Are you a recent graduate teacher? Do you have a degree and want to work in education? The role of a graduate teaching assistant is increasingly seen as a useful first step for many career paths. Fortunately, there are many opportunities for graduate trainee jobs out there at the moment. We know you may not have fully made up your mind about what you want to do in the long term, and that’s completely fine! We recommend speaking with one of our experienced recruitment advisors – you can leave your details here if you’d like to be contacted.
Additionally, we offer a range of free online teacher training courses that can be used to gain a better understanding of the role and responsibilities of teachers. Check out our free CPD for teachers here. These courses would be suitable for those considering graduate teaching assistant jobs too – especially our course on behaviour management strategies.
If you’re thinking about applying to become a graduate teaching assistant, what steps should you take? Find out what you need to do below.
So, you’ve written your graduate CV, and thought about the type of role you’d be interested in. You’ve read about why experience as a graduate teaching assistant can be such a rewarding opportunity… What’s next?
You might choose to apply directly with schools that post vacancies online. Alternatively, you could find the perfect role through an established teaching agency. This way, you have the support and guidance of a friendly recruitment consultant to match you with the right school. Also, a dedicated compliance officer will ensure all the required documentation is in place. If you choose to work through Prospero Teaching, then you have the added benefit of receiving interview advice and in-post support from a member of our training and development team (all teachers themselves with experience as interviewers).
If you choose the teaching agency route, the steps you will need to take are outlined below:
Shortly after filling in a quick online form, you will be contacted by a consultant who will have a chat with you to find out exactly what you are looking for. They will discuss with you your preferences in terms of role, location and salary. Decide on the type of role that you’re interested in prior to applying. Primary KS2-based teaching assistant? Secondary learning support assistant? SEND support? By providing this information, your teaching agency will be able to put you in touch with a consultant who works with the right schools.
At this stage, a compliance officer will work with you to ensure all your documentation is present and correct. This would include your passport, an alternative form of ID, your degree certificate, your CV and completion of up-to-date safeguarding training. We will set you up with a payroll company and teach you how to use the timesheet portal to submit your weekly timesheets. Ideally, registration would be completed in person at the office nearest to you. During registration, you have the opportunity to meet your recruitment consultant and a member of the training and development team.
Once you have agreed on the area, the type of school, and the year group you would like to work with, your consultant will match you up with appropriate schools. You’ll be invited to either an interview or a trial day (in most cases) once your consultant matches you with the right school.
We will cover more in-depth interview advice for graduates in our next post, but in the meantime, you can find tips on creating a good first impression here. Before attending, you will receive advice and guidance from a member of the training team. They will be a teacher with either a primary or secondary school background depending on the position in question. You will also receive a role-specific handbook filled with tips on how to impress, including an outline of common interview questions and how to answer them effectively.
Trial days are when you essentially spend a ‘day on the job.’ It’s possible that you would be paid for a trial day, and they have several other benefits… You gain experience as you earn, and have the possibility of securing a long term graduate teaching assistant job at the end of it. What’s not to like? If this sounds daunting or you have questions about what to expect, a member of our training team are always on hand to advise.
Here’s where the real fun begins! As a new graduate teaching assistant, we are sure you will have a rich and rewarding experience in the classroom. The benefit of working with Prospero is that your consultant is always available to answer any questions or concerns.
Thanks for reading part 3 in our series of blogs for graduates. We hope you find it informative if you are considering applying for graduate teaching assistant jobs.