Levelling Up as a Teaching Assistant: Hayley’s Journey from TA3 to TA4 through Online Learning

As a teaching assistant, Hayley knew she always wanted to advance in her career. So when the opportunity to become a Teaching Assistant Level 4 presented itself, she jumped at the chance. Working in a behavioural school, she knew this role would come with more responsibilities and challenges, but she was ready for it.

“I asked if it would be possible for me to get that position if I took the HLTA 4 course. They said yes, and I’ll start in September! I did the HLTA 3 course about five years ago when I was working in a mainstream school,” she explained.

While she was excited about the prospect of becoming a TA4, she was also a little apprehensive about the process of getting there. As someone who had never done anything like this before, she wasn’t sure what to expect from the course or how she would manage it alongside her family commitments.

“I’d never done anything like this before honestly. I was a bit dubious, I didn’t know what was going to happen! I’ve got a family of my own and I didn’t know if I’d be able to balance everything,” she shared.

Luckily, she had a colleague who had recently completed the same course with us and provided her with some much-needed encouragement.

“He said it was a really good course and I could work at my leisure, which he said had been really useful for him.”

With this newfound motivation, she took the plunge and enrolled on the course, ready to tackle whatever challenges lay ahead.

Apprehension and Support

As she embarked on her journey to become a TA4 through online learning, Hayley couldn’t help but feel a sense of apprehension. Thankfully, she had a supportive tutor, Eileen, who was always available to help her out when she needed it.

“To be honest, with Eileen I didn’t need much support. Other than the things I struggled with, which she really got me through.”

One area where Hayley struggled was with referencing.

“I’ve never done anything like this before, so I struggled with referencing. Okay… not so much struggled with it, I just didn’t know how to do it! So Eileen did send me some material, and she put an example on it which was so helpful.”

Despite these initial apprehensions, Hayley found that the online learning format worked well for her.

“It was quite good, because I thought I’d get all of the questions and then do them off of what I knew. But sometimes the questions wanted you to answer them from your classroom experience, and for others it was looking at what you’re supposed to do, and copying and pasting. I studied every evening when the kids went to bed, and I did a couple of hours in the holidays, whenever I had the time,” she explained.

Through the support of her tutor and the flexibility of online learning, Hayley was able to overcome her apprehensions and achieve her goal of becoming a TA4.

Success and Feedback

After completing the Higher Level Teaching Assistant Level 4 course, Hayley was happy with the progress she made and how the course had expanded her knowledge. She completed the course in just three months! The feedback she received from her tutor was both positive and constructive.

“She was straight with me and said “It’s question eight, you need to do this.” And so, it was done!”


Taking an online course to advance your career can be a daunting task, but it’s one that can reap great rewards. As demonstrated by Hayley, the opportunity to learn new skills and advance in your career is worth the effort.

It’s important to remember that even if you’ve never done anything like it before, with the right support and dedication, you can succeed. Hayley’s experience with her tutor Eileen highlights the value of having someone who can offer support and guidance when you need it most.

Moreover, Hayley found that the course offered her the chance to learn new things, from both her classroom experience and through research during her studies. There’s always something new to learn and discover, even if you’ve been working in a field for a long time. So if you’re considering taking an online course to advance your career, remember that it’s possible with the right support and mindset. As Hayley shows us, the rewards of learning new skills and advancing your career are well worth the effort.

To look at our teaching assistant and school staff training courses, click here.

To see if your passion is waiting for you in the form of an online course, browse our course catalogue.

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