Teacher Assistant Training
To become a teacher assistant, the proper education is encouraged, which usually includes at least some college. In fact, many teacher assistants are working toward a bachelor’s degree so they can become teachers themselves in the near future. Therefore, if you want the best chance of getting a job as a teacher assistant, you should learn the training that is typically recommended.
Teacher Assistant College Programs
One of the most common ways to become a teacher assistant is to get an associate’s degree in this subject, which usually takes two years to complete. There are also some vocational schools that feature teacher assistant programs, and these tend to take one to two years. In addition, you may also get a certificate in this subject from any college, which usually requires taking courses for about a year, followed by an exam. However, you will not have a college degree at the end of the program.
Many teacher assistants are in college working toward a bachelor’s degree in teaching. In fact, most colleges require students in this type of program to act as teacher assistants for anywhere from one semester to two years. Once they complete the required time assisting teachers, they can graduate with a teaching degree. This means that if you wish to become a teacher assistant, you may be competing with many applicants who are well into a teaching degree program, so it may be best to have at least some college under your belt.
On the other hand, it is possible to get a job without getting any formal training. As long as you have a high school diploma and are willing to learn on-the-job, you still have a shot at getting this kind of position. Just know that some school districts require teacher assistants to have at least some college. For example, Title I schools, which tend to have a lot of low-income students, require teacher assistants to have at least two years of college training.
Therefore, you should learn the rules of the schools you are applying to before you decide whether you should go to college to become a teacher assistant. If you are sure that you do not wish to attend college, your best bet may be starting at a child care center and gaining experience on-the-job since such employers typically do not require a degree.
Teacher Assistant Courses
What you will learn in your school depends on which program you choose. If you decide to go to vocational school or just want a certificate in this subject, you will likely be taught how to keep records for the classes you assist with, create and grade teaching materials, and supervise or tutor students properly. You may also be taught how audiovisual equipment works, as well as other equipment in the classroom, since you will be expected to deal with it during your job.
If you decide to get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, you will also have to take general courses. These usually include writing, math, and science. You are also urged to take classes that teach a second language or further your computing skills, as these abilities are helpful in many teacher assistant jobs.
Once you get the recommended teacher assistant training, you still have to complete a few other requirements. You typically need to pass a background check before working with children, and you will likely need to show your driver’s license before getting a job. Other than that, most of the things you need to know will be taught on-the-job, so be prepared to be patient and take in lots of information during the first few months.
What to Know Before You Choose a Program
You need to consider the amount of time you wish to spend getting the recommended education. A one-year program may sound great, but keep in mind that it will not result in a college degree like a two or four-year program will. At the same time, if you are not certain that you want to stay in this career long-term, spending years in a teacher assistant program may not be recommended.
In addition, note that some school districts pay for teacher assistants to go back to college and get their bachelor’s degree. If you hear that local districts offer this benefit, you may want to wait until you are employed there to get the degree you want since this can save you a significant amount of money. Just be aware that you will usually have to agree to continue working in the district as a teacher assistant for a certain amount of time.