Becoming a teacher’s assistant can be a very fulfilling job, which allows you to provide important aid to a teacher, and learn the day-to-day functions of an educator. This job involves a lot of specific skills both educational and clerical.
Some people choose to become teaching assistants to explore whether or not they’d enjoy being a teacher. Others pursue this path while working on their teaching degree. Still others are happy in the support role, helping to ensure that teachers function at their best at all times. Explore the job duties, responsibilities and requirements of a teacher’s assistant, and how you can enter this enriching and fulfilling field.
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What Is a Teacher’s Assistant?
Teacher’s assistants work with lead teachers and help them to run their classroom. They take on more common tasks as directed by the lead teacher which allows the teacher to focus on educating students. Common duties of teaching assistants can include grading tests, proctoring exams, taking attendance in class, record keeping, and behavioral monitoring.
Teaching assistants can also serve as tutors, helping special needs students or those who are experiencing difficulty with lessons as needed. They might serve as chaperones on school field trips, lunchroom and hall monitors, and other areas of the school. They can be visible at all levels of the system.
Tasks and Job Duties of a Teaching Assistant
A teacher’s assistant’s primary job duty is to reinforce the lesson plans of the teacher. They might conduct group sessions to work on lessons, or conduct one-on-one tutoring for help with math or other subjects. They set up equipment and prepare each day’s materials as required for the lesson plans.
Teaching assistants must work with children from a broad and diverse variety of backgrounds, both cultural and economic. They have to be comfortable and sensitive to working in these blended situations. Patience is a key requirement for teaching assistant, as is the ability to help frustrated students, defuse volatile situations and follow instructions. Outstanding communications skills are required, and many schools require assistants to gain first aid certification.
Becoming a Teacher Assistant
Each state has their own requirements for teacher assistants. In some private schools or charter schools, you may need only a high school diploma and your clearances to work with kids. However, when it comes to public schools you’ll need at least an associate’s degree, if not higher.
There are a lot of colleges out there that offer programs in assistant teaching, so you can specialize in this field specifically. Other areas that might be helpful include early childhood development, early childhood education and general education studies. You may have to complete a classroom internship to complete your educational program, and even if it’s not required, you may want to explore the option to gain valuable classroom experience that can help you get a job.
Working as a teacher’s assistant is just one of the many exciting career opportunities in education out there. Explore our site for other potential options and career paths, and look up your state’s guidelines on getting licensed to teach today!