When work is delegated to an instructional aide, the teacher can spend more time teaching and creating effective lesson plans. An instructional aide performs various duties, including both instructional and clerical work for the purpose of helping a classroom instructor. An instructional aide is also known as a teaching assistant.
An instructional aide supervises students, offers special attention to students who need extra help, grades tests and homework, takes attendance, makes photocopies and stocks supplies. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), some instructional aides specialize in certain areas. Some speak a second language and are hired to help non-English-speaking students. Others work with students who have mental or physical disabilities.
Instructional aides work in different workplace settings, such as preschools, child care settings, religious centers and community settings. Most work in elementary schools, middle schools or high schools. Some aides work outdoors during recess as well as in the classroom itself. Most assistants work the during the duration of the traditional school year, which lasts from nine to ten months.
According to the BLS, training requirements for teaching assistants depend on the state or school district. Educational requirements range from a high school diploma to some college. More employers are seeking applicants who have completed some college coursework. Teacher assistants in Title 1 schools--those for mostly low-income households--have college training due to federal mandates that require a two-year degree or higher, two years of college or a state or local assessment. Teacher assistants also receive on-the-job training.
According to the BLS May 2009 Occupational Employment Statistics, instructional aides earned a national average salary of $24,280. Those who worked in elementary schools averaged $24,500, those who work in child day care services $20,480, those in colleges, universities and professional schools $28,840 and those in family services $22,450.
According to the BLS National Employment Matrix, employment for teacher assistants is expected to grow about 10 percent through 2018. Favorable job prospects are expected.
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