Those interested in becoming a teacher's aide/teacher's assistant can find an appropriate certificate program at a community college. In a state where certification is required for the profession, the institution may design the curriculum specifically to meet those requirements.
For admission, a high school diploma or equivalent is necessary. Additionally, some programs require students to demonstrate math and English skills via high school transcripts, competency testing, or college-level courses. The program usually takes less than one year to complete.
Certificate Program in Teacher Assisting
This program provides the skills and knowledge needed to effectively assist a lead in a classroom setting. Since graduates will work with a younger audience, coursework often highlights the communication skills required to explain concepts in a simple manner. Some programs also emphasize early childhood or elementary school education. Courses may include the following:
- Child development
- Child behavior
- Educational psychology
- Children's literature
- Math for elementary teachers
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment of teacher's assistants was expected to grow at a rate of 6% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). More teachers' aides were expected to be hired because of factors like the growing enrollment of ESL (English as a second language) and special education students. The growing focus on education quality has led to some increase in the employment of teacher's aides. In 2015, the median annual salary for teacher's assistants was $24,900 as reported by the BLS.
Certification and Continuing Education
Some states require teacher's aides to become certified, which may require passing a competency exam. A growing number of schools prefer to hire aides with college degrees, such as a 2-year associate's degree, according to the BLS. Certificate programs may allow students to apply credits towards associate's degrees. Professional organizations, such as the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (www.nrcpara.org), provide additional opportunities or suggestions for continuing education.
Individuals interested in becoming a teacher's aide or assistant can enroll in a certificate program, which will combine relevant courses with practical teaching experiences to prepare them for working with teachers and students.