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Become A Teacher Assistant

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Working As A Teacher Assistant

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $37,436

    Average Salary

What Does A Teacher Assistant 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 Assistant

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 Assistant jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Secondary Teacher 5.0 years
Bilingual Teacher 4.4 years
Science Teacher 4.0 years
Teacher 3.8 years
Group Teacher 3.6 years
Headstart Teacher 3.6 years
Voice Teacher 3.6 years
Master Teacher 3.5 years
Biology Teacher 3.4 years
Montessori Teacher 3.3 years
Technology Teacher 3.3 years
Head Teacher 3.3 years
Art Teacher 3.3 years
Consultant Teacher 3.1 years
Head Start Teacher 3.0 years
Psychology Teacher 2.9 years
Resource Teacher 2.9 years
Junior Teacher 2.9 years
Lead Teacher 2.7 years
Preschool Teacher 2.7 years
Reading Teacher 2.6 years
Inclusion Teacher 2.6 years
Mentor Teacher 2.6 years
Pre-K Teacher 2.6 years
5th Grade Teacher 2.6 years
Peer Teacher 2.6 years
Teacher Counselor 2.5 years
Lead Pre-K Teacher 2.5 years
Youth Teacher 2.4 years
Teacher Associate 2.4 years
4th Grade Teacher 2.4 years
Class Teacher 2.4 years
Child Care Teacher 2.3 years
Substitute Teacher 2.3 years
1st Grade Teacher 2.3 years
Teacher/Tutor 2.3 years
Day Care Teacher 2.1 years
Nursery Teacher 2.1 years
Chinese Teacher 2.1 years
Teacher Aide 2.0 years
Teacher Assistant 2.0 years
Preschool Aide 1.9 years
Classroom Aide 1.8 years
Toddler Teacher 1.8 years
Co-Teacher 1.7 years
Infant Teacher 1.7 years
Children's Tutor 1.7 years
Helper Teacher 1.6 years
Volunteer Teacher 1.6 years
Floater Teacher 1.3 years
Teacher Internship 0.8 years
Student Teacher 0.7 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 13.8%
Internship 8.4%
Teacher 7.4%
Volunteer 5.8%
Tutor 3.1%
Server 2.9%
Nanny 2.6%
Hostess 2.3%
Top Employers After
Teacher 12.1%
Cashier 8.0%
Internship 7.9%
Volunteer 4.2%
Nanny 3.3%
Server 3.1%
Tutor 2.9%

Teacher Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

79.3%

Male

17.9%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

75.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.8%

Asian

7.7%

Unknown

2.0%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.2%

French

8.9%

Chinese

3.9%

Mandarin

3.4%

Arabic

2.9%

Italian

2.7%

Portuguese

2.4%

German

2.3%

Japanese

2.2%

Russian

2.2%

Korean

1.8%

Cantonese

1.6%

Hindi

1.6%

Urdu

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Tagalog

0.6%

Polish

0.6%

Hmong

0.6%

Greek

0.5%
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Teacher Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.6%

Grand Canyon University

9.5%

Liberty University

9.5%

Ashford University

9.2%

Kaplan University

4.9%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.5%

Kean University

4.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.9%

Montclair State University

3.7%

Temple University

3.6%

Essex County College

3.6%

Brigham Young University

3.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.5%

Jackson State University

3.3%

University of Central Florida

3.3%

Walden University

3.3%

Capella University

3.2%

California State University - Los Angeles

3.0%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.0%
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Majors

Psychology

12.1%

Business

10.6%

Early Childhood Education

10.5%

Elementary Education

7.0%

Education

6.5%

Human Development

5.8%

Criminal Justice

4.7%

Nursing

4.4%

Special Education

3.9%

Social Work

3.8%

Medical Assisting Services

3.8%

Liberal Arts

3.4%

Health Care Administration

3.3%

English

3.3%

Biology

3.2%

Sociology

3.0%

Communication

3.0%

General Studies

2.8%

Human Services

2.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.7%

Other

25.6%

Masters

15.5%

Associate

11.8%

Certificate

4.2%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

1.4%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Teacher Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Engineering Teachers Postsecondary (Assistant Professor) University of Washington Seattle, WA Feb 11, 2010 $112,800
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary (Assistant Professor) University of Washington Seattle, WA Mar 23, 2010 $110,004
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary (Assistant Professor) University of Washington Seattle, WA Jul 02, 2010 $92,004
Health Specialites Teachers, Post Secondary (Assistant Professor) Long Island University New York, NY Nov 06, 2009 $88,400
Health Specialties Teacher, Postsecondary (Occupational Safety & Health Assistant Professor) Grand Valley State University Grand Rapids, MI Jan 14, 2011 $74,000
Music Director & Teacher Assistant Ready, Set, Play! Inc. New York, NY Jun 15, 2013 $52,175
Teacher Assistant Gallaudet University Washington, DC Jun 01, 2011 $48,960
Teacher Assistant Hawaii Department of Education Urban Honolulu, HI Aug 29, 2011 $46,811
Teacher Assistant The Learning Skills Academy Rye, NH Oct 01, 2011 $42,470
Teacher Assistant The Learning Skills Academy Rye, NH Oct 01, 2011 $41,740 -
$52,175
Teacher Assistant Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI May 07, 2011 $36,773
Teacher Assistant Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI Mar 05, 2011 $36,773
Infant Teacher Assistant Nanda Inc. Rockville, MD Jul 23, 2015 $30,408
Teacher Assistant Rosel School of Cosmetology Chicago, IL Dec 28, 2007 $30,243
Teacher Assistant Coppin State University Baltimore, MD Jul 30, 2010 $30,000
Teacher Assistant Mary McLeod Bethune Day Academy PCS Washington, DC Aug 17, 2010 $30,000
Teacher Assistant Coppin State University Baltimore, MD Aug 29, 2010 $30,000
Teacher Assistants Arkansas Tech University Russellville, AR Feb 03, 2011 $29,920
Teacher Assistants Arkansas Tech University Russellville, AR May 25, 2010 $29,920
Teacher Assistants Sojourner Truth Academy Minneapolis, MN Apr 30, 2009 $29,800
Teacher Assistant International Immersion Center Austin, TX Dec 29, 2016 $24,320
Teacher Assistant Mountain View Montessori School Reno, NV Mar 07, 2011 $24,133
Teacher Assistants Kellenberg Memorial High School Uniondale, NY Jan 02, 2013 $24,000
Teacher Assistants Camphill Special School PA Jun 17, 2008 $24,000
Teacher Assistant Su Escuela Language Academy LLC Hingham, MA Aug 10, 2015 $24,000
Teacher Assistant Big Ideas for Small People II, LLC Doral, FL Mar 15, 2015 $24,000
Teacher Assistant Sotreza LLC North Bay Village, FL Aug 01, 2014 $24,000

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Top Skills for A Teacher Assistant

ClassActivitiesWeeklyLessonPlansChildCareArtProjectsSmallGroupsSuperviseDailyActivitiesMathematicsClassroomTeachersSpecialNeedsChildrenLanguagePreschoolChildrenSocialDevelopmentAssistantTeacherRecreationalActivitiesSpecialEducationDiscussReinforceLearningConceptsSocialSkillsSafeLearningEnvironment

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Top Teacher Assistant Skills

  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:
  • Interacted with children during class activities in order to provide a positive intellectual and social learning experience.
  • Organized and implemented classroom learning activities, objectives, and procedures according to Master Teacher devised weekly lesson plans.
  • Provided support and child care for low income single parents and families, as well as children with special needs.
  • Planned activities for children, such as storytelling or art projects.
  • Assist lead teacher with classroom preparation * Assist all children needs * Conduct small groups activities

Top Teacher Assistant Employers

Teacher Assistant Videos

A day in the life of a Special Education teacher

A Day in the Life of a Kindergarten Teacher

Career Advice on becoming a Trainee PE Teacher by Andrea C (Full Version)

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