An assistant teacher, or aide, helps a teacher in the classroom. Aides perform a variety of tasks, including teaching students, helping students with special needs, and serving as role models for students.
Aides work under the supervision of a teacher, and they typically do not have teaching credentials. Aides who work with special education students may need a special education license.
Assistant Teacher Job Duties
A typical assistant teacher’s job duties include:
- Providing instruction to students in a classroom setting
- Organizing and supervising the daily activities of students in the classroom
- Preparing materials for lessons, such as books, charts, and posters
- Maintaining discipline in the classroom
- Taking attendance and grading tests
- Cleaning the classroom at the end of each day
Assistant Teacher Salary & Outlook
The median annual wage for teacher assistants was $28,900 in May 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is about $14 per hour.
The future is looking bright for teacher assistants, as the job outlook is expected to grow 4% from 2019-2029. This is due to a rise in student enrollment and state and federal funding for education programs.
Assistant Teacher Job Requirements
The requirements for an assistant teacher are as follows:
Education: Although state-specific requirements vary, candidates for an assistant teacher’s position usually need a high school diploma or equivalent. Many employers prefer candidates who have completed some college-level coursework, especially in the areas of child development or education.
Training: Most assistant teachers receive on-the-job training from a certified teacher or a senior assistant teacher. This training includes both classroom and hands-on learning experiences. During classroom training, assistant teachers can learn to manage a classroom, handle discipline issues and develop a close relationship with their students.
Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not required for this position, but many educators pursue them to improve their skills and increase their earning potential. Two of the most popular certifications for assistant teachers include Child Development Associate (CDA) and the ParaPro certification.
Assistant Teacher Skills
The following skills are helpful for assistant teachers:
Communication skills: Assistant teachers must be able to communicate effectively with parents, students, and the teacher.
Patience: Assistant teachers must have patience when dealing with students who are learning new concepts.
Attention to detail: A successful assistant teacher will need to pay attention to details such as seating arrangements, class schedules, and other important matters.
Leadership skills: An assistant teacher should be a good leader who can lead by example and motivate others.
Empathy: Teachers must be able to put themselves in their students’ shoes in order to help them succeed.
Assistant Teacher Work Environment
Assistant teachers work in the classroom, assisting and supporting the teacher. They may also work in the school’s library, cafeteria, or administrative offices.
Assistant teachers work with children in a variety of age groups, from toddlers to adolescents. They may also have other duties, such as preparing for the school day, assisting with lunch, and cleaning up.
Assistant Teacher Career Advancement
The best way to advance your career is to gain additional training in the field. This could mean completing an online or onsite degree program and/or earning a certification or license.
If you choose the first path, you should consider taking classes that will hone your specific skills and help you become a more effective teacher. If you want to take the other route, there are many different types of certifications that recognize your expertise as an assistant teacher. You might choose to pursue a certification that makes you eligible to teach a certain group of students (such as those with special needs) or one that makes you eligible to instruct at a specific grade level (such as elementary school). Whichever route you choose, it’s important to find an organization that will allow you to earn your certification and move ahead without having to leave your current job.
Once an assistant teacher has gained the necessary experience and education, they can consider moving into a lead teacher position.
Assistant Teacher Trends
Here are three trends influencing how Assistant Teachers work. Assistant Teachers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
Trends in Educational Technology
Educational technology has been a major trend that continues to develop in recent years, as tech companies like Google and Apple continue investing heavily in this field.
These advancements have led to tools such as student response systems for instructors, who can use them for assigning quizzes or encouraging classroom participation; professional development platforms (such as Khan Academy); school management software; administrative dashboards with automated attendance records and grading modules etc., which all allow educational professionals unprecedented levels of data access and accuracy from lesson plans to test outcomes.
Increased Levels of Support From Administrators
As education continues to go through changes nationally with increased accountability standards, administrators have become increasingly involved in supporting new teachers during this transitional period by working closely with mentoring organizations/teacher preparation programs within schools that share ideas about best practices within various district curricula
Efficacy of Montessori Methodology
Montessori methodology is a teaching philosophy that has been used around the world for more than one hundred years, and recent research suggests it may be even more effective than conventional education methods with regard to key developmental milestones.
Montessori training does not prepare teachers for certain tasks but focuses instead on helping them develop independence and facilitating natural interactions between children and adults so they can acquire new knowledge through self-study or hands-on exploration opportunities within an interactive environment such as a classroom without specific formal instruction or lecturing at all times which tends to lead to higher levels of interest, responsibility, concentration, confidence and success among children when compared with traditional classrooms
How to Become a Assistant Teacher
1. Planning Your Career Path
When researching possible career paths, think about which environment would allow you to grow professionally and personally; this will help guide your decision-making process throughout the application and interview stages. Once you have chosen a specific type of school or facility where you want to work, focus on how it is managed so that you can prepare yourself accordingly for any interviews or hiring processes that follow. The goal here is not only to impress during initial meetings but also to show potential employers how well prepared and qualified you are for this line of work through each step along the way.
2. Writing a Resume
To write a resume for an assistant teacher position, it is important to first understand what employers are looking for in a candidate. Many job descriptions for this role stress the importance of patience and listening skills.
So, when you’re writing your resume, be sure to include information that demonstrates these qualities as well as any training or experience you have working with children. This can include personal anecdotes from past jobs or volunteer work in addition to formal education on the subject matter (be sure to cite sources). If possible, get letters of recommendation from supervisors at previous positions who can attest to your abilities.
3. Applying for Jobs
As an aspiring assistant teacher, it can be challenging to identify what types of schools are out there and what makes them good to work for. Some great resources to explore are independent school websites and job boards; just be sure to avoid posting your resume in bulk or flooding HR inboxes with unnecessary information. In addition, be sure to do your research! After applying for positions, contact the schools you’ve applied to — whether you’ve heard back or not — to learn more about the interview process. This can be a great way to network and demonstrate your enthusiasm.
4. Ace the Interview
During an interview as an assistant teacher candidate, it is important to be on time, dress professionally, and show enthusiasm. It is also important to be prepared to answer questions about how you would handle difficult situations, how you would teach certain subjects, and how you would deal with students.