Being a teacher assistant is a fulfilling career. The assistant helps teachers on a day to day basis, assists with teaching functions, reinforces learning and assists students. The teacher assistant helps the teacher conduct lessons and prepare for each class. They may help with tasks such as grading assignments, enforcing the rules of the classroom and the school, supervision of students during recess, group activities, lunch periods and field trips and individually helping students with lessons.
A college degree is preferred for a teacher assistant job. A high school education and educational certificate program are required. Typically, the teachers assistant works the same hours as the teachers themselves.
Job Overview: What Does A Teacher Assistant Do?
Broadly speaking, the teacher assistant job description can be summarized thus: Each day, a teacher assistant assists the teacher and students in classroom activities. The assistant may be responsible for setting up equipment for class, such as computers, art supplies and visual aids for lessons. They help the teacher with grading assignments, supervising students and providing assistance where needed. Some college education is required. The teacher assistant earns a salary of approximately $24,000 per year.
They spend their time in the classroom along with the teacher during school hours and have summers off. The teacher assistant provides extra support for students and teachers in the classroom. The assistant also helps in student supervision during field trips and recess and supervises during lunch and snack times.
Teacher Assistant Job Duties
* Assist teachers in preparing lessons
* Assist teachers in grading assignments and recording grades
* Set up equipment needed for class, for example, computers, books, art supplies or visual aids.
* Assist students either one on one or in small groups with classwork.
* Supervise students during activities such as lunch, recess and field trips.
* Assist in organizing parent and teacher conferences.
* Enforce school and classroom rules in order to control behavior and reinforce the code of conduct.
* Report finding to the classroom teacher, for example, make the teacher aware of a student who is having problems so that appropriate action can be taken.
Becoming A Teacher Assistant
A minimum requirement of a high school education is required for private and charter schools, however, a college degree will improve job prospects. Obtain an associate’s degree in education and obtain a teacher assistant certificate for the most opportunities. An internship may be required. Required tests vary by state. Upon completing these requirements, begin applying for teacher assistant positions. Depending upon location, a background check may also be required. Taking into consideration the teacher assistant job description, below is a list of essential skills.
Teacher Assistant Essential Skills
Patience. As a teacher assistant, you will have to work with students directly from time to time. Patience as an essential skill when you need to adapt your teaching methods to suit the needs of individual students.
Be well organized. Besides teaching, an assistant will also need to help teachers with organizing papers, grades and tasks. It is difficult enough to stay organized with large classes of students, but it is even more difficult when you also need to bear in mind other bureaucratic necessities, such as organizing parent-teacher conferences, and other events, or handling general paperwork.
Creativity. Though it may not seem like a very creative job, being a teacher assistant will require you to find innovative solutions the keep students engaged. As an assistant, you may be in a unique position to try out new things with students.
Qualifications And Training
In order to be a successful teaching assistant, you must have patience, excellent communication skills, and a love for children. The teacher assistant must be reliable and dependable in assisting the lead teacher with a variety of tasks. A background in education or a related field is helpful. Some teacher assistant education programs provide an opportunity for an internship, which is helpful in obtaining a position.
Licensing and certification requirements may vary by state. Typically, 75 hours of professional development is required for renewal after 3 years. Certification requirements also include testing from the State Education Department including an assessment of teaching assistant skills or a Liberal Arts and Sciences Test. Each State Education Department can provide necessary requirements. Teaching assistants may also be required to complete a paraprofessional exam.
With the required education and training, a job as a teacher assistant should be relatively easy to obtain. An internship will increase job prospects. A bachelor’s degree in education or a related field will also provide more job prospects. An internship will be considered as experience for this position. It is possible to obtain experience while obtaining a degree by working as a part-time teaching assistant in a private or charter school. Completion of a paraprofessional exam may replace the need for on the job experience.
A teaching assistant works an average of 32.5 hours a week. They may begin their day approximately 15-30 minutes before students are scheduled to arrive, and end their day approximately 15-30 minutes after students are dismissed for the day. An unpaid lunch break is usually given. A teacher assistant usually has summer months off. Extra hours may be required at times, however, are a rarity.
Job Outlook And Advancement Opportunities
The need for teaching assistants is expected to grow in upcoming years. The salary is below average, at approximately $24,000 per year. The job may be stressful at times, especially if you are working with young children since, at this age, they can be energetic as well as restless at times. Despite this, a teacher assistant is a rewarding career, as you get to contribute to children’s personal and academic development. The industry is sound, as there will always be a need for educators. More experience or a paraprofessional certification may slightly increase salary.
An interest in children and education makes pursuing this career worthwhile. The field is not very competitive. There are job prospects in all schools, including public, private and charter schools. There are programs that allow credits earned toward a teaching assistant degree to be transferred to an education degree, allowing the teacher assistant to advance to lead teacher.
For those who have a desire to work with children in a rewarding career, becoming a teacher assistant is a wonderful decision. They help the lead teacher provide a safe, productive learning environment where each student’s needs can be attended to. The teacher assistant supports the lead teacher in classroom activities. They help with grading assignments, set up of equipment, enforcement of rules and classroom policies, and provide individual support to students.
They provide nurturing and caring to students in order to help them succeed. The salary is average, and the hours are less than the average 40 hour work week. Required education may vary, and while some schools require assistants to have only a high school diploma or equivalent, others require a minimum of an associates degree.
Certification is required, and testing varies by state. Each State Department of Education will provide specific requirements for obtaining certification and employment.