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Teacher Assistants Career

Career Description

Perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. Serve in a position for which a teacher has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

What Job Titles Teacher Assistants Might Have

  • Instructional Assistant
  • Paraprofessional
  • Special Education Teaching Assistant
  • Teacher Assistant

What Teacher Assistants Do

  • Provide extra assistance to students with special needs, such as non-English-speaking students or those with physical and mental disabilities.
  • Supervise students in classrooms, halls, cafeterias, school yards, and gymnasiums, or on field trips.
  • Tutor and assist children individually or in small groups to help them master assignments and to reinforce learning concepts presented by teachers.
  • Enforce administration policies and rules governing students.
  • Discuss assigned duties with classroom teachers to coordinate instructional efforts.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment and materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Observe students' performance, and record relevant data to assess progress.
  • Present subject matter to students under the direction and guidance of teachers, using lectures, discussions, or supervised role-playing methods.
  • Prepare lesson materials, bulletin board displays, exhibits, equipment, and demonstrations.
  • Organize and supervise games and other recreational activities to promote physical, mental, and social development.
  • Distribute teaching materials, such as textbooks, workbooks, papers, and pencils to students.
  • Organize and label materials and display students' work in a manner appropriate for their eye levels and perceptual skills.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Type, file, and duplicate materials.
  • Laminate teaching materials to increase their durability under repeated use.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Carry out therapeutic regimens, such as behavior modification and personal development programs, under the supervision of special education instructors, psychologists, or speech-language pathologists.
  • Assist in bus loading and unloading.
  • Maintain computers in classrooms and laboratories and assist students with hardware and software use.
  • Distribute tests and homework assignments and collect them when they are completed.
  • Grade homework and tests, and compute and record results, using answer sheets or electronic marking devices.
  • Take class attendance and maintain attendance records.
  • Prepare lesson outlines and plans in assigned subject areas and submit outlines to teachers for review.
  • Participate in teacher-parent conferences regarding students' progress or problems.
  • Conduct demonstrations to teach skills, such as sports, dancing, and handicrafts.
  • Plan, prepare, and develop various teaching aids, such as bibliographies, charts, and graphs.
  • Requisition and stock teaching materials and supplies.
  • Operate and maintain audio-visual equipment.
  • Collect money from students for school-related projects.

What Teacher Assistants Should Be Good At

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Teacher Assistants Should Be Interested In

What Teacher Assistants Need to Learn

  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $25,410

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.