The job of a teachers assistant is exactly what the name implies – assisting the teacher in the classroom. However there are several different types of teachers assistants, each one requiring different skill sets and different qualifications. You can choose to work in the regular school system or in a university.
Within the regular school system, as a teacher assistant, you work with students who are having difficulties. These difficulties vary from behavior problems, medical problems, learning disorders and simply children who need some extra help in order to get their work completed and succeed in school. At one time, there was no need to post-secondary training required to get hired for such a position. Today, you do need to graduate from high school and complete a college course designed to train you as an assistant to work in the classroom with a teacher.
As part of the teacher assistant training, you will learn about the types of behavior problems children experience and how to deal with them. You will also learn how to defend yourself in situations where the students may become very defiant. In addition, you do need to have training in learning theories and methodologies so that you can help the children for whom you are responsible. You will take courses in how to plan lessons, fill in reports and keep an account of the student’s daily activities and behaviors.
As a teacher assistant, you are in a classroom with a certified teacher. Depending on the circumstances of the school district and whether there is an ample supply of on-call teachers, as an assistant, you may be called upon to take over the class in the teacher’s absence. This would mean you would get a raise in pay for these days.
On the job training is part of the process of becoming a teacher assistant. This lets you work in various classrooms and with various teachers so you get a good overview of how the system works. It also lets you become familiar with the school system and the rules and regulations involved in the operation of a school and in working with students. Tutoring and reviewing lessons with students is part of the job, as well as the operation of video equipment. In order to work with children, you will need to provide a police check because they are working with children as the school district will do a background check on all employees. Depending on the nature of the students, some assistants require a valid driver’s license because they have to transport children to swimming and occupational therapy sessions.
With the increase in diagnoses of children with learning and behavior problems, the employment prospects for teacher assistants is expected to increase. Therefore, anyone choosing this career path will not have a lot of difficulty getting a job. There is also a need for assistants to work with children who are learning English as a second language. An assistant that can speak more than one language has excellent job prospects in this field.