Teacher assistants essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $23,640
- 2010, number of jobs: 1,288,300
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 15 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Teacher assistants; what they do:
Many of us can’t imagine being the only adult in a classroom of 20 or more students. The challenge such a ratio presents is part of the reason there are many jobs for people who want to be a teacher assistant. A teacher assistant works in a classroom to provide extra attention and instruction for students. Teacher assistants work under the supervision of an experienced teacher.
Teacher assistants deliver direct services to students or parents. The teachers who supervise assistant teachers have responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.
Teacher assistants job duties:
- Enforcing administration policies and rules
- Instructing and monitoring students in the use and care of equipment and materials
- Discussing assigned duties with classroom teachers to coordinate instructional efforts
- Preparing lesson materials, bulletin board displays, exhibits, equipment and demonstrations
- Tutoring and assisting children individually or in small groups
- Reinforcing lessons presented by teachers
- Helping teachers with recordkeeping
- Providing extra assistance to students with special needs, such as English language skills or physical and mental disabilities
- Supervising students in classrooms, other school areas or on field trips
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Teacher assistants job titles:
- Special education teaching assistant
- Teacher aide
- Instructional assistant
- Teaching assistant
- Instructional aide
- Educational technician
Teacher Assistants Education, Certification and License Requirements
Requirements and job titles vary among school districts, but all candidates for jobs as teacher assistants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some districts require assistant teachers to have at least two years of college or an associate’s degree. Teacher aides who work in schools with Title 1 programs must have at least a two-year degree, two years of college or pass a state or local assessment.
Some schools provide an Associate in Educational Assistance/
Paraprofessional degree, an Associate in Early Childhood Education degree or an Associate in Elementary Education degree.
Most states require successful completion of a skills-based test for instructional aides who work with special needs students.
Some school districts require teacher assistants have certification.
Teacher assistants programs cover subjects such as:
- Teacher assistant I and II
- Introduction to psychology
- Mathematics for elementary school teachers
- Public speaking
- Introduction to literature
- Introduction to English
Teacher Assistants Job Outlook
Forecast: 15 percent employment growth for teacher assistants from 2010 to 2020. The employment growth results from increasing school and child care enrollment and continued demand for services for students with special needs. Due to assistant teachers working directly with students, the need for assistant teachers parallels enrollment figures.
Numerous openings arise as teacher aides leave jobs for better-paying work or to return to school to increase their employment options.
Teacher Assistants Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $23,640
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $29,900
- 2011, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $19,210
- Elementary and secondary schools
- Child day care services
- Colleges, universities and professional schools
- Junior colleges
- Individual and family services