Social Question

Lucy36's avatar

Is it better to become a nursery assistant or a teaching assistant in a primary school?

Asked by Lucy36 (5points) February 13th, 2010

I am thinking of taking a course and I want to know what is better for my career path. I am based in the UK. I can’t decide which way to go, whether to become a nursery assistant or a teaching assistant in a primary school. I really like nursery age children, but I heard that they work long hours and for little pay. I am not sure whether working as a teaching assistant is complicated, what kind of work does it include? Do I have to have perfect numeracy skills for that? Do I have to work with the whole class on my own?

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8 Answers

skfinkel's avatar

It sounds like you might have to do more research comparing these two routes. I think the UK has better salaries than the US for nursery school years. In general, if the job won’t make you destitute, I think it always is better to go with what you love.

evandad's avatar

Follow your heart

snowberry's avatar

How large is the class? You can’t work with a large number of teeny-tinys on your own.

babaji's avatar

two totally different fields here
different feelings about life and where you fit in and what you want to do.
some facts may explain some fields, but what is the feeling in your heart?
beyond the facts and figures?

Janka's avatar

I think what you need to do to decide is to find a couple of people who work on those fields, and ask them what their usual days are like, what things they do, what they like and dislike of the job, etc. Absorb this info, and then follow your gut feeling – even if the facts seem to suggest otherwise.

The reality of a job is often far different from what you’d think when you are starting to study for it, so getting to know what it really is like for some real people is essential. However, your intellectual idea of what sort of jobs you’d like will probably also be off at this point of your life, not having done either sort of work, so only deciding based on knowledge and ignoring “your heart” is not a good idea. So get the facts first, but then also listen to yourself, not just how you think people in general would value it.

sakura's avatar

Nursery nursing involves more hands on stuff, especially in private day nurseries, changing nappies wiping noses, but is lots of fun playing/learning with and caring for little ones! The hours are usually longer as they are a child care setting and you have to take into account you are looking after children whilst people are at work and who may only finish 5:30 6pm

In school the hours are generally 8:30 to 3:30 ish, but you will probably find you work more than this taking things home for displays etc… The children don’t need as much physical looking after, as in nose wiping etc… but will need more 1:1 or small group help educationally.

If you get an NNEB qualification you will be able to work in both private nurseries and schools and your training encourages you to work in both so you get more of an idea!

Why not try volunteering for a bit in a school/nursery this may give you a bit more of an insight into how they work. You will have to be CRB checked this iscostly (unless the setting is prepared to pay for you , worth asking)

Most of all try not to limit yourself :)

Lucy36's avatar

Thanks, you have all helped a lot :-)

mass_pike4's avatar

how about a school nurse? That way you can get the best of both worlds!

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