How to become a teaching assistant

Many people who want to become a teaching assistant will not know what to expect when it comes to pay and the certain work conditions they will be facing. Most know that they will be interacting with students and aiding the teacher in any way possible but other than that, that’s all they know. Here are some things you should expect when it comes to having a career as a teaching assistant.
• Many teaching assistants will need to sign a contract of some sort. Depending on which institution you work for, you will need to sign a contract determining the time you will work there. Some contracts are all year while others can be a casual position or temporary for half of the term. Those who have all year contracts have certain benefits such as paid leave during school holidays, those who are on shorter contracts do not have this luxury. Of course after your contract is up and if the working relationship with your employer is great, you can renew your contract or even improve upon it.
• Teaching assistants salaries can vary by institution or school. Despite having to apply for the position as your would a teacher, the salary for a teaching assistant is not based on national pay scales. Your salary is determined by who you work for. Some schools may pay more while others may pay less. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a teaching assistant’s annual median pay was $23,640, however, the top ten percentage of this group estimated to have earned more than $36,680.
• Teaching assistants can work in varying school environments. Teaching assistants can work in various schools and institutions such as private, public, middle, elementary, and even high schools. Some other assistants will find work in other institutions such as preschools, childcare centers, or even community centers. Most of the time teaching assistants will spend their time in the classroom but they can spend time outside during a recess period or during school trips and events.
• They may have to think creatively and outside of the box. Sometimes dealing with students can be a handful and you will have to think creatively to come up with a solution. These creative solutions can help to create or forge stronger relationships between yourself and the students you help to teach and tutor.
• Most work normal school hours. A teaching assistant’s schedule is similar to that of a teacher’s. Both will have to be present during school hours and at times will also need to stay after school to help with events or to mentor students who need help understanding the curriculum at hand. Most teaching assistants do not work in the summer unless they have signed a contract to work during summer school hours. Some teaching assistants may find it ideal to find a part-time or seasonal job to keep the flow of income during the summer months when they are not working for their specified school.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/teacher-assistants.htm
2. https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6168765

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