Like many childcare/teaching positions, successful teacher assistants are likely to be ENFJ personality types. ENFJ’s, or sometimes called ‘the mentor’, are forward-thinkers. They enjoy serving the community and can always see the potential in other people. They want to focus on the possibilities of growth for others, which is absolutely essential qualities for anyone who work in education, including teacher assistants.
Accomplishment and mastery
As teacher assistants have low autonomy, they may not always feel a huge sense of accomplishment and mastery. However, when one of the students that have been working with responds well or progresses, a teacher assistant is likely to feel accomplished and like they have mastered the necessary skills that allow someone to thrive.
Meaning and contribution
As previously highlighted, teacher assistants play a crucial role in the education system. Without them, teachers would not get the support they need and many children would not get the chance they deserve. The work of a teacher assistant plays a huge role in education and inspiring every generation.
Some teacher assistants can work part time, other may work full time. Most teacher assistants will work during the school day, but they may have to hang around before or after to monitor students on school buses. Generally, most teacher assistants get a 2 month break in the summer, and a winter break. This offers an excellent life fit, especially for those who have children of their own. If you were wanting the extra money, however, some teacher assistants work in summer schools over the holiday period.
Who will thrive?
Teaching requires a lot of patience. To thrive as a teacher assistant, you will also need to have qualities such as:
- The ability to build strong relationships with students and be non-judgemental, so that they feel you are reliable and dependable
- To thrive, you will need to know how children develop and learn (and you will need a passion to always progress and develop this knowledge)
- You will need the ability to work in a team
- You must have the passion and energy to inspire and motivate students and make them feel at ease
- You must be able to listen and communicate with students well
Who will struggle?
Rather obviously, you will struggle as a teacher assistant if you don’t like children, especially ones who are difficult and challenging. A lack empathy and patience will also mean you will struggle in this career, as you must be able to relate to and understand the students. Finally, those who seek independent work and do not want to always have to answer to someone else may struggle as a teachers assistant, who often must follow the guidelines and plans set out by the teacher they are assisting.