If you're interested in becoming one of the 22,460 teachers' aides in Tennessee in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you'll likely need some assistance. The following article will take a look at the steps required to become a teacher's aide in Tennessee.
Requirements for Teachers' Aides in Tennessee
|Average Salary for Teacher Assistants Teachers in Tennessee (2017)*||$23,600|
|Required Degree||High School Diploma|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators OR Praxis ParaPro Assessment|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete Your Education
To become a teacher's aide, or paraprofessional, in Tennessee, you must have a high school diploma. This is all that is required at first. If you would like to be one of the paraprofessionals that assists in instruction, you must continue your education. To continue your education, you'll need to complete at least two years of college-level work. This can be as part of a bachelor's degree program, or it can take the form of a standalone associate's degree program. The topic of study is not regulated for teachers' assistants, so you can select whatever works for you. However, considering child development, behavior management, or education can help prepare you for work in the classroom. Adding these additional credits to your resume allows you to then be considered a Highly Qualified Paraprofessional.
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- Adult Literacy Instruction
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Step 2: Complete Exam Requirements
To become a paraprofessional, you'll need to prove that you have basic knowledge of the core subjects: math, reading, and writing. While Praxis does have three Core Academics Skills for Educators exams to cover these, there is also another option. Praxis has the ParaPro test for paraprofessionals who are looking to be Highly Qualified Paraprofessionals. This exam covers those three subjects and must be completed in 150 minutes. There are 90 multiple choice questions that will ask you about your basic knowledge and understanding in these subjects. This is a computer-based exam. Every state has its own requirements for a passing score for the ParaPro assessment. Tennessee requires a score of at least 456 as a passing grade.
Step 3: Get Fingerprinted
Identogo.com by MorphoTrust runs the fingerprinting for Tennessee. You'll need to go to the Identogo website to set up a fingerprinting appointment. Tennessee uses all digital fingerprinting to ensure a quick turnaround for their background checks. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and FBI will run background checks on all those who want to teach or work in the schools. When you go to your appointment, be sure to take along a form of identification and the confirmation page that says who you are and that you have paid all the fees.