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Teacher Assistants help each other, complete qualification

WE CHATTED to four Howrah Primary Teacher Assistants last week after they finished Certificate 3 in Education Support.

Barbara Erwin, a TA for 28 years, Jo Hickman and Lou Richardson TAs for 10 years and Kara Granquist, who’s been in the role for six years are all pleased to have completed the qualification.

The course took these TAs about six months to complete. TAs based in Kindergarten now must be working towards this qualification.

“We worked hard during our holidays and in our own time,” Jo said. “There were some very late nights.” The TAs didn’t go it alone but helped each other and tackled the course together.

They received plenty of support and encouragement from other staff at the school.

“I must admit before I started the course I really didn’t want to do it,” Jo said. “My husband said “what example are you setting for your children, if you’re saying too hard? “So I decided to do it, and now it’s so nice having achieved it, even though it took a while and there were some weekends I didn’t leave the computer.”

“With some parts of the course I was unsure about the relevance but then I’d see things in the classroom and realise why they’d included this or that aspect in the certificate.”

The participants were required to meet four criteria, complete two portfolios on literacy and numeracy, keep a journal of what they did during the day, and finish a first aid certificate.

Working with children and making a difference were two key reasons why these TAs come back day after day.

Barbara said although completing the certificate was a personal challenge, it was the love of her job that spurred her on. Her colleagues agreed.

“I like getting in at that ground level and making it fun,” Jo said. “For me personally it keeps me young and I really don’t enjoy holidays, I’d rather be at school!”

“It’s great being able to engage with the children and making them want to come to school every day, making it fun as well as educational,” Lou said.

As well as helping each other with their recent qualification, these TAs support each other every day in the workplace. It’s all about team work, sharing resources and information.

“Especially if we’re working with a special needs child, we’ll bounces ideas off each other,” Jo said.

“Support comes from the principal down, everyone is supportive, other TAs and teachers as well,” Barbara said.

Principal Shelley Thorne is proud of these TAs. “Our Teacher Assistants go above and beyond. “I don’t think they always get the appreciation that they should. They are such an integral part of our team.”


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