Support in action

Teaching assistants are a much-valued asset in the school community and so their health and well-being must be a priority

Teaching Assistants (TAs) support children with their learning activities in a variety of ways in the classroom, as well as encouraging children with their educational and social development. Their role may include helping children who need extra support to complete tasks, helping teachers plan learning activities and complete developmental records, supporting positive behaviour management, preparing the classroom for learning, carrying out administrative tasks and supervising activities.

Teaching Assistants hold a vital role and add value to the learning experiences of students. Most TAs find their role rewarding as it provides opportunities for modeling experienced teachers, teamwork, professional training, developing opportunities and learning about specialist subjects. It is also a challenging role as TAs must take care of the whole child, attending to physical, mental and emotional needs.

Jade Peter-Swain, Executive Principal at Little Gems says teaching assistants add real value to the learning experiences of students

Here are TELLAL’s tips for helping Teaching Assistants stay healthy throughout the year:

Stay hydrated – Teaching Assistants use their voices a lot and as a result may develop a sore throat or lose their voice. Drinking lots of water will work to prevent this and will ensure illnesses are tackled easily

Pack healthy meals – Teaching Assistants occasionally have to eat with the children. A balanced meal with vegetables, fruit and whole grains will maintain energy levels and provide role modelling for the students

Wash hands regularly – this will prevent the spread of germs and communicable diseases

Wear comfortable shoes, practice good posture – proper posture, bending from the knees and wearing the right shoes help combat fatigue

Be mindful – practicing mindfulness helps to maintain a clear head. Find a quiet spot, close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. Tune in to your own breathing rhythm. Teaching Assistants can even do this with students before a lesson. Everyone will benefit from this

Continue with education – many courses help develop knowledge around working with children and support classroom experiences.

How can I become a Teaching Assistant?

Most Teaching Assistants require qualifications in literacy and numeracy at GCSE or a high school diploma as a minimum. You will also require a police check from your home country if you have been living in the UAE less than three years and at least two references. Many Teaching Assistants in the UAE are choosing to gain specialist qualifications as the demand for experienced and skilled Teaching Assistants increases. At TELLAL Institute, we offer professional qualifications for Teaching Assistants that can be completed whilst you are working or in preparation for entering the sector:

CACHE Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools – for people wishing to become Teaching Assistants or who may be new
to the role
CACHE Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools – for Teaching Assistants already working in schools who may be taking on a more senior TA role

CACHE is the leading provider of childcare qualifications in the UK and are recognised by many education authorities around the world. All our courses are online learning programmes and candidates are assigned a UK-based assessor. Information and induction sessions are conducted face-to-face by our Dubai-based CACHE team.

Find out more about the various professional routes available to Teaching Assistants by visiting http://www.tellalinstitute.com and clicking on “I want to be a Teaching Assistant” or “I am a Teaching Assistant”