means you can train to be a teacher, and gain the relevant experience and qualifications, while remaining in a role as a teaching assistant.

It’s important to do plenty of research though and to decide if it is the right pathway for you. For example, if you have already have a degree, you could opt to take a year away from work to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).