Also known as teacher aides or instructional aides, a teacher assistant’s job responsibility is to assist teachers with their clerical work and activities. The point is that teachers need more time to focus on teaching students and lesson planning. Whether it is about helping students learn or apply class material, teachers assistants have a crucial role to play. In addition, the teacher aide is also responsible for focusing on students individually when the later face difficulties in the application of class material. Whatever task instructional aides are assigned to do, they perform their work under the supervision of teachers.
Depending on the requirement and responsibilities give, a teacher assistant may also work with specific groups of children or attend students individually. They also play essential role in helping students get information about class lessons, assignments and reports. Those who work in secondary levels have specialization in different subjects like English or Science. When special projects are prepared, teacher assistants may be given the responsibility of preparing the material and equipment required.
Some of the job responsibilities of a teacher assistant include –
Assisting teachers in recording grades
Preparing instructional materials
Keeping attendance records
Keeping health records
Controlling stock supplies
Supervising students in outside classroom activities
Working as a teacher assistant, you may also handle the responsibility of assisting students in computer laboratories. Though most of the teacher aides are employed at elementary and secondary level, there are others who are employed at childcare centers. There are special needs children who also need the support of teacher assistants for academic and social developmental needs.
Educational Qualification of a Teacher Aide or Assistant
The educational requirement to join as a teacher assistant may vary from one state to another. A college degree in child development or education is required to make a successful career as a teacher aide or assistant. A high school diploma and on the job training can help aspiring candidates get employed in the field of education and teaching. There are several colleges and universities that offer associate’s degree and certification programs in child development. A bachelor’s degree in the same is required for career advancement.
Career Prospects & Annual Salary
Job prospects are quite good for teacher assistants. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for these jobs is expected to grow at 10% between the year 2006 and 2016. The annual salary of a teacher assistant ranges between $18,632 and $25,439. With advanced degree and growing experience, annual salary also significantly increases.
So, if you enjoy helping children, assisting them with classroom activities and see them improve as assisting teachers, the career as a teacher aide or assistant can be a right option for you. Patience, handling stress and time management skills are some other skills required to become a teacher assistant.