Thoughts on being a Teacher Assistant?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BreezyGirl, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    Jan 22, 2015

    Hello teachers and school workers... I have a bit of a dilemma. I sub in a private school in Canada. Finding a full time teaching job is difficult where I live. Where I sub, there is a listing for a Teacher Assistant position. I am contemplating as to if I should apply. A steady schedule would be nice right now and it gets me into a school full time.

    The TAs at the school are different than other schools I have subbed in as a TA. The classroom teacher does all the planning and whole class instruction. And, of course, assessment, report cards, etc. The TAs help the teacher with photocopying, prepping, and assisting children as needed. The TA can also teach should the teacher be absent. I enjoy subbing as a TA and I love the teachers and admin.

    My dilemma is that my heart aches for my own room and I fear if I TA that I am limiting my chances. But, seeing how hard it is to get a teaching job, I might go another 2 years with inconsistent sub work. I love being in the classroom and I build strong connections with the students.

    Thoughts? Similar experiences? Words of wisdom?

    Pros and cons to teaching vs. TA?

    I'm not sure if this helps with thoughts, but I'm older (hehehe) and have very busy children (one in high school, the other elementary). The thought of not bringing home added work is wonderful, though I would gladly do it to have my own class.

    Thanks!!!
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jan 22, 2015

    It sounds like you would be happy in the TA position. Go for it!
     
  4. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Jan 22, 2015

    I think a TA position sounds great and I'm sure you would enjoy it. Why not apply? What's the worst that could happen?
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 22, 2015

    Sure, apply for the TA job. It's steady pay & benefits, unlike subbing.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 23, 2015

    Here in Southern Ontario, new teachers used to start with day-to-day subbing, then move to long-term sub positions then to contract positions. More and more, though, the process of obtaining a permanent position seems to start with aide or educational assistant positions, then into subbing, etc. Sounds like a good opportunity!
     
  7. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    Jan 23, 2015

    Thank you!

    Thank you all so much for the replies. The more I think about it the more I think I should try for it. If I don't get it, it wasn't meant to be. And, I'll keep looking for postings.

    Mrs. C... I'm in BC. I think the teaching situation is similar here. Getting onto the public school list is close to impossible. I'm subbing at several private schools, so I'm fine going that route. As long as I'm in a classroom I am happy. :)

    TA would definitely get me closer to my goal.

    I was looking up teaching info for the states and it sounds different than here. Can someone please explain the process in the states. In Canada, you get your BEd in elementary, middle or secondary school. In order to sub, you have to have your BEd. I remember a friend from the states told me you didn't need a BEd to sub.
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jan 23, 2015

    The way I see it, the TA position gets officially in a school, which can then give you opportunities in case a classroom opens.
     
  9. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Jan 23, 2015

    I started out waxing floors at a private Christian school…. then became a teacher assistant (aide), then a third grade teacher. Then made the switch to a public magnet school.

    You can definitely move into a teaching position after being an aide, that is my experience at least.
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    The last 5 teachers that were hired at my school were former TAs. It happened to me over 10 years ago. When I couldn't find a teaching job I started as a TA while getting my masters and it worked out perfectly for me. You will gain a lot of experience and also can use the classroom teacher as a reference if needed because they see how you interact with students on a regular basis.
     
  11. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    Jan 23, 2015

    Wow!

    Thank you all so much for the support! This is wonderful. :)

    I think I was having a dilemma because my heart is aching for a classroom. I am worried I'll have to retire before I get one. ;) I went back for a second degree mid life so I'm starting late. It sounds like no matter where you are in North America that finding a contract can take time and patience.

    I appreciate all the words of wisdom and would love to hear more. I am feeling more uplifted! And, great point on teacher reference! I will need some updated ones!
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Here's the funny thing about contracts... they make take awhile, yet they do seem to happen! I went four years between my last teaching job and my current. I actually stopped bothering for several years to even apply. Then, I get back into it and bam.

    It'll happen.
     
  13. teachsph2008

    teachsph2008 Companion

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    Jan 23, 2015

    I used to be an aide and an assistant. At one of the schools I worked at, they had two assistants who hadn't even finished schooling. This was back when there was a shortage though. My point is though, there were other applicants, but these ladies were known as good workers.
     
  14. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Jan 23, 2015

    Working as a TA might give you added perspective and an opportunity to learn from other teachers...I did for 7years. I am thankful for my time as an aide and the in the field learning opportunities. It's a foot in the door.
     
  15. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    Jan 27, 2015

    Thank you so much. I love being in different classrooms as I have learned so much... what I would do in my own classroom and also what to avoid. Subbing as a TA has given me lots of insight on development as well. I have subbed as an Education Assistant at another school where I worked directly with designated students. All of these experiences have been wonderful... this field is always a learning process. I really enjoy it.

    Now the hard part... cover letter! I like my teacher letter, but need to change it for a teaching assistant position. I find resumes and cover letters way more stressful than subbing without a day plan provided!
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2015

    Sounds like you've made a good decision! Feel free to post your cover letter here...many have benefitted from the collective wisdom here tweaking candidates' covers!
    Good luck!
     
  17. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    I should post here, but am too "shy" for that. I can write report cards, notes homes, personal reflections, emails to parents, blogs, long papers... but have me write a cover letter and eeks! I just crumble. I think it's because writing a cover letter is for an actual position and I overthink things. I have my teacher letter which I like, but I needed to do a new one for a TA position. I found it quite difficult.
     
  18. ECE ABC

    ECE ABC Comrade

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    May 16, 2015

    I work as a TA or as we are now called by our union and Principal...........a ParaEducator:)



    I love it!!! I am a former Teacher and ECE Director so I went the other way with this..my program went away after several years (i was heartbroken) so I needed a new job ASAP and the Para position became available in October (subbed a few months at first) so I took it immediately when it was offered to me and I am so glad I did.


    I work with Sped students; 1:1 instruction, small group centers, etc. its wonderful to still be a part of the school system.

    Great benefits; insurance, personal, sick days, holidays, etc. and the hours are really good----it's a steady income! I also do summer school which I have enjoyed as well.


    PM me if you want to chat:rolleyes::):p:whistle:

    Good Luck to you!
     
  19. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    May 16, 2015

    I would totally do the TA spot. Especially as a new teacher, you will learn a ton!!! I started as an instructional assistant before working as lead teacher. I thank god for,the time I had as an aid I am constantly leaning on skills I learn d from my former supervisors....do it. It will be a foot in the door and a great opportunity to learn.

    In your interview if sell that you are trying to one day be a teacher and would like to get in at thus current district it might help. Employers would see it as an investment
     
  20. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    May 17, 2015

    Being a TA will also give you the experience of what it's like to be a TA. When you become a teacher, you'll know how to best work with your TA and what should be expected.
     

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