Ria’s Journey to Becoming a Higher Level Teaching Assistant Online

Navigating career progress can feel like a riddle waiting to be solved at times. For Ria, a recent student of our Higher Level Teaching Assistant Level 4 online course, it was all about taking matters into her own hands! Her experience on the course was more than just obtaining a certificate; it was a step towards job fulfilment and recognition of her hard work.

“I’ve just moved jobs,” Ria explains excitedly. “I started a new role in April at a new school after having left my previous role because I was covering classes, PTA, everything that an HLTA would do, without any of the recognition, because I didn’t have the qualification.”

Moving to a new school was Ria’s ticket to finally achieving the next step in her career.

“I left because I knew they wouldn’t allow me to do the course. When I applied for my new job, they immediately said they’d put me on the online HLTA programme with Association of Learning.”

The Online Learning Experience

Ria began her course, following in the footsteps of other HLTAs from her school. “A few teaching assistants here have already completed the course; they really enjoyed it, and I have to say, I did too!” Ria laughs, “I thought it was amazing; it was really straightforward; I didn’t have any issues doing it at all.”

As Ria worked through the course, balancing her new role and her studies was easier than she expected.

“I just thought, I’m going to do a question a day. So an essay a day.” She says, “That’s basically how I did it. On weekends, I would do double. I managed to do a unit every week and a half, so I made my way through quite quickly.”

One thing that helped Ria consolidate her learning was to give herself time after completing her units to proofread and edit.

“I actually gave myself a day after completing each unit just to check everything through before I submitted it. I find it easier to work from a Word document, so I would copy all of my answers and go through each one to make sure I was happy with my work and really understood what was being asked. Then I’d submit the unit to the learning website, and my tutor, Mandy, would give me feedback not long after.”

Tutor Support: A Game-Changer

Ria’s tutor, Mandy, was invaluable throughout her journey to become an HLTA.

“Mandy was wonderful, really great. I always felt like she gave me good insight.” Ria explains, “I liked that she gave me examples of how to answer the question, and she was thorough in helping me find information, which was very helpful when it came to using references in my work. I always felt she was pointing me in the right direction while still letting me challenge myself.”

Putting HLTA Level 4 into Practise

Now that Ria’s completed the course, she’s putting everything she learned to use at work.

“I think most teaching assistants will say that they’ve been using what they’ve learned on the course all along,” Ria says. “But there were strategies and considerations I learned on the course that I genuinely use every day. Especially when it comes to providing one-to-one support and student assessment. I found that when I was studying those, I kept wanting to do more research. I found it really interesting.”

Ria’s Advice for Future HLTA Level 4 Students

Reflecting on her learning journey, Ria had some wise advice for students considering it:

“Use a variety of sources. Don’t find all of your information online, and definitely use books, podcasts, and videos too.” She says, “We all obviously learn in different ways. I found books and podcasts especially helpful, but I’m sure not everyone will. I was really lucky to attend some conferences with work where I was able to get a lot of resources, but that just goes to show that if you’re looking for them and are passionate, you’ll be able to find references anywhere.”

Final Thoughts

Ria’s experience with us demonstrates the value of online education for professional development. Without having to put her life on hold, she was able to take advantage of the versatility and accessibility of online courses, which have now provided her with a pathway to job advancement and personal fulfilment.

Seeing our students unlock their potential and take their careers to the next level is the highlight of what we do.

If you’d like to learn more about our courses and how you could upskill in your career, head to our website, where you’ll find all the information you need. Whether you’re a teaching assistant like Ria ready to take on more responsibility, an aspiring counsellor, or even a dog groomer, we’ll help you achieve your goals!

To read more inspiring stories from our students, check out our blog.

Got a question? Send us a message using our contact page, and one of our friendly support staff will get back to you shortly.

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