Indiana projects job opportunities for teacher's aides, or paraprofessionals, to grow almost 8% between 2014 and 2024. These professionals may assist teachers with daily activities, such as classroom management, putting up and taking down bulletin boards, and accompanying students on recess. If this sounds like a career for you, keep reading to learn more about their average salary, degree requirement, and necessary background check.
Indiana Teacher's Aide Requirements
|Average Salary for Indiana Teacher's Aides (2016)*||$22,620 (Teacher Assistants)|
|Required Degree||Associate degree or two years of college|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis ParaPro Assessment|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step One: Complete Your Education or Assessment
The No Child Left Behind Act, passed by President Bush in 2002, requires teacher's aides to meet one of two criteria. The first is to complete either two years of university coursework, which is 48 credit hours, or to earn an Associate of Science or an Associate of Art degree at an accredited college. There is no specification, however, for the focus of this education. Students interested in working as a teacher's aide can take classes that focus on topics like the emotional and social development of children, the psychology of education, ethical issues for teachers, and educational philosophy. There may even be a chance to spend time in a preschool through grade twelve classroom or a campus laboratory during a field experience. During this observation opportunity, students are with an experienced teacher who can act as a mentor. Some colleges and universities require students to earn at least a 'C' on their core classes. Earning a degree opens the prospect of a teacher's aide continuing his or her teacher education someday.
The second option for becoming a teacher's aide is to pass the Praxis ParaPro Assessment. Indiana requires at least a 460 score on this computer-based exam. Examinees are given two and half hours to answer 90 multiple-choice questions, which focus on reading, math, and writing. The reading portion tests a future aide's ability to identify a writing passage's main purpose and supporting ideas, as well as their ability to teach students how to sound words out and use contextual clues to learn the meaning of words. The math section tests examinees' ability to complete basic mathematical functions and interpret graphical representations of data. Finally, the writing subtest covers basic grammar and word choice and tests examinees' ability to help students formulate ideas and choose source material.
Step Two: Pass Background Checks
Teacher's aides are required to undergo a background check within 30 days of when they first take a position at a school. This includes a check of sex offender registries and all Indiana state district court records. It also includes a national database check completed by the FBI. Within 60 days of employment, candidates are also required to pass an expanded child protection index check, which works with the department of child services to determine if an individual has ever committed an act of child abuse.
Link for Indiana Teacher's Aides
Indiana teacher's aides who have less than two years of education are required to pass the ParaPro Assessment, and the following link provides future aides with a study guide to help them prepare for this standardized exam.