Career Development

What Does an Instructional Aide Do?

Find out what an instructional aide does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an instructional aide.

Instructional aides are the backbone of many schools. They help teachers and other staff members deliver instruction to students by providing support in a variety of ways, from taking attendance to handing out supplies or equipment.

Instructional aides may also be responsible for monitoring student behavior during class time. This can include everything from keeping kids quiet so they can hear the teacher to actively engaging with students who might need extra attention.

Instructional Aide Job Duties

Instructional aides have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Conducting classroom activities such as assisting with teacher demonstrations, group discussions, and hands-on experiments and activities
  • Recording attendance and updating grade books, progress reports, and other student records
  • Providing assistance to students with disabilities or who are learning English as a second language
  • Supporting teachers in the classroom by helping students with their school work and encouraging them to do their best
  • Providing support to teachers with classroom management activities such as monitoring student behavior and enforcing rules
  • Assisting teachers with teaching specific subjects such as art, music, or physical education
  • Assisting with curriculum development by creating lesson plans, materials, and activities for lessons
  • Providing support to children with disabilities or special needs who are not yet able to attend school
  • Recruiting, training, and supervising student aides who help with activities such as serving food, cleaning classrooms, and handling supplies

Instructional Aide Salary & Outlook

Instructional aide salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of school they work in. Some aides may also receive benefits, such as health insurance, paid vacation days, and retirement plans.

  • Median Annual Salary: $31,500 ($15.14/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)

The employment of instructional aides is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Schools will continue to employ instructional aides to provide one-on-one instruction for students with special needs and to help teachers with classroom management. However, budgetary constraints may limit the number of new positions created.

Related: In-Depth Instructional Aide Salary Guide

Instructional Aide Job Requirements

Instructional aides typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Instructional aides need at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. Many employers prefer an associate’s degree or certificate in education or a related field. Courses in education, child development, psychology and teaching methods can help instructional aides work with students of all ages and abilities.

Training & Experience: Instructional aides typically receive on-the-job training. This training may include shadowing an experienced aide or teacher, learning classroom management techniques and completing classroom organization tasks under supervision.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not usually a requirement for an instructional aide role, they can be useful in finding a job and increasing your earning potential.

Instructional Aide Skills

Instructional aides need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Instructional aides communicate with students, teachers and other staff members on a daily basis. Effective communication skills, including active listening, speaking and writing skills, are important for this job. You may also need to communicate with parents and guardians about student progress and other important information.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is the ability to notice small changes in a person’s behavior or environment. Instructional aides often work with students who have special needs, so it’s important that they notice any changes in their behavior or learning patterns. This can help the aide understand what the student needs and how they can best learn.

Patience: Patience is a necessary skill for an instructional aide. You may work with students who have learning disabilities, behavioral issues or other obstacles that make it difficult for them to learn. It’s important to be patient with them and help them overcome their challenges.

Organization: Instructional aides often work in schools, where the environment is often very busy and full of activity. Because of this, it’s important for aides to have strong organizational skills. This allows them to keep track of their work and the work of their colleagues, as well as the students’ work.

Teaching: Instructional aides often work with teachers to plan and implement lessons for students. This requires knowledge of teaching methods and strategies. You can learn about teaching by taking classes or workshops on the subject or by observing and working with teachers.

Instructional Aide Work Environment

Instructional aides typically work in public schools, assisting teachers in the classroom and working with students one-on-one or in small groups. They may also work in private schools, childcare centers, or other educational settings. Instructional aides typically work a regular school day schedule, although they may be required to work evenings or weekends for special events or activities. The work can be physically demanding, as aides may be required to lift or move students or equipment. The work can also be emotionally demanding, as aides must be able to deal with the challenges of working with students who have a wide range of abilities, disabilities, and behavioral issues.

Instructional Aide Trends

Here are three trends influencing how instructional aides work. Instructional aides will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Focus on Digital Learning

The trend of digital learning is growing rapidly, as more and more schools are adopting technology-based learning platforms. This means that instructional aides will need to be familiar with these platforms and how to use them effectively in the classroom.

Instructional aides can play a key role in helping to implement digital learning in their schools by providing support to teachers and students. They can also help to create a culture of innovation and experimentation within the school community.

More Attention to Special Education

As special education becomes a larger part of the educational system, instructional aides will need to have specialized training in order to provide the best possible support for students with disabilities.

This trend is likely to continue as more and more students are identified as having special needs. As a result, instructional aides will need to be prepared to work with a wide range of students and understand the various challenges they face.

Greater Emphasis on Collaboration

The trend of greater emphasis on collaboration is being seen in all areas of business, from marketing to product development. In the education field, this trend is being reflected in the increasing use of collaborative learning methods.

Instructional aides can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in collaborative learning techniques. This will allow them to help teachers create engaging and effective learning environments for students.

How to Become an Instructional Aide

Instructional aides have a lot of options when it comes to their career path. They can specialize in working with a certain age group, such as preschoolers or teenagers; they can focus on a particular subject area, such as math or science; or they can work in a specific setting, such as a school or community center.

No matter which direction they choose, instructional aides should keep up-to-date on the latest teaching methods and best practices. They should also be familiar with the curriculum standards for their state so that they can support teachers in meeting those standards.

Related: How to Write an Instructional Aide Resume

Advancement Prospects

Instructional aides may advance to become lead instructional aides, head teachers, or principals. Aides with a bachelor’s degree may become teachers. Aides with a master’s degree may become education administrators, such as school counselors, curriculum specialists, or librarians.

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