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Become A Teacher Aide

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Working As A Teacher Aide

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $30,180

    Average Salary

What Does A Teacher Aide Do

Teacher assistants work under a teacher’s supervision to give students additional attention and instruction.

Duties

Teacher assistants typically do the following:

  • Reinforce lessons presented by teachers by reviewing material with students one-on-one or in small groups
  • Enforce school and class rules to help teach students proper behavior
  • Help teachers with recordkeeping, such as tracking attendance and calculating grades
  • Help teachers prepare for lessons by getting materials ready or setting up equipment, such as computers
  • Supervise students in class, between classes, during lunch and recess, and on field trips

Teacher assistants also are called teacher aides, instructional aides, paraprofessionals, education assistants, and paraeducators.

Teacher assistants work with or under the guidance of a licensed teacher. Generally, teachers introduce new material to students while teacher assistants help reinforce the lessons by working with individual students or small groups of students. For example, after the teacher presents a lesson, a teacher assistant may help a small group of students as they try to master the material.

Teachers may seek feedback from assistants to monitor students’ progress. Some teachers and teacher assistants meet regularly to discuss lesson plans and student development. Teacher assistants sometimes help teachers by grading tests and checking homework.

Some teacher assistants work only with special education students. Some of these students attend regular classes, and teacher assistants help them understand the material and adapt the information to their learning style. Teacher assistants may work with students who have more severe disabilities in separate classrooms. They help these students with basic needs, such as eating or personal hygiene. With young adults, they may help students with disabilities learn skills necessary for them to find a job or live independently after graduation.

Some teacher assistants work in specific locations in the school. For example, some work in computer laboratories, teaching students how to use computers and helping them use software. Others work as recess or lunchroom attendants, supervising students during these times of the day.

Although most teacher assistants work in elementary, middle, and high schools, others work in preschools and childcare centers. Often, one or two assistants work with a lead teacher to provide the individual attention that young children need. They help with educational activities. They also supervise the children at play and help with feeding and other basic care.

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How To Become A Teacher Aide

Teacher assistants typically need to have completed at least 2 years of college coursework.

Education

Most school districts require applicants to have completed at least 2 years of college coursework or have earned an associate’s degree. Teacher assistants in schools that have a Title 1 program (a federal program for schools with a large proportion of students from low-income households) must have at least a 2-year degree, 2 years of college, or pass a state or local assessment.

Associate’s degree programs for teacher assistants prepare the participants to develop educational materials, observe students, and understand the role of teachers and teaching assistants in the classroom.

Most states require instructional aides who work with special-needs students to pass a skills-based test.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Teacher assistants need to discuss students’ progress with teachers and parents, so they need to be able to communicate well.

Interpersonal skills. Teacher assistants interact with a variety of people, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators. They need to develop good working relationships with the people they work with.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Teacher assistants must be patient with students who struggle with material.

Resourcefulness. To reinforce lessons, teacher assistants must explain information to students in a way that meets each student’s learning style. 

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Teacher Aide Jobs

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Teacher Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

81.4%

Male

16.6%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

77.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.1%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.1%

French

7.2%

Portuguese

2.8%

Italian

2.6%

German

2.3%

Mandarin

2.1%

Arabic

2.0%

Chinese

1.9%

Japanese

1.6%

Russian

1.3%

Hindi

1.2%

Korean

1.2%

Cantonese

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Hmong

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Tagalog

0.6%

Somali

0.5%

Polish

0.5%
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Teacher Aide Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.2%

Liberty University

9.1%

Ashford University

9.1%

Grand Canyon University

8.8%

Essex County College

5.1%

Kaplan University

5.0%

Arizona State University

3.8%

Capella University

3.8%

Kean University

3.6%

Monroe Community College

3.6%

Montclair State University

3.5%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.5%

Northern Illinois University

3.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.3%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.0%

Hudson County Community College

2.9%

Kansas State University

2.8%

Utah State University

2.8%

Rowan University

2.8%

Pennsylvania State University

2.8%
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Majors

Psychology

11.5%

Business

11.3%

Early Childhood Education

7.7%

Elementary Education

7.1%

Education

6.9%

Criminal Justice

5.6%

Human Development

5.2%

Medical Assisting Services

5.0%

Nursing

4.8%

Liberal Arts

4.1%

Health Care Administration

4.1%

Social Work

4.0%

General Studies

3.6%

Special Education

3.5%

Human Services

3.0%

Sociology

2.8%

English

2.8%

Communication

2.4%

Accounting

2.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.0%

Other

30.8%

Associate

14.2%

Masters

11.5%

Certificate

5.4%

Diploma

2.0%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.5%
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Temporary

Real Teacher Aide Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Teacher's Aide The Good Shepherd of Little Ones Kearny, NJ Aug 10, 2012 $27,627
Teacher's Aide Good Shepherd of The Little Ones Kearny, NJ Jun 06, 2011 $27,187
Teacher's Aide Sunita's Montessori School, LLC Salt Lake City, UT Oct 12, 2007 $27,089
Teacher Aide I Winchester School District NH Mar 01, 2011 $22,101
Teacher Aide West Carroll Parish School Board Oak Grove, LA Jul 18, 2011 $20,870
Teacher's Aide Montessori Preparatory School Tampa, FL Jan 27, 2011 $20,293
Teachers Aide Paradise Daycare Center Lauderdale Lakes, FL Nov 16, 2009 $19,827

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Top Skills for A Teacher Aide

ClassActivitiesWeeklyLessonPlansChildCareSpecialNeedsChildrenSuperviseSmallGroupsMathematicsDailyActivitiesClassroomTeacherPreschoolChildrenLanguageArtProjectsSpecialEducationLearningEnvironmentSocialSkillsSocialDevelopmentRecreationalActivitiesSafePlayEnvironmentReinforceLearningConceptsIEP

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  1. Class Activities
  2. Weekly Lesson Plans
  3. Child Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist classroom teacher in weekly unit lessons as well as daily class activities.
  • Assist teacher with weekly lesson plans and child observation.
  • Assist primary teacher in various child care rooms (baby, toddler, school age).
  • Helped special needs children with their classwork, by guiding them and explaining to them what they needed to do.
  • Supervised group activities, helping multiple students at a time while adhering to curriculum standards and objectives.

How Would You Rate Working As a Teacher Aide?

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Top Teacher Aide Employers

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Teacher Aide Videos

A day in the life of a Special Education teacher

A Day in the Life of a Kindergarten Teacher

Teachers and Teacher Aides Part 1