‘Teaching Assistant to Teacher’

"While some weeks are hard with lots of work to complete and various tasks set it is achievable; this comes from a Mum of two juggling my children’s commitments as well as my own, it helps to be organised and focused. I always have a to do list! "

From a young age, I had always wanted to be a Teacher. Family circumstances and life sent me in other directions but I always knew this was what I wanted to do. I knew based on my time as a TA that I would have transferable skills, and that I wanted a route into teaching that was school based, as I felt this was hugely beneficial, being in the school and part of the team full time, as opposed to block placements in schools. Yet when I looked for courses they often didn’t offer that reassurance of being able to train locally. This was massively important to me as I still had a child at primary school that I needed to be able to drop at breakfast club.

When my school joined East of England Teacher Training’s group of training schools, I knew it was now or never. At 41 it was scary putting myself forward, but right from the start of the application process the team at EoETT were so helpful and approachable. I feel so fortunate to be able to train in a school team that I have worked with for so long and feel supported.

 It was a little strange making the initial transition from TA to teacher in an environment where I was already known, but I really think that the way the course is structured that you just transition gradually over the weeks and months, almost without realising it. Having been a TA for so many years also gave me that confidence in front of a class, meaning I was able to start teaching small groups and team teaching quite quickly. However the course is designed to let you build your confidence and move through at a pace that works for you, and your class mentor will help to build your confidence as the weeks progress. There is no expectation that you will be teaching in the first few weeks either with or without prior experience.

The workload also gradually builds as you begin to do more and more teaching in class. Therefore, you have a chance to get used to one task and what needs doing before further tasks are added. The EoETT team are also conscious of workload and does all they can to minimise it where possible. There are lots of people around to speak to starting with your class mentor who you have daily contact with, you will also have a senior mentor in school, plus a tutor who is always available via email for any concerns you may have and who will promptly get back to you.

As we fast approach the end of my first term on the course I feel that I have definitely made the best choice following a school-based training route, there are certain things that can’t be experienced in the same way through alternative routes. I believe that the skills that I developed and situations that I have experienced as a TA over the last 8 or 9 years have really given me a good grounding that I can definitely fall back on this year. I feel part of my year group teaching team which really helps me feel settled. I have started planning and delivering lessons and with each week that passes, I feel that little bit more like I might be a Teacher one day after all.