Words of Wisdom From a Retired Teaching Assistant

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • About the expertise and experience of a retired Teaching Assistant.
  • Words of wisdom from a seasoned and newly retired Teaching Assistant. 
  • How to find and apply for the best supply of Teaching Assistant jobs.

If you want to know how to have a long and prosperous career as a Teaching Assistant, look no further than this exclusive interview with a seasoned professional. 

According to findings from Brother UK, between 2020 and 2023, 275,000 people in the UK searched Google for a Teaching Assistant role, making it the most searched-for job in the UK. 

There are currently 281,094 full-time equivalent teaching assistants working in England.

In our latest feature blog, we caught up with a newly retired Teaching Assistant in the hopes of gaining a small piece of her wisdom and words of advice for a long career in education.

From a banking career to becoming a qualified Teacher, this individual found her calling and a successful career as a Teaching Assistant. She retired on good terms after 20 years service to the primary education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) sector.

Whether you’re currently training to become a Teaching Assistant, or looking for a change in career, discover this Teaching Assistant’s best advice for aspiring educational professionals.

Tell us about your career in education

I went into primary education after being made redundant from the banking sector at the age of 38. I knew I wanted to work with young children so I got a job as a part time Teaching Assistant.

After a few months I was accepted onto a school-based teacher training scheme. After qualifying I taught for 3 years before changing to work from home as a childminder. Three years later I re-entered the primary school environment as one to one support for a little boy.

That was the start of my enjoyable 14 years as a Teaching Assistant until I retired last year.

All in all, I spent just over 20 years in primary education!

What did your role as a Teaching Assistant entail?

It was a very varied role - my main duties as a Teaching Assistant included:

  • Lesson participation and admin support for the Teacher in the classroom.
  • Admin tasks such as reading records and weekly book swaps for each child.
  • Responsible for classroom displays.
  • One to one interventions for 'less able' pupils. 

The vast majority of my time was spent on learning support for the children, often in smaller groups and often with children who needed extra support.

What were the most rewarding aspects of working in the education sector?

Knowing that you are making a difference to children's confidence was the most rewarding aspect for me. Having spent a few years as a Teacher, what I really loved about being a Teaching Assistant was that my job was entirely focused on the children.

The biggest reward was knowing that children wanted to work with you and seeing their confidence and ability improve over time. Positive comments from the parents about their child's happiness was also very rewarding to see and hear.

What’s the most valuable lesson that you learned during your career?

I would say, do not underestimate what young children are capable of as they never cease to impress and surprise you.

What challenges or obstacles did you face in your career?

When working as a Teaching Assistant, it's really important that you have good rapport with the Teacher, the role would not be very enjoyable without this. Other difficulties that I encountered in my career would usually be due to a lack of funding and resources. 

How did things change or progress in the education sector throughout your career?

The education sector is constantly changing, and new initiatives and requirements are introduced all the time. Priorities within the school would change most years and my role as a Teaching Assistant was very varied due to working across different year groups over the years.

What do you feel can be done to better support the needs of children and young people in schools?

There is a big need for staff and resources in order to support emotional needs within a primary school. Focus on better funding and the recruitment of the right personalities are both crucial factors.

Why should people consider a career in education? What are the benefits?

Despite the pressures and demands, working in primary education was by far the most enjoyable 20 or so years of my working life. The pleasure of working with young children and being part of a supportive team is a winning combination.

Teaching Assistant jobs

If you’re searching for a Teaching Assistant job, why not take a look at the latest Teaching Assistant vacancies, or simply upload your CV to be notified when a relevant position becomes available.

Recruit teaching staff

As a specialist education recruitment agency, we support mainstream and SEND schools with their temporary, permanent and temp-perm staffing needs. 

We currently work with hundreds of schools and have exclusive access to some of the best Teachers and Teaching Assistants in the North West.

If you’re struggling to fill a teaching vacancy, why not get in touch with one of our team to see how we can help?

Share your experience

Every individual brings a unique set of experiences, thoughts, and insights to the table. We believe in giving a voice to a community of professionals to inspire positive change and champion reform in the education sector.  

If you work in the education sector and would like to share your own personal and professional experiences, we’d love to hear from you. Perhaps you have a different perspective, could offer a fresh angle, or want to challenge assumptions. 

Simply reach out to our Head of Content, Nicole Sherwood, to discuss a collaboration which makes your voice count. 

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Established in 2017, we’re a vibrant and progressive recruitment agency based in the heart of the North West. 

We continually reimagine the recruitment process to challenge convention and defy expectations; from creating a better recruitment experience to remodelling employee engagement, we thrive off doing things differently and turning heads along the way. 

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

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