What does a Teacher Assistant do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
A teacher assistant works under the supervision of a licensed teacher and helps reinforce materials or lessons taught. They may help small groups of students, one-on-one, or work exclusively with special education students attending traditional classroom settings.
Teacher assistants are sometimes referred to as teacher aides, education assistants, instructional aides, para-educators, or paraprofessionals. They typically work in private and public schools, religious organizations, or childcare centers mostly on a part-time basis.
How to Become a Teacher Assistant
Teacher assistants typically complete 2 years of college coursework or hold an associate’s degree. Coursework includes curriculum development, classroom management, and your role as an assistant. This can be earned at a community college or state college. In addition you must be resourceful, patient, have good interpersonal skills, and the ability to communicate effectively. Almost all states require a teacher assistant that wants to work with special-needs students to pass a skill based test. Check with the Board of Education in your state for more details.
Job Description of a Teacher Assistant
Teacher assistants reinforce lessons given by the teachers by reviewing materials with their students or assist those that may need extra help. They help enforce class rules and school rules to ensure the safety of all students. Some teacher assistants may be assigned to work with a special needs child. They teach, accommodate, or help them with material being taught. However, sometimes they may also assist with personal hygiene or eating. Teacher assistants help monitor classrooms, lunch rooms, recess, and during field trips. They take classroom attendance, check homework, and calculate grades. Teacher assistants also prepare the classroom prior to students starting class such as setting up equipment, computers, or materials.
A teacher assistant usually works Monday through Friday and over 50% of them work part time. They primarily work in the classroom, however do work outside the classroom in the cafeteria or playground for example. According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics there is an average growth projected in this career field due to the increase of classroom sizes. The greatest demand will be in settings that provide services to students with disabilities.