In most areas, there isn't much competition for teaching assistant jobs. They are usually part-time positions without benefits, and they typically pay a low hourly wage. Most of these jobs include doing such tasks as organizing papers and making photocopies, so the qualifications to become a teaching assistant are fairly lenient.
Not much education is required to become a teaching assistant. Adults are qualified if they have a high school diploma or equivalent education, such as a GED. If you want to be a teaching assist at the middle school or high school level, some formal training in the subjects you'll help teach will be appreciated, but rarely required.
Clean Criminal History
All employees of school districts in the United States must submit to fingerprinting and a criminal records check. Misdemeanors or even felonies aren't necessarily a disqualification, depending on the severity of the crime and more recent history. However, a sex crime or drug conviction is almost always a deal breaker, no matter how long ago it happened.
Schools are supposed to be drug-free zones, and many school districts require employees to pass a drug test before beginning employment with them. Some schools also require random or periodic drug testing of employees throughout the term of employment.
- Katherine Brick, Teacher Trainer, Hillsboro, OR
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