Title I educational assistants are paid with funds provided by the federal government to help students with a weakness in reading and math. Students referred by classroom teachers are monitored and tested to see if they qualify for help and educational assistants are hired based upon available funds.
Paraprofessionals assist classroom teachers by helping students with one-on-one tutoring. They help supervise students outside the regular classroom and help set up equipment and materials needed for instruction. Many grade homework and tests. Some keep records, stock supplies, type and file and run copies of teaching materials and tests.
Most Title I educational assistants work in elementary or middle school classrooms. Some help in secondary schools, preschools, child care centers or community centers. Some Title I teacher assistants spend a lot of time sitting and helping students with learning activities, while others supervise students outside and spend a lot of time standing, walking, bending and lifting.
Some paraprofessionals have worked for years with a high school diploma and training, but in recent years, Title I teacher assistants are required to have at least 48 to 60 credit hours of higher education or an associate's degree in child development. Most schools require a background check, and some prefer experience, computer skills, and good writing skills. Once hired, Title I teacher assistants learn district rules, how the school operates and the tasks they need to know to perform job duties.
Educational assistants paid with Title I funds have to meet No Child Left Behind (NCLB) guidelines that include a high school diploma and 2 years of higher education or an associate's degree. Classes and written tests may be used to qualify educational assistants who were employed before NCLB criteria was established. Teacher assistants whose entire job consists of translating or working with parents aren't required to have an associate's degree.
Children with disabilities, special needs and those who don't speak English require extra attention regular classroom teachers don't have time to give. Title I educational assistants benefit these children by filling this need during the regular school year. Some also work in after-school or summer school programs.
Job Demand and Compensation
Education assistant job demand should grow by 10% by the year 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average annual wages for teacher assistants in 2008 were $22,200. The 40% of educational assistants who work part time don't usually receive additional benefits, but full-time teacher assistants may qualify for health benefits.
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