Working with children is an incredibly rewarding career, but it’s one that involves wearing a lot of different hats. Your role could involve inspiring and educating children during the most crucial stage of their development. It also could involve keeping them safe from harm and ensuring they meet their potential. There are also opportunities to support more vulnerable children, who may be dealing with external issues, such as violence or abuse.
It can be very demanding, but according to a report by Schools Week, teachers working in special schools are the happiest in the education sector. Keep reading as we discuss five roles you should consider if you want to make a difference.
- Special educational needs teacher
As a special educational needs teacher your role will involve providing additional and often tailored support to children with additional needs. This could include children with physical disabilities, those who may have sensory needs i.e deaf or blind, as well as those who may have learning difficulties, such as autism, dyslexia and ADHD.
You may be expected to use special equipment and learning resources to engage with your students, depending on their learning needs. This may involve collaborating with the classroom teacher to ensure the material is translated in a way that is suitable for your students.
- Teaching assistant
Your role as a teaching assistant will require you to provide either one-to-one or small group support in the classroom. It often involves motivating students to keep them on track with the task at hand, whilst providing support, should a student require it.
You’ll also be expected to offer support to the classroom teacher, which could involve preparing the classroom for a lesson or arranging any resources that may be required for an activity. Your duties might also extend to covering other TA absences, as well being available for breakfast and after school clubs.
- Play therapist
As a play therapist you’ll use play to communicate with children about any issues or trauma they may have faced or are currently experiencing. It can be quite challenging as you could be working with children who have experienced abuse or neglect and may be reluctant to open up about their situation. As children process and communicate differently to adults, you’ll have to assess each child and come up with the right therapeutic treatment.
- Social worker
Your role as a social worker will require you to support vulnerable children to ensure they are not at risk of harm or danger. This can be challenging as it may involve making decisions that may be difficult for the family to accept. You could be visiting children at home, at school or even in hospital to carry out your work, which will involve conducting interviews with children and their families to decide the best course of action. You might also be expected to give evidence in court if necessary.
- Early years teacher
As an early years teacher, you’ll play an important role in motivating children to learn and explore. You’ll use a variety of tools including toys and learning resources to prepare children for their transition to primary school. As a teacher, you’ll be expected to monitor and record your student’s developments, share their achievements and also raise any concerns. Children learn through play, so you’ll encourage their learning and social skills through a combination of singing, imaginative play and stories.
It is a very diverse role, with lots of room for career progression, where you could eventually become a nursery manager.
The early years are vital for the development of all children, which is why it’s important the right individuals carry out their roles with great care. If you too want to make a difference in the lives of children, then an early years course with Walsall College could be the first step to your career. We even offer a T Level in childcare and education in our on-site nursery for you to gain first hand experience.
Apply now to secure your place for September. See our Early Years courses.