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: