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Thread: Teacher or teachers aid/assistant?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Riverina, NSW

    Default Teacher or teachers aid/assistant?

    I am looking at becoming a primary school teacher and just wondered if any of you lovely primary school teachers could give me some advice?

    I have a BArts already and I'm currently on maternity leave. I'm just wondering a few any of you know how long it takes to become a teachers aid? Do you think it would be a good idea to start off as a teachers aid before undertaking further study to become a teacher? Anything I should know about either position before I embark in my journey

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara


    I'm guessing you will go through CSU to do your Teaching component? It only takes 18mths-2 years to do that full time and you can do that via distance. But seeing as how you live near the campus you could do it on campus as well. Teacher's aide work can be hard to get - most schools will have their lists of people to call and the work is only there if they have students that have qualified for the aide hours and therefore the funding to pay for an aide. There is a TAFE course you can do to become a qualified teacher's aide, but it would take nearly the same amount of time as what your teacher diploma would. Being a teacher's aide would give you a good feel for whether you really want to be a teacher though - see how schools work etc and the work involved. I would be speaking to the schools in your area and see what's out there. I got work just by asking at my kid's school, but then I've also nearly finished my Bachelor of Education as well. This year I've been working 4 days a week doing TA work which has been great. But the downside is that you will probably only work about 3 hours a day - kids who qualify for aide funding usually only have enough funding for a few hours a day, so it's not a full day of work and child care will be the killer - the average pay for a TA is $25 dollars per hour and if you're only working 3 hours a day that's $85, most of which will be spent on child care. I couldn't do it last year because the cost of child care would have voided anything I'd earn, so had to wait till this year when my last one went to school. It's certainly worth looking into though sand if you can get work as a TA and then do your teaching diploma, then it may get your foot in the door for a teaching job later on.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Perth, WA


    TA work would def let you get a feel for the job, but yes, the course would take nearly as long as a teaching degree. Alternatively, you could volunteer at a school. You could get a feel for different age groups and choose hours that suit you. It also looks great when you're doing your prac work. Every student I came across who did above what was required was offered work (from TA stuff through to supply teaching and long term contracts).

    TA work is lower paid (unless you work out your hourly pay rate as a teacher including all the overtime - wasn't pretty!), likely to be shorter hours (yes, 2-3hrs/day isn't uncommon), but you just walk out at the end of the day. With teaching, you are likely to be in early, out late, working at night and on weekends. There's marking, reports, extra-curricular activities, school camps etc. It's a position with lots of responsibility and you'll likely come into conflict with students, parents, other teachers, specialists, admin at some point or another. It's also extremely rewarding and I miss it every day! Having said this, I was considering doing TA work before I fell pregnant because of the shorter hours and decreased responsibility.

    Teaching is very different now to what it was. In the past decade, technology has made a huge impact. It is incorporated into all learning areas. The national curriculum is causing huge changes in some learning areas, and in some states more than others. Student management (behaviour) is a huge chunk of your day, and you will need to be able to deal with a huge range of student needs/issues.

    I hope all this helps in making your choice.

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