A teaching assistant is usually inexperienced and works alongside professional teachers to get the experience required to advance to the next level. Teacher assistants might work either part-time or full-time. In most cases, before they may work with children, they sit for standardized tests following formal college education. In addition, teaching assistants are responsible for assisting teachers in developing and implementing tailored lesson plans for the current school year's students.
A teaching assistant's responsibilities include the following:
- Engage with teachers to learn about their class planning and curriculum objectives.
- Maintain strict adherence to all lesson plans when dealing with students.
- Communicate with students in a manner that effectively disseminates academic information.
- Conduct a neat class and address all disruptions.
- All occurrences must be documented and reported to top management as soon as possible.
- Determine which students may want further assistance.
- Help the educator with work overload by grading all students on their achievements and educational performances.
The selection criteria for a teaching assistant job vary as per the level of the institute and the type of the organization. A tentative idea for most teaching assistant jobs at schools includes the following:
- Bachelor's degree in an educational subject
- Two years of teaching experience and a valid state teaching certificate
- Outstanding written and oral communication abilities
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
- Excellent organizational and prioritization abilities
- Capability to stand for long periods
- A desire to be a motivating teacher
Timings for a teaching assistant are generally within the school days, Monday to Saturday, during the school hours. However, suppose an assistant also manages extracurricular activities like sports or cares for children after school. In that case, he/she needs to stay longer and work early in the morning or after school. In addition to the regular working hours, the institute might also ask assistants to attend training days and parent-teacher meetings.
Some schools provide summer activities in which teaching assistants might participate. This extra work is usually paid for, in addition to the regular income. In general, half-term and summer vacations are included in the vacation allowance. Taking time off during the school year is usually restricted. Assistants would need to provide reasons for their absence to be approved.
It is usual to work part-time for teaching assistantship. Permanent contracts do exist, but a growing number of institutions provide fixed-term or temporary contracts that are evaluated annually following the school's or the students' needs. These are typical when their primary responsibility is to help a particular student. Short-term positions are also available through educational recruitment organizations.
The tasks of teaching assistants are sometimes determined by their level. A higher-level teaching assistant, for instance, may be competent to periodically substitute an educator in his/her absence, in addition to completing primary administrative duties. The age of the students may also have an impact on the teacher assistant's responsibilities. A teaching assistant, for example, will oversee children during play or lunch at a preschool. However, suppose they serve at a high school. In that case, they will most likely be more concerned with developing lesson plans, producing classroom materials, and aiding peer tutoring.
Here are a few duties of a teaching assistant:
- He/she will be assisting students who may have a variety of cognitive or disciplinary issues.
- On any given day, you'll be busy with a range of activities. The school may call you to provide extra assistance at a short notice. There is an assumption that you will pitch in and contribute when required.
- Depending on your position, you may be asked to offer personal care to students, mainly if you assist very young kids.
- The work of a teaching assistant can be difficult, but it can also be tremendously satisfying to see students grow.
- The bulk of your time will be spent in the classroom. However, you may also be responsible for lunchtime monitoring, outdoor recreation, and field trips.
Skills required for a teaching assistant job
- A positive attitude to dealing with children is required, as is the capacity to encourage, inspire, and develop connections with students.
- A vital concern for student safety and well-being since you will be dealing with students from various backgrounds
- Language and social skills are required to establish relationships with students, parents, instructors, and administrators.
- Literacy, writing, and arithmetic abilities are required.
- Outstanding teamwork skills for collaborating with other support employees, classroom instructors, and experts such as school administrators, voice and linguistic specialists, counselors, and other department
- Skills such as compassion, organizational abilities, and creativity
- You must be adaptable in your approach to work since you will be participating in various school-related tasks. These tasks include art and crafts, science projects, and other school activities.
- A professional working approach and a dedication to remaining updated on educational policies and training relevant to the work
- Several government schools and private schools offer opportunities for teaching assistants on a contractual basis. These can be a nursery, primary, middle or secondary school.
- High-level academic institutes, including universities, government colleges, and private colleges, require guest lecturers to meet the academic requirements. These guest lecturers are often employed on a semester basis or yearly basis as per the requirement.
How to find out about teaching assistant jobs
- Vacancies are often published by educational institutions, local governments, and educational recruiting companies.
- Look for a teaching assistant job published in leading newspapers and select the opportunity that fits your skill set and qualifications.
- It is better to look for positions at individual schools, councils or recruiting websites.
Working as a teaching assistant, you can advance through the classes, from an entry level to a higher level. You'll progress through earning experience and obtaining the necessary certifications and training. Working as a teaching assistant or a guest lecturer may also be a great stepping stone to becoming a permanent or full-time teacher. The position will help provide you with an accurate and functional look into the work of a teacher without the responsibilities that come with it.