Are you looking for a career in education? Becoming a SEN Teaching Assistant could be the perfect role for you! In this blog post, we'll explore how to become a SEN Teaching Assistant, including the necessary skills and qualifications. We'll also provide some tips on how to make a successful transition into this rewarding career. So if you're interested in helping students with special needs achieve their learning potential, read on!
What is a SEN Teaching Assistant?
Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistants (SEN TAs) provide specialist support and assistance to teachers, pupils, and their families in the classroom. They help pupils with learning difficulties to increase their understanding, self-confidence and life skills. To become a SEN Teaching Assistant, it is typically helpful to attain qualifications and certificates in teaching assistance. Moreover, candidates should have experience in working with children with special educational needs such as autism, learning difficulties or physical disabilities. Experience can also be gained through voluntary work or shadowing paid job roles. Finally, a successful SEN TA should possess strong communication skills and be aware of how cultural backgrounds affect education for those with additional needs.
What are the requirements to become a SEN Teaching Assistant?
Considering how to become a SEN Teaching Assistant? Requirements are straightforward and rewarding, especially for those passionate about helping children and young adults with special educational needs maximize their potential. First, to be considered for this essential role, you will need to have a minimum of Level 2 qualification in literacy and numeracy. Secondly, you should consider specialized qualifications in SEN support such as Team Teach or Makaton sign language courses. Finally, it is beneficial to possess an NVQ3 or equivalent certification – demonstrating how committed you are to making a real difference within the educational setting. Further qualifications like First Aid certification and experience working with any group of children from newborns to teenagers can give you an edge amongst candidates!
What is the job description of a SEN Teaching Assistant?
Being a SEN Teaching Assistant can be a very rewarding job, as it involves working with children with special educational needs. This is an incredibly important role and can have a positive impact on children's lives. The job usually entails helping children to understand the material being taught in class, as well as providing support to teachers. It could also involve leading small group sessions and one-to-one tutorials, so you should possess excellent communication and organisational skills if you want to undertake this type of role successfully. Furthermore, SEN Teaching Assistants may need to liaise closely with other professionals such as therapists and educational psychologists concerning children's educational needs. So if you are looking for a fulfilling career where you can make a real difference in children's lives, consider becoming a SEN Teaching Assistant!
What makes a good SEN Teaching Assistant?
Teaching assistants working with students who have special education needs (SEN) need to possess a range of skills and qualities in order to effectively support the educational development of their pupils.
1. Patience and Understanding:
The ability to stay calm and understanding in challenging situations is essential for a SEN Teaching Assistant. They need to possess the capacity to listen, empathise, and respond appropriately when dealing with situations.
2. Ability to Communicate Effectively:
Good communication and interpersonal skills are essential for a SEN Teaching Assistant, as they will need to be able to communicate effectively both with students and other stakeholders in order to ensure that the needs of each student are met.
3. A Positive Attitude:
A positive attitude and outlook will help SEN Teaching Assistants to create a safe and supportive learning environment, as well as helping them to stay motivated. They should be able to remain positive even in difficult situations and ensure that all students are treated with respect and dignity.
4. Knowledge of Special Education Needs Strategies:
SEN Teaching Assistants need to have the knowledge and understanding of the various strategies that can be used to help students with special needs. They should be aware of evidence-based interventions, be able to differentiate instruction, and have an understanding of how to support struggling learners.
5. Ability to Develop Good Relationships with Students, Staff & Parents:
SEN Teaching Assistants need to establish and maintain good relationships with students, teachers, and parents in order to ensure that they are able to effectively support a student’s learning.
6. Organisational Skills:
Being organised is essential for any SEN Teaching Assistant as it allows them to plan for upcoming activities, prioritise tasks, and keep track of information about multiple students.
7. A Flexible Approach When Dealing With Different Situations:
SEN Teaching Assistants should possess the ability to adapt quickly when facing challenging situations and be able to think on their feet. This will enable them to adjust to different student’s needs and help ensure that the learning environment is supportive and inclusive.
8. Creative Problem-Solving Abilities:
As SEN Teaching Assistants will be dealing with a range of different problems on a daily basis, they need to be able to think creatively and use problem-solving skills in order to find effective solutions.
9. An Awareness of the Relevant Legislation and Policies:
It is important for SEN Teaching Assistants to have an understanding of the relevant laws and policies regarding Special Education Needs in order to ensure that they are acting in accordance with these regulations.
10. Enthusiasm and Passion for Teaching:
A successful SEN Teaching Assistant needs to be passionate about teaching and learning, and possess an enthusiasm for helping students to reach their full potential. They should have a belief in the ability of students to learn and progress even if they are facing difficulties.
It is clear that there are many qualities that a successful SEN Teaching Assistant should possess in order to provide the best possible support for students with special needs. With the right attitude, knowledge, and skills, a SEN Teaching Assistant can be an invaluable asset to any school.
What are the benefits of becoming a SEN Teaching Assistant?
Becoming a SEN teaching assistant can be highly rewarding, as working with children on a daily basis allows you to play a vital role in their social and emotional development. Not only will you get out of the working day feeling fulfilled that you are setting these young learners up for life, but working within the school environment is an opportunity to build valuable relationships with teachers and other staff alike. It’s also a great way to gain work experience if you’re considering working in education or social care roles, as most SEN teaching assistants are paid positions.
There is no maximum age limit to becoming a Teachers Assistant. The job description of a SEN TA's typical day-to-day involves supporting classroom teachers with the planning and delivery of lessons, helping to create a positive learning environment, working one-on-one with students who require extra support, assisting with school activities and outings, maintaining records and basic administrative tasks. The benefits of becoming a SEN Teaching Assistant include gaining invaluable experience working with children, receiving training from experienced professionals, and flexible work hours around school terms and holidays.
We spoke to Caylee (SEN Teaching Assistant) about being a SEN Teaching Assistant
A Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant (SEN TA) should be comfortable in an ever-changing and fast paced environment. They should be adaptable and understanding of each learner's unique attributes and developmental abilities. A SEN TA needs to be confident in their knowledge of safeguarding as keeping children safe will be their most important responsibility.
A SEN TA needs to be patient, compassionate and creative. Children with special educational needs will depend on the SEN TA to learn important life skills such as getting dressed or buttering toast and by being guided and given plenty of opportunities to practise. A SEN TA should not be afraid to get their hands dirty as some children with autism may have sensory sensitivities for example they may be sensitive to noise but love wet play.
I've been a teacher for more than 10 years but after becoming a mum I decided to change my career and become a SEN TA. I love my new role and it means I get to spend more quality time with the learners because the classes are smaller than mainstream classes and learning is focused on each learner's individual strengths and capabilities.