Thinking of becoming a SEN Teaching Assistant and unsure where to start? This article is the right place for you!
The National Careers Service defines a SEN teaching assistant’s role as “support [to] teachers to help children with special educational needs and disabilities“.
Although this role can be quite demanding, it can also serve as extremely rewarding.
The first step in becoming a SEN teaching assistant is educating yourself, which is important to start before you begin applying to vacancies.
Firstly, the main duties of a SEN teaching assistant are:
- Work alongside teachers to prepare classroom learning materials
- Supporting small groups or individual students with their learning
- Communicating with parents and teachers to support students
- Adapting your support to each student’s needs
- Help maintain a stimulating environment for students
Now you’re aware of the basic responsibilities of a SEN teaching assistant, it’s important to build on new or relevant skills for the role.
This leads to the second step of building your skills.
For example, learning British Sign Language or Makaton would be a great place to start as this would be helpful in a classroom environment. You could research the needs of pupils with disabilities and conditions.
The National Association for Special Educational Needs has great resources available: https://www.nasen.org.uk
Many useful courses are available for you to sign up for. For example:
- Level 2 Teaching Assistant Qualification: This will provide you with the knowledge needed for this particular position.
- Level 3 Teaching Assistant Qualification: Once completing Level 2, you can look into expanding your knowledge and skills with this qualification.
Despite not all jobs requiring those qualifications, they’ll serve as beneficial when standing out to employers. Other qualifications and courses like First Aid or Understanding Autism are also useful for this role.
If possible, it’s valuable to have experience working in an educational setting. This can be achieved through contacting local schools about volunteering.
Now we move on to your professional CV and how to set it up for the application for a SEN teaching assistant.
Your CV should always be kept up-to-date, especially regarding any qualifications and work experience.
A personal profile section ensures you a fair chance of standing out amongst other potential candidates; aim for a few sentences which highlight your skill and enthusiasm for the role.
As well as this, a skills section is equally vital. This section helps your employer determine whether you fit the role. Ideal skills for this job would be:
- Great teamwork and communication skills
- Able to remain calm in stressful circumstances
- Strong literacy and numeracy skills
After tweaking your CV, now you can begin your search for SEN teaching jobs!
You can do so through our website, which can be found here: https://balfor.co.uk/sen-teaching-jobs-birmingham/