Teacher Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Teacher, or Classroom Instructor, is responsible for supervising, educating and supporting students to help them accomplish learning benchmarks. Their duties include planning lessons that target specific skills and concepts, managing classroom behavior to keep all students engaged in the lesson and providing individual support and feedback for their students.

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Teacher Assistant duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of the Teacher Assistant vary depending on the level of education. The Teacher Assistant is responsible for the overall supervision and daily class functionality as well as supporting the emotional wellbeing of the students. Other duties include:

  • Implementing the Teacher’s lesson plans and maintaining daily classroom schedules
  • Supporting each child’s social, emotional and intellectual growth and development
  • Ensuring the wellbeing and safety of children at all times
  • Using a variety of instructional and assessment strategies, as directed by the Teacher, to meet individual student needs
  • Assisting students with assignments or difficult concepts
  • Maintaining communication with parents, staff and faculty regarding the progress of students
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What does a Teacher Assistant do?

Teachers lead classrooms at public and private schools to guide their students and help them understand academic information. They write curriculum, create worksheets, give lectures and guide students through interactive lessons, using different teaching styles to reinforce essential information. Teachers supervise the class throughout lessons and use techniques to correct unfocused behavior without distracting other students. They build trust with students as a way to manage their behavior and encourage engaged participation in the coursework.

Teachers use grading rubrics to assign scores to assignments and give feedback that their students can apply to future lessons. They track each child’s progress and meet with them to determine how to reach testing benchmarks. Teachers may also meet with parents to collaborate on additional support and accommodations.

Teacher Assistant skills and qualifications 

The Teacher Assistant candidate needs a background in child development either through early child development classes or direct work experience. They should possess exceptional interpersonal and communication skills that allow them to interact positively with both adults and children. Additional skills include the following:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Proven organizational and time management skills
  • Ability to maintain a professional personal appearance, attitude and work behavior at all times
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to work well with students with various learning needs
  • Friendly and nurturing disposition
  • Knowledge of basic childcare principles

Teacher Assistant salary expectations

The average salary for a Teacher Assistant is $11.71 per hour. Salary may depend on the level of experience, education and geographical location of the applicant. 

Teacher Assistant education and training requirements

The Teacher Assistant position generally requires a high school diploma, state and company background checks and a negative tuberculosis (TB) test within the past 12 months. Depending on the scope of the responsibilities for the position, some child development education is favored. Often, CPR and First Aid certificates are mandatory. 

Teacher Assistant experience requirements

The experience requirements for a Teacher Assistant vary greatly depending on the curriculum and needs of the organization. Some positions are only looking for as little as 6 months of experience, while others are looking for several years in a child education environment. Demonstrated experience working with children or excellent customer service experience and organization skills will sometimes meet entry-level requirements. At least 6 months of practicum hours through an early childhood education program is generally what most public schools require. 

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Frequently asked questions about Teachers


What is the difference between a Teacher and a Tutor?

Teachers and Tutors are both educators who help students understand educational concepts, but the scope of their work is different. Teachers instruct groups of students using school guidelines for what subjects to teach in each unit. They manage a group learning environment and work to make education accessible to all of their students.

Tutors usually work one-on-one or in small groups with students who need additional help in a subject area. Students that want to improve their skills in a class can hire a tutor to receive personalized instruction and explanations of how to complete assignments. Tutors focus on one student at a time, adapting their teach9ing techniques to suit their mindset. They also teach study habits and test-taking techniques to help students retain and recall information when they’re back in the classroom.


What are the qualities of a good Teacher?

Good Teachers are hardworking, passionate, determined people who want to make a difference in their students’ education. They enjoy working with students in their grade range and can empathize with the challenges children experience when attending school. The best Teachers are personally invested in the success of their students, taking care to consider each student’s educational needs. They’re highly patient and can stay calm in hectic environments, deflecting disruptive behavior while maintaining a positive dynamic with students.


What are the daily duties of a Teacher?

Teachers work Monday through Friday during the school year, and may take additional responsibilities teaching Saturday school or summer school programs. Before going into work, Teachers prepare their lesson plans for each class. They practice presentations, make copies of worksheets and organize their materials. They begin the day by welcoming students to the classroom and supervising them during a basic warm-up activity. During the lesson, Teachers ask questions, respond to students and encourage them to participate. They proctor tests, lead discussions and organize projects. 

Teachers meet individually with students to discuss their interests and challenges. They provide accommodations for students to help them achieve their potential in the classroom. Additional responsibilities include helping with morning pickup and afternoon drop-off, supervising lunch and recess, chaperoning field trips and hosting after-school clubs.


Who does a teacher report to?

Teachers often have a high level of independence in their classrooms, but they do have to report to a few different managers to maintain accountability. Teachers are in charge of tracking the progress of each student and reporting back to the Head Teacher, Principal and Superintendent about their classroom outcomes and test scores. 

School Administrators may observe teachers in the classroom to provide feedback on their instruction techniques and share resources for managing students. Teachers receive instruction from Head Teachers about what curriculum and projects to focus on in class along with district guidelines. Teachers also communicate with the School Counselor to update them about their students’ emotional or behavioral challenges.

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