Needed Skills for a Teacher’s Aide
September 26, 2019 | by sofia lockhart
There is no doubt that some of the most rewarding career paths one could possibly choose involves that of working with children. Being there and helping the education and development of the next generation is a very respectable thing to do, but at the same time, not something everyone is cut out for. Besides being rewarding, it is also an extremely demanding line of work where you simply cannot be prepared for every possible scenario and therefore, always have to be resourceful. Every day poses new challenges to those working with children, and if this is what you are considering doing, you need to assess whether you have it in yourself. Here are the skills and qualifications you’ll need if you plan on becoming a teacher’s aide or help in early education.
What are the responsibilities of a teacher’s aide?
As the name suggests, a teacher’s aide or teaching assistant is there to assist the teacher. However, their responsibilities extend beyond just providing support for the academic staff, they are also there to offer help to the students. The teacher and their assistant work together in creating an optimal environment for the class, enabling them to learn and develop at the correct pace. The teacher’s aide helps out both with instructional and non-instructional responsibilities – they might be entrusted with practical tasks such as the preparation of the classroom, tasks concerning testing as well as attending to the children’s needs. They are also responsible for giving extra attention to those students who need it. In some cases, the teacher’s aide may be responsible for assisting learners with disabilities, too. All in all, the responsibilities of a teacher’s aide vary and can involve a slew of things.
What are the necessary qualifications?
Depending on where you live, the necessary qualifications for a job in education vary. In some places, the position of a teaching assistant can be filled by both undergraduate and graduate students, but those who are looking to make a career as an aide are going to need qualification within the field of education. For example, in Australia, a Certificate III in Education Support is a desirable entry-level qualification for this job, while in the US, an associate’s degree is preferable. Look up your own state’s requirements to see where you need to start.
What skills do you need to possess?
The aforementioned responsibilities of a teacher’s aide suggest quite clearly that besides your qualifications, you certainly need a slew of skills to do well in this field. Working with children is by no means easy, and these are some of the qualities you should look for in yourself if you want to be a teacher’s aide:
Emotional intelligence and observational skills
This is something that is essential when working with children and you are going to learn about it during your qualifications for this line of work. You need to be observant of the classroom (as well as the teacher) so that you are able to spot how well each student is doing and help out where necessary. It’s also essential that you are a people person and have great empathy so that you can understand the needs of individual students better.
Good communication skills are an essential part of a teacher’s aide’s job. Given that you are going to be constantly collaborating with a teacher, it’s essential that you are able to create functional working relationships and a clear line of communication so that you can work like a well-oiled machine. In addition, great communication skills are necessary when delivering instructions to the students and making sure everyone understands everything.
As mentioned a few times already, working with children is no easy feat. The only way to create a positive learning environment is with plenty of patience – especially if children with disabilities or behavioral issues are in question. In addition, teacher’s aides might have a difficult time due to not having as much authority as the teachers, but you have to remain patient and accept that some days are going to be difficult.
Creativity and good organizational skills
A teacher’s aide is often entrusted with preparing activities and group work and depending on the age group, you might need a considerable amount of creativity to execute these tasks. Being creative also comes in handy when you need to overcome unexpected issues. The ability to organize everything well but also to improvise when something doesn’t go as planned and adapting to the teacher’s requirements are all important qualities a teacher’s aide needs to possess.
A Love of Children
Last but not least, while it may look like an obvious statement, if you plan on becoming a teacher’s aide, it’s essential that you love children and enjoy working with them. If you lack in this aspect, it is going to be difficult to remain patient and calm which will only affect both the children and you negatively. Only those who genuinely love doing this should choose a career in children’s education.
No job involving children is easy, but if you think you were born to do this, you will be able to overcome the challenges and become a great teacher’s assistant. Good luck!
Sofia is a passionate writer from Sydney. She also enjoys decorating houses and engaging in home renovation projects. That is why she loves sharing her experience and advice with other people through her writing. Besides this, she loves technology and gadgets which can help us get through a busy workday.