What Studying an Education Support Course Entails
Education Support qualifications can take you a long way in the education sector.
Working in an education support role, as a Teacher Aide, Learning Support Assistant or Support Worker can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. The opportunity to work closely with children and help them develop into young adults is not something that everyone gets to do and comes with a lot of its own rewards.
If you’re passionate about making a change and have the patience and communication skills to be able to deal with children of various developmental levels, a career in education support will suit you well.
Education support workers work in a broad range of classroom contexts and learning environments, including both public and private schools and other learning institutions. Foundation Education's courses will equip you with the hands-on skills you need to apply the theory you will learn throughout your studies.
Education support courses prepare you to step right into a full-time role as a Teacher Aide or in another position closely related to working with children in a learning and developmental environment.
So, what exactly does an education support course really entail? Among many other things, you’ll study:
Legislative and Policy Requirements
When you’re working with children, it’s important that you comply with a range of legal and regulatory frameworks designed to not only protect you and your students but also to assist learning to a greater degree.
There is a number of legislative and policy instruments that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with in order to ensure compliance. In addition, you will need to understand how to comply with the different rules and regulations of individual institutions.
Planned Education Programs
A major part of your role as an education support officer or Teacher Aide will involve planning education programs for the students under your care. Throughout your education support course, you’ll acquire the skills and knowledge that will assist you in supporting teachers and delivering planned education programs.
You’ll learn how to provide an environment conducive to learning and methods in which you can equip your students with the tools and skills they need to maximise the effects of their own education.
A significant aspect of any education support course involves student development. You’ll discover ways in which you can help students with their overall development, both as young people and in regards to their education.
The development of literacy and oral language skills is critical to the ongoing education of every student. You’ll learn how to guide them through learning these skills, and how to provide additional support to children who need it when it comes to reading and writing.
Further, you’ll also gain a solid foundation in the provision of support in the development of numeracy skills. You’ll acquire the skills required to implement ongoing numeracy programs developed by the teacher to assist those students which may require additional numeracy support.
Read How to Improve Children's Learning Skills as educators or parents and support their early development.
Classroom Organisation and Management
Many teachers rely quite heavily on their teacher aide to assist in classroom organisation and management. Throughout your education support course, you’ll develop an understanding of the steps and learn how to manage a classroom.
This involves practical concerns, such as administration, classroom equipment, and teaching aids. In addition, you’ll learn how to ensure the classroom remains a good learning environment for all students.
Find out 'How can educators acknowledge and support children's family and culture?' in our previous blog post.
Working with Students
Naturally, one aspect of any education support course involves developing your capacity in regards to working with students. You’ll learn how to communicate with students in a respectful and positive manner that helps maintain open communication channels.
Active listening techniques, non-verbal cues, and empathy in regards to student interests as a means of encouraging further communication are also explored. If you can connect with students on their level, you’ll find it far easier to deliver the services that you need to.
Health and Safety
Health and safety are important in any workplace. You’ll be instructed in various ways in which you can ensure that students, yourself and the teacher are all working in a safe and healthy environment.
Understanding and implementing effective workplace health and safety practices allows staff to work effectively and students to learn in a safe environment without unnecessary risks, dangers or distractions.
Special Needs and Disabilities
Many education support roles revolve around providing additional assistance to those students who need it. Many students have unique needs throughout their school experience. Whether that includes help understanding course content or assistance with basic literacy, oral and numeracy skills, you’ll be able to help them.
Additionally, you will learn how to facilitate learning for students with disabilities. You will likely encounter a range of disabilities, both physical and mental, during your time in the classroom. The ability to work around these in order to ensure continued development is critical.
How to become a Teacher's Aide?
Depending on the role you ultimately want to work in, there are a number of avenues you can take towards working in an education support role.
A Certificate III in Education Support will set you on your journey to becoming a Teacher Aide or Learning Support Officer. You’ll learn how to provide individual student support, reinforce the lessons in a student’s learning plan, and help them to improve their literacy and numeracy skills.
The Cert III in Education Support is designed to give you an understanding of how to assist teachers to implement planned educational programs and support the overall development of students.
When undergoing a Certificate IV in Education Support you will learn many of the basic concepts that are covered by the Cert III. However, you will also learn some more advanced concepts including planning, organising and delivering group-based learning.
In addition, you’ll acquire the skills you need to supervise students outside the classroom and develop and maintain networks and collaborative partnerships. If you’re serious about an ongoing career in education support, the Cert IV is a good place to start.