Teacher Assistant

What Does a Teacher Assistant Do?
Teacher assistants work with classroom teachers to give them an extra set of eyes and hands, providing the teachers with more time to instruct the class and plan lessons. They assist teachers in cutting down the amount of work that teachers must do, which is especially helpful in large classrooms with many students. Teacher assistants have a variety of duties, which include helping students with course work, grading course work and homework assignments, answering questions, and reinforcing the teacher’s lecture material. They may also serve as a monitor for the classroom, ensuring that all of the students are on task and doing their own work. Teacher assistants can actively make certain that no one is cheating or distracting others while the teacher is busy lecturing at the front of the classroom. Some teacher assistants work exclusively with special needs students, tending to those who do not speak English or those with physical or developmental disabilities.

What Is the Employment and Salary Outlook for a Teacher Assistant?
Education is an important part of child and adult development. Learning in a classroom setting helps students focus on their studies, as well as provides them with a moral support network from teachers and other students. With the population increasing and more children entering the school system every year, more teachers will be needed to cater to the boom in student population. With more students and more teachers, the need for additional teacher assistants will be felt as well. Especially with the rise of special needs and non-English speaking students, teacher assistants will be in high demand to help those students get the most out of their educational experience. In addition to new positions opening up as a result of the field expanding, the retirement of current teacher assistants will open up new positions as well. Employment opportunities for teacher assistants are expected to grow ten percent through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Teacher assistants earn an average salary of $22,200 annually, according to the latest information available from the Bureau.

How Can I Become a Teacher Assistant?
The road to becoming a teacher assistant varies from state to state. Some states require a minimum of a high school diploma, while others require that teacher assistants earn a minimum of an associate degree in teaching or child development. In order to ensure the best job prospects, aspiring teacher assistants should strive to earn an associate degree. An associate degree program takes about two years to complete. Students should take courses in the principles of teaching, child psychology, communications, and other classes that will build their skills in working with students of all ages. Students should also take courses in whatever subject they hope to teach. For example, aspiring math teacher assistants should take courses in mathematics, whereas aspiring English teacher assistants should take courses in English. Teacher assistants must pass a background check before working. Job-specific skills, such as grading techniques, are often taught on the job site.