Teacher's aides -- otherwise known as paraprofessionals or paraeducators -- can still make a big impact on children's lives without necessarily having to go through the same training, studying, and testing as lead teachers. While the teachers are the ones in charge of the structure and style of the curriculum, teacher's aides also play a key role in classroom instruction and community by supporting both the teacher and the students. If this sounds exciting and fulfilling to you, follow the steps outlined below to become a teacher's aide in the state of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Teacher's Aide Requirements
|Average Salary for Teacher Aides in Wisconsin (2017)*||$28,730 (teacher assistants)|
|Required Degree||Degree not required. You can have associate's degree, 2 years of higher education (48 credits), or passing exam score|
|Testing Requirements||ACT Workkeys, Parapro ETS, Paraeducator Master Teacher, or Authentic Portfolio (only needed if you don't have associate's degree or 48 credits)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Get Your Associate's Degree or College Credits
Paraeducators in Wisconsin can meet the state's educational requirements by having 2 different credentials. Or you can simply choose to take an exam, which you can read more about in Step 2.
The first way to meet the state's paraprofessional requirements is to obtain a minimum of an associate's degree. The subject of the degree doesn't matter, although something related to education or child development will give you the most useful tools down the road.
If you don't have a degree, the second way to meet Wisconsin's education requirements is to take 48 semester hours of higher education -- approximately 2 years of study. Your higher education institution must be accredited for these credits to be accepted.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Adult Literacy Instruction
- Teaching Aide
Step 2: Take Exam or Create Portfolio (If Necessary)
If you don't have an associate's degree or 48 completed semester hours, don't worry -- by passing just one exam, you'll be ready to apply for teacher's aide positions in the state of Wisconsin.
Here are all of the exams that you can take, and the subsequent scores that you need:
- ACT Workkeys, with the following subtest scores:
- Business Writing Assessment: 3
- Workplace Documents Assessment: 4
- Applied Mathematics: 4
- ETS Parapro-Assessment:
- Score of at least 460
- Paraeducator Master Teacher, with these subtest results:
- Instructional Support: Score of at least 65%
- Content & Application: Score of at least 70%
- Authentic Portfolio
- This assessment isn't your typical standardized exam. In Wisconsin, you can create a portfolio that showcases your knowledge to the school district and authorizes you to assist teachers.
- To make your portfolio, you fill out the 'Paraprofessional Portfolio Documentation Form' found on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's website. This paperwork documents your competency in each state educational standard. Here's a list of all five standards:
- Support Instructional Strategies in Content Areas (Mathematics, Writing, and Reading)
- Support Positive Learning Environment
- Demonstrate Effective Communication and Collaborative Relationships
- Demonstrate Understanding of How Children and Youth Learn
- Demonstrate Professional Responsibilities and Growth
- When you apply for teacher's aide positions, the school district will assess and score your authentic portfolio.
Step 3: Get Hired
In Wisconsin, there's no state-wide license that teacher's aides must hold. Instead, local school districts are legally required to only staff paraprofessionals who meet state requirements for Title I education programs.
So, once your educational or exam credentials are completed, you can begin applying for teacher's aide positions. Make sure to have any relevant paperwork proving your credentials -- such as transcripts, exam scores, or your authentic portfolio -- at hand when you begin the application process.
If you would like more information about what the specific school district you wish to work for wants in their paraprofessionals, it doesn't hurt to call the district and ask questions so that you feel comfortable and confident when speaking to future employers.
Resources for Teacher's Aides in Wisconsin
Feeling overwhelmed while preparing for your Praxis paraprofessional test? Don't worry -- below is a helpful course that will make you feel more confident and prepared for the exam, as well as for your future career as a teacher's aide: