A special education assistant aids a teacher in a special education class, usually in an elementary, middle, or high school setting. Some classes deal with students who have mental disabilities, while others are children who need help in specific areas such as speech therapy or English as a second language. Sometimes this position involves assisting in a full-time special education classroom. Other times the position involves helping out students in classes where the students will attend for a short period of time in between other classes.
The assistant will help to direct behavior, especially when the teacher is administering lessons to a large group of students. When students need extra help comprehending what is being taught, the assistant may have to come up with other ways to make the lessons make sense to the student. Special education classes often aim to teach students basic skills such as math and reading, while paying close attention to the students’ special needs. The students may have limited abilities in being able to assist themselves in basic needs and activities, so it is important to be able to help them while being a patient person.
Generally, this is a full-time job that occurs during normal school hours. A main goal of the job is helping students to gain independence and knowledge whenever possible. Most of the activities are done indoors, while some activities will require venturing into the outdoors on field trips.
Special Education Assistant Tasks
Institute specialized therapeutic programs for students under the direction of their therapist and/or classroom teacher.
Foster positive relationships with families and support student learning by clearly communicating in-class progress and development.
Implement behavior intervention policies to ensure classroom safety for students and faculty.
Assist teachers in planning and preparation for individual and group classroom activities.
Assist students with personal care, hygiene, meals, and drinks.