Instructional assistants generally work with licensed instructors to ensure the proper learning of the individuals they are teaching. Oftentimes, instructional assistants will work in special education classes, where students may need extra guidance and support. Other times, instructional assistants work in classrooms, alongside instructors with varying types of students. An assistant instructor will aid the instructor by keeping notes on the progress of the group being instructed, as well as the individual progress of select students.
Assistant instructors generally stand in for the instructor during lunch breaks, recesses, and field trips. Spending extra time with students that may need an extra lesson or encouragement is normally where an instructional assistant will be of most help to the main teacher. It is also on the instructional assistant’s job list to reinforce the rules and procedures that both the instructor and the entire school have in place.
Some school districts require that assistant instructors only have a high school diploma, but others will require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in varying areas of education. Patience is a virtue that instructional assistants need to be in possession of, as this work can be stressful. Communication skills are also essential due to the social nature of the job. The work setting for an instructional assistant can vary, depending on the level of education one is assisting in. Elementary, middle, and high schools are all normal settings for instructional assistants, but some assistants may work in religious organizations or childcare facilities.
Instructional Assistant Tasks
Foster a positive learning atmosphere and assist the classroom teacher in eliminating potential disruptions.
Target low-performing students with specialized attention and one-on-one learning to help them achieve their academic goals.
Assist teachers in planning and preparing materials for individual and group classroom activities.
Assist in delivering lessons in the absence of the teacher.