Special offer 

Jumpstart your hiring with a $100 CAD credit to sponsor your first job.*

Sponsored jobs are 4.5X more likely to result in a hire.**
  • Invite matched candidates to apply
  • Increase your visibility in job search results
  • Appear to more candidates longer

Teaching Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Teaching Assistant (TA), or Education Assistant, provides additional support to students and assists the Lead Teacher in executing instructional and non-instructional responsibilities. Their duties include reinforcing the Lead Teacher’s content by reviewing teaching materials with individuals or small groups of students and correcting assignments.

Build a Job Description

Teaching Assistant duties and responsibilities

A Teaching Assistant’s role varies depending on their environment. In some institutions, they supervise students during recess or lunchtime, while in others, they help in the management of specialized software.

Teaching Assistants who work at a university help professors grade papers and offer classes to small groups of students who want to review content from the larger lectures. At the elementary to high school levels, they sometimes cover for a Lead Teacher in their absence. Some of their other duties and responsibilities include:

  • Support and reinforce lessons by providing supplemental one-on-one or group instruction with lesson reviews for students
  • Track student grades and take practical steps to ensure academic progress meets the recommended standard
  • Set up all required equipment and materials needed to help teachers prepare lessons, track attendance, grade students, and perform administrative tasks
  • Provide ancillary supervision to students during class, between classes, lunch, recess, field trips, class outings, or industrial tours
  • Correcting students’ behaviour by enforcing school and class rules
  • Working closely with lead teachers to identify student issues and developing appropriate strategies for solving them effectively
Build a Job Description

Teaching Assistant Job Description Examples:

What does a Teaching Assistant do?

Teaching Assistants create a focused learning environment by providing students with supplemental information, grading their performance, tracking attendance, and enforcing school and class rules. Some of them work in specialized environments such as laboratories or libraries to manage equipment and learning materials. Some work with special education students in regular or special classes, helping them adapt to new learning materials or environments.

Teaching Assistant skills and qualifications

Due to the nature of their work, Teaching Assistants need a mix of social skills, including being generous, kind, cooperative, patient, helpful, caring, empathic, friendly, and diplomatic. Besides being sociable, Teaching Assistants also need the following skills:

  • Strong interpersonal skills to ease interactions with several stakeholders, including administrators, students, teachers, and parents
  • Excellent communication skills to discuss student progress with teachers and parents
  • High levels of patience to handle every student regardless of varying abilities, background, or special needs
  • Abundant creativity and resourcefulness so they can break down tough lessons into simple pieces of information that students can easily understand
  • Specialized knowledge in various areas, including necessary information technology skills, first aid skills, and laboratory knowledge in relevant subjects
  • High flexibility and openness to change for working on various new activities

Teaching Assistant experience requirements

Teaching Assistants usually have a year or more of experience or relevant academic qualifications. Those needed for specialized roles such as Laboratory Teaching Assistants, Computer Assistants, or Special Needs Teaching Assistants should have three to five years’ experience or more. Although previous experience is desirable, individuals with the right skill set, enthusiasm, and education can also be successful. For college and university Teaching Assistants, you may wish to hire one of your past or present students who is passionate about the subject and can explain it in-depth to others.

Teaching Assistant education and training requirements

For Teaching Assistants working with students in elementary to high school classrooms, a college diploma in education or higher certification is generally required. However, for post-secondary Teaching Assistants, they must be enrolled at the institution and working towards their undergraduate, masters, or doctorate degree. You may hire a Teaching Assistant from outside the school, but the Dean must approve them. For Teaching Assistants expected to fill more specialized roles, such as helping special needs children, look for candidates with specialization in that field.

Teaching Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, average pay for a Teaching Assistant in Canada is $21.92 per hour. This amount may vary depending on the school, its location, and the experience of the candidate.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Teaching Assistant is not quite what you’re looking for, other job descriptions that may suit your needs include:

Ready to Hire?Build a Job Description

Teaching Assistant job description FAQs

How do post-secondary Teaching Assistants differ from elementary school Teaching Assistants?

While both work with students in the classroom, the Teacher is in charge of the class, and the Teaching Assistant helps the teacher to deliver curriculum requirements. A Teaching Assistant works under the supervision of the Teacher and takes direction from them. The Teacher reviews and conducts classes to meet the curriculum requirements while the Teaching Assistant prepares the teaching materials to support those lessons.

What is the difference between a Teaching Assistant and a Teacher?

The responsibilities of Teaching Assistants differ from institution to institution. For example, in some colleges and universities, Teaching Assistants report to the Professor or Teacher in charge of the class. In others, the Teaching Assistant is an employee of a specific department and reports directly to the Department Head. Those working with Teachers to enhance special needs education mostly report to the person in charge of that department.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

No search results found