What does a Teaching Assistant do?
Teaching Assistants typically work for daycare centers, preschools, elementary schools, middle schools or high schools to contribute to students’ beneficial learning experiences. They work closely with Teachers to develop lesson plans and create individualized coursework for students performing above or below the average education level for their grade. Their job is to motivate students to complete assignments and provide additional insights to parents about their child’s progress. They may also be responsible for speaking with Teachers about recurring instances of bullying or students struggling to learn course material to find creative solutions.
Teaching Assistant skills and qualifications
A Teaching Assistant uses a variety of soft skills and specialized knowledge to promote a safe, engaging and informational experience in the classroom, including:
- Excellent communication skills, including writing, public speaking and interpersonal conversation
- Great organization and planning skills
- Collaboration and teamwork abilities
- In-depth knowledge of subjects or discipline they’re assisting with
- Understanding of pedagogical best practices
- Ability to engage students of all learning levels and grade levels
- Patience and empathy
- Compassionate, positive and encouraging attitude
Teaching Assistant salary expectations
Teaching Assistants make an average of $25,733 per year. Salary may depend on level of education, experience and geographical location.
Teaching Assistant education and training requirements
Teaching Assistant candidates typically have at least a high school diploma or GED. Some candidates may have completed a teaching training program and earned a professional certificate, while others may have an associate degree in psychology or education. Other candidates may have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, early childhood development or another relevant discipline. Training in classroom activities and teaching practices through teaching practicums, student teaching programs, unions and professional organizations may also be common. A Teaching Assistant who works with special needs students may have completed specialized training in best practices.
Teaching Assistant experience requirements
An entry-level Teaching Assistant may have relevant experience from a practicum, student teaching program or training program. Other entry-level candidates may have previous experience with roles in customer service, administrative support and childcare, which may provide candidates with relevant communication, organization and interpersonal skills. For roles with special education students, previous experience as a Teaching Assistant or in another special education role may be required. Experienced candidates may have years of experience as a Teaching Assistant or in another childcare- or classroom-related role.
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