The two main responsibilities of teacher aides are to assist with clerical work and classroom activities. They must provide support for teachers, including giving attention to individual students who need assistance and keeping an eye on students while the teacher is away. Teacher aides typically work with younger students and provide personalized attention, observe their progress, and encourage them individually.
Teacher aides are great sources of information in parent-teacher conferences, as they can inform parents where their child needs to improve or how well they are doing, and can give small pieces of advice or criticism about certain behaviors. Aside from helping students, teacher aides also help with administrative tasks, such as keeping track of attendance records, grading material, recording grades in books or spreadsheets, and preparing lesson outlines and handouts. They may also be asked to create classroom displays, prepare audiovisual equipment, and organize materials such as pens, paper, and science lab supplies.
Teacher aides are usually required (to have an associate's or bachelor's degree in education, though some with only a high school diploma may be hired and provided on-the-job training. Teacher aides often strive to move into full-time teaching positions, so some may pursue college eduction to do so. The National Education Association provides all of the information that a teacher's aide will need for training, as well as state work requirements.
Teacher Aide Tasks
Handle difficult behavioral problems or safety issues directly.
Assist teachers with records such as attendance and grades.
Supervise students during instruction, recess, hallways, etc., to maintain order and provide a good learning environment.
Assist in developing, preparing, and distributing lessons and materials.