What does a Teaching Assistant do?

A teaching assistant is a person who assists both teachers and students. Teaching assistant positions are available at all levels of education, from kindergarten to the upper echelon of colleges and universities. Many teaching assistant jobs include instructional and academic responsibilities, but the job description for a teaching assistant can vary depending on the position. Administrative responsibilities, such as filing and keeping records, may also fall under the purview of the teaching assistant.

Because there is less teaching time at this level, preschool teaching assistants often assist with student supervision and may also play a small role in instruction. Because preschool lesson plans call for a lot of hands-on work, the assistant may be asked to set up the classroom for special projects or clean up afterward. Because preschool students are younger and require constant supervision, assisting a preschool teacher may also entail taking care of the students.

Although teaching assistant jobs in some schools still involve monitoring hallways, classrooms, athletic fields, libraries, and study halls, older students in elementary and high school require less supervision. Teaching assistants may also be asked to accompany students on field trips as supervisors. Assistants at higher educational levels may help with teaching, but they will usually stick to the teacher’s lesson plan or curriculum. As part of their degree program, education majors frequently work as teaching assistants in lower grades.

Teaching assistants (TAs) at the college or university level can help professors and teachers in a variety of ways. A TA may occasionally teach a class or be in charge of a study group that is part of the class. TAs grade tests and assignments on a regular basis and may work with students one-on-one as tutors or on special projects. Many science classes require labs, where the TA can supervise and run the experiments.

Approximately half of all teaching aide positions are part-time, according to estimates. Parents prefer this type of job because it allows them to work while their children are in school and take time off during the summer when their children are at home. Many teaching assistants are college students pursuing an education degree. Many master’s degree candidates work as a teaching assistant in their field, instructing first-year students in college courses.

A high school diploma may be the minimum requirement for a teaching assistant position, despite the fact that some college is usually preferred. For some jobs, an associate’s degree may be required. Before being hired, most educational positions will require applicants to undergo a background check. Fluency in a foreign language is not required, but it may be advantageous for someone interested in working as a teaching assistant.