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Gaining confidence to move into teaching support

Read Joanne Harris’ inspirational story about retraining as a teaching assistant in her own words.
Joanne Harris

“After taking a career break, to become a mum, I knew that I wanted to retrain and become a teaching assistant but was unsure where to begin and lacked the confidence to take the next step and find the right course for me. Luckily, I found out that my local Adult Community Education Centre in Swadlincote ran a Specialist Support in Teaching and Learning in Schools (SSTLS) Diploma course in an evening. This fitted perfectly around my family life.

“Before enrolling on the course I met with Gail, the tutor, to discuss; the content of the course, entry requirements and school placements. She encouraged me from this first meeting, through my course and right up to my first job interview. I was also lucky to have great support from Becky, the workplace assessor, who guided me through my placement and my work portfolio.

“Making this career change has meant a great deal to me, as not only do I now have a job which I love (working as a teaching assistant in a local primary school) but since qualifying I have also had the opportunity to work as a learning support advisor, working with the wonderful team at Swadlincote Adult Community Education Centre, helping other adults achieve their own learning goals.

“Gail, my tutor, encouraged me from the first meeting, through my course and right up to my first job interview.

Jo’s employer said:

“When Jo became a learner support worker she was a dedicated, professional member of the team.  A very caring person who recognised people as individuals and was willing to help learners of all abilities achieve their personal outcomes. A much liked member of staff.”

Jo’s tutor said:

“Jo worked hard throughout her course and was committed to achieving her learning goal. She has now been able to change her career to fit around her family”