Assistant Teacher Skills to Add to Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 14, 2022

Published June 21, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Assistant teachers help teachers in creating a positive atmosphere for children's development by creating lesson plans and managing classroom behaviour. In this article, we discuss what an assistant teacher does, what the skills for assistant teachers are and how to improve those skills, with frequently asked questions about a career as an assistant teacher.

What does an assistant teacher do?

Assistant teachers are those who help teachers with classroom and student management. Teaching assistants promote a healthy and structured environment for students to learn as efficiently as possible. They'll also help teachers with projects and lead small groups by supervising their students. When necessary, assistant teachers provide one-on-one support to students with disabilities or behavioural challenges.

Related: How to Create a Career Plan in 9 Steps

4 necessary assistant teacher skills

Here is a list of four skills you'll need to be an assistant teacher:

1. First aid

Assistant teachers work with children every day. That's why they need to have both regular CPR and first-aid training and children-focused training. You may encounter students who have health conditions and allergies that put them at risk, and employers value this training. When applying for jobs, be sure to add this skill to your resume to make you more desirable as a candidate.

2. Planning classes

Assistant teachers contribute to both the planning of classroom layouts and lesson planning. You'll need to have a good understanding of classroom planning to arrange seating placements. Teaching assistants also help full-time teachers with planning lessons for students. If you have any students with physical or mental disabilities, you'll likely create separate lesson plans that tailor to their needs.

3. Leadership

Teaching assistants aid full-time teachers in being the leaders of their classrooms. There are times you'll lead lessons as an assistant teacher. Whether it be in front of entire classrooms or in small groups, you'll need to establish authority.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

4. Communication skills

Assistant teachers spend their days around both students and other professionals, which is why they need to have excellent communication skills. Successful assistant teachers can translate information into vocabulary that children can understand. Teaching assistants excel when they have positive relationships with their coworkers.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Improving your assistant teacher skills

For those wanting to improve their skills, here is a list of the ways you can do so:

Practise your lesson plans

To improve your teaching skills, you need to practise your lesson plans. Research unique lesson plans and create lessons that motivate and inspire your students. You want lesson plans that are adaptable and flexible to suit the flow of the class.

Related: Lesson Plan Examples (Plus Types, Elements and Steps)

Research innovation

Teaching assistants do best when they put themselves in the place of students. Those who are always trying to learn and grow find fresh ways to improve their students' education.

Related: Didactic Teaching and Its Contrast to Pedagogy Explained

Work on your communication

Assistant teachers work with several personalities of their colleagues, parents and students. This is one reason it's useful to practise your interpersonal skills with those around you. When you're communicating with others, think about new ways to de-escalate situations or how you could improve your communication skills.

Learn how to organize better

Teaching assistants need to have an organized classroom if they want their students to have the best education possible. Your classroom should also be clean and tidy enough that you know where everything is when you need it. You can practise this in your own home by trying different organizational methods to keep your space neat and in order.

Demonstrating your assistant teacher skills in the workplace

Here are some ways you can showcase your skills in the workplace:

Your skills on a resume

Assistant teachers need strong resumes when applying for jobs. Your resume needs to include a skills section that demonstrates your various personal, volunteer and work experiences. When choosing skills, consider those listed above. However, it's also useful to look at the job posting to find additional hard skills the recruiter is looking for. When creating your resume, you want to make sure you're the ideal candidate for the job. By using ideal job skills in your resume, you'll increase your chances of being hired.

Related: What to Include in Your Resume Skills Section

Your skills on a cover letter

Your cover letter is an opportunity to describe your hard skills in more detail. You should do so by providing the recruiter or hiring manager with specific examples of when you've used these skills. Be sure to include skills that were included in the job posting.

Your skills in an interview

When interviewing for a job position, you want to paint yourself in the best light possible. If you want to show the recruiter that you're an organized assistant teacher, you should arrive prepared with any necessary documentation. Some schools require you to perform a background check before being hired, so you can arrive with a background check already performed. You should also arrive with two copies of your resume and a printed cover letter.

Related: 27 Educational Assistant Interview Questions (With Tips)

How to become an assistant teacher

Here are the steps required to become an assistant teacher:

1. Get an education

The minimum requirement for those looking to become an assistant teacher is a bachelor's degree or undergraduate degree. Depending on your location, you may need to complete a program in child studies, education or child psychology, or in a related field to become an assistant teacher. Some schools also ask that you complete a master's degree or an equivalent graduate degree. Getting a graduate degree provides you with the opportunity to specialize in a field of your choosing.

2. Gain practical experience

Many assistant teachers need practical experience before obtaining a job. You can do this by volunteering at a local school or by asking for an internship. Some university and college programs also require you to complete an internship before you complete your degree. Both graduate and undergraduate programs take around three to four years to complete. Some graduate programs take as little as 18 months to complete, but not all universities offer these programs.

3. Apply for a job

When you've completed the necessary educational and practical requirements to become an assistant teacher, you'll be able to apply for a job. Your resume and cover letter should include any hard skills you've learned until this point.

Frequently asked questions about assistant teachers

Here is a list of assistant teacher FAQs:

What's the work environment like?

Assistant teachers can work in either public or private schools depending on their preference. These professionals can work in elementary and high schools, community centres and childcare centres.

Assistant teachers typically work a fixed schedule and don't work on holidays, during summers or on weekends. However, they work additional hours grading and evaluating school work from home.

Related: Types of Education and Work Environments for Educators

How much does an assistant teacher make?

An assistant teacher makes an average of $19.42 per hour. Here is a breakdown of an assistant teacher's wage by province and territory:

  • Quebec: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Quebec make an average wage of approximately $17.91 per hour.

  • Ontario: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Ontario make an average wage of approximately $18.89 per hour.

  • Northwest Territories: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Northwest Territories make an average wage of approximately $16.56 per hour.

  • Prince Edward Island: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Prince Edward Island make an average wage of approximately $23.26 per hour.

  • Nova Scotia: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Nova Scotia make an average wage of approximately $19.37 per hour.

  • British Columbia: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in British Columbia make an average wage of approximately $20.54 per hour.

  • Nunavut: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Nunavut make an average wage of approximately $25.41 per hour.

  • Yukon: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Yukon make an average wage of approximately $26.94 per hour.

  • Alberta: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Alberta make an average wage of approximately $22.91 per hour.

  • Manitoba: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Manitoba make an average wage of approximately $15.70 per hour.

  • New Brunswick: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in New Brunswick make an average of approximately $18.88 per hour.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Newfoundland and Labrador make an average wage of approximately $19.54 per hour.

  • Saskatchewan: According to Indeed Salaries, assistant teachers in Saskatchewan make an average wage of approximately $26.54 per hour.

Now that you understand the most important assistant teacher skills to develop to work in this industry, you are well-poised to make a plan to succeed in your education career and find the assistant teacher job you want.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

Explore more articles