Teacher's Aide Education

Teacher's aide is an entry-level position in teaching. These aides help out teachers in the classroom and work directly with students. Continue reading to learn about the academic requirements and the job responsibilities.

Is Becoming a Teacher's Aide for Me?

Career Details

Teacher's aides, also called teacher assistants or paraprofessionals, help teachers by assisting students with assignments, entering grades, monitoring hallways and supervising recess. Your other responsibilities may include working with students individually to help them understand a concept and accompanying the class on field trips. This gives the lead teacher more time to prepare and teach lessons.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most teacher's aides work in kindergarten, elementary, middle and secondary school classrooms, but some work for preschools and child care centers (www.bls.gov). Many special education classrooms use teacher assistants for lifting students and enabling the children to follow a routine. Working as a teacher's aide can be rewarding, but it's also physically and mentally demanding, especially if you work with special needs children. To work in this field, you must be able to pass a background check. As a teacher's aide, you'll usually work while the school year is in session, and it should be noted that the BLS reported that about 40% of teacher's aides worked part-time in 2012.

Employment Information

The BLS reported that more than a million people worked as teacher assistants in 2012. The career outlook for aspiring teacher's aides is reasonable, since the BLS projected that employment would increase by nine percent between 2012 and 2022, which is as fast as the average anticipated growth for all occupations. As of May 2013, the BLS also noted that the median annual salary for teacher assistants was $24,000. While this may be considered low compared to other professions, you can advance your career or increase your pay by continuing your studies and enrolling in a bachelor's degree program in education, you could pursue teaching full-time.

How Do I Become a Teacher's Aide?

Training and Education

The minimum requirements for becoming a teacher's aide are a high school diploma and on-the-job training. However, some schools require that you have at least an associate's degree, preferably in a field related to education, such as teaching assistance, teacher's aide or child development, but certificates are also available. The amount of education you acquire can affect the jobs you qualify for because of the requirements by the 2001 'No Child Left Behind' Act.

Through a certificate or associate's degree program, you'll explore topics such as child development, human development, children's literature, elementary games, child care techniques and studies in special education. Other courses cover child behaviors, nutrition and cultural differences, as well as technology used in the classroom and teaching methods. Some programs provide the opportunity for you to complete classroom experience. With this training, you can become a teacher's aide or a teacher assistant.

Qualifying Exam

Before you can begin working, you may need to pass a state exam known as a paraprofessional test, depending on your state and your education. If you're bilingual or have experience working with children who have disabilities, it could increase your chances of employment.

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