How to Get a Job as a Teacher Assistant
Volunteering can help you break into the field, Burcaw says. “You can help your child’s teacher, and you can go from maybe doing some one-on-one tutoring with a kid to applying for an opening at the school for a reading tutor,” she says. “Maybe you’ve got an associate’s or some college, you meet the basic requirements and the next thing you know, you’re working as the reading teacher and getting paid.” Since teacher assistants interact with a diverse mix of teachers, students, parents and administrators each day, patience and people skills are crucial qualities. “They have to be able to relate to a variety of folks, so communication skills, I think, are especially important,” Burcaw adds.
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What is the Job Like?
These professionals can be the buffer between the teacher and students, and they have the opportunity to get to know the students. Teacher assisting is not a particularly high-stress job, given that it allows for flexible work schedules. Almost 40 percent of teacher assistants worked part time in 2012. Unless they’re employed by year-round schools, these workers generally enjoy work-free summers. The chance to improve the lives of children is one of the job’s greatest perks, Burcaw says. “Fortunately, most teacher assistants love children,” she says. “That’s why they do what they do.”
Last updated by Evan Taylor.