Do you love to help others learn but can't commit the time and money to be a fully licensed teacher? You may want to consider being a teaching assistant or aide. Teaching assistants work with licensed teachers in a variety of tasks related to daily classroom management. This may include helping students when they have questions, grading homework and working in small groups to help reinforce lessons as they are being taught.
While many teaching assistants work with a single teacher, some may be responsible for working directly with disabled students. They may travel from class to class with their assigned student helping them get through the day and to help them cover material they are struggling with.
Other teaching assistants may be responsible for teaching ESL courses or other specialized instruction via community outreach programs.
If you need flexibility in your schedule, being a teaching assistant can be a good fit as there are a wide variety of needs from full to part-time assistants and aides. Many assistants also get the summer off!
Whatever the topic, teaching assistants are an invaluable resource for both students are instructors.
Although you won't be able to get a degree specifically for teaching assistant, most jobs will require you to have at least some level of college or an associate's degree. If you desire to be a fully licensed teacher at some point, you may consider focusing on the education field so any credits earned now can go towards your long-term goal.
Successful teaching assistants must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. You will need to be able to communicate with students and help them understand the material being covered. Since not all students learn at the same pace or in the same manner, you may need to get creative with how you are reinforcing the lessons being taught. For this reason, creative problem solving is also a great skill to have.
Teaching assistants are responsible for working with their assigned teachers to assist in creating curriculum, performing teaching duties, grading homework and general class administration such as taking attendance. The job outlook for teacher assistants is about 8% growth over the next ten years which is on pace with average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.