Elementary School Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistants sometimes called para-educators or para-professionals work in both elementary and secondary schools. According to the website www.ehow.com teaching assistants can have an instructional role that includes hands-on interaction with the students either individually or in small groups. Teaching assistants may also supervise students during the lunch hour or accompany students on field trips. Teaching assistants who work in special education settings need training as to the nature of students’ disabilities. In some cases however teaching assistants work behind the scenes doing clerical tasks such as recording grades setting up equipment or preparing materials the teacher will need for classroom instruction. Having teaching assistants makes it possible for teachers to spend more time on lesson plans and actually teaching the students. In the not so distant past teaching assistants only needed a high school diploma. However especially with the “No Child Left Behind” initiative teaching assistants are often expected to complete two years of college preferably with some coursework in human development. In fact some community colleges offer associate’s degrees specifically for teaching assistants. Aspiring teaching assistants with more formal education are more likely to be hired than those with only a high school education. Some states (for example New York) require public school teaching assistants to have certification which can be earned by passing skills assessments tests administered by the state board of education. Schools have come to rely on teaching assistants partly because of budget restrictions and many schools have short training courses to familiarize teaching assistants with the institution’s policies and procedures. The website httpcareers.stateuniversity.com states that prospects for job opportunities are fair and the median annual salary for teaching assistants is approximately $19500.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $19500
High Salary: $22000
Low Salary: $17000
Tasks: Interacts with students.
Completes behind-the-scenes work to help teachers.
Completes clerical work.
Assists small groups of children with schoolwork.
Also Called: T.A.
Non-instructional Assistant
Educational Assistant
Additional Resources: http://www.ehow.com/list_6513499_elementary-teacher-assistant-qualifications.html