How to Become a Teaching Assistant
If you love being around children, then you should become a teaching assistant. You will not only love your job, but be great at it. A teaching assistant requires an enormous amount of patience and a few basic skills. A teaching assistant assists the teacher in clerical, such as taking attendance, cleaning up, teaching and tutoring. Sometimes a teaching assistant will be called up on to help one child, at other times the teaching assistant will be asked to help a group of children. A teaching assistant has to be flexible and have great time management skills. Teaching assistants are valued and respected by teachers. You can either find employment as a full time teaching assistant, or be a part-time, on call teaching assistant.
In order to become a teaching assistant you will eeds to have a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development). The GED is a test designed for people who failed to get a high school diploma. Apart from this, each state has its own requirements for a teaching assistant or teacher’s aide. Check with your state education department to find out the other requirements for becoming a teaching assistant.
Many states require some college credits as well. There are community colleges that offer educator’s course and offer certificates of completion after a couple of year of concentrated studies. Possessing such a certificate is a distinct advantage when you are on the look out for a job. Some states, like New York, require you to take a child abuse prevention course as well.
Apart from these minimum qualifications, you need to be prepared to deal with children everyday. You will be called up on to do anything from cleaning up to supervising the hallways. The children might find it difficult to adjust to your presence in the classroom. You might be assigned to help a difficult child or a child with special needs. These are some of the challenges that you will face in your career as a teacher’s assistant. However, once you win the trust and respect of the children, the career of a teacher’s aide can be very rewarding.
Part time vs Full time
While a full time teaching assistant is always in the class room, a part time aide has to be on call all the time. Though you are not offered full employment, you have to make yourself available for short notices. For example, you might receive a call one day in advance, or in the morning asking for your help with the afternoon session.
If you love being around children and like helping to shape the future of the young, then a teaching assistant’s career is the right one for you.