CAREER GUIDE FOR TEACHER ASSISTANT

SOC Code: 25-9041

Pay Band(s): 3           (Salary Structure)

Standard Occupational Description: Perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. Serve in a position for which a teacher or another professional has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

Teacher Assistant positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Training and Instruction:

Trainer and Instructor I

While Teacher Assistants within the Commonwealth are all located within the Training and Instruction Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.   

Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:

Education Support Services

Library Services

Media and Production Services

SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS

(Technical and Functional Expertise)

Skills
Note: The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Teacher Assistant commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

  1. Teaching others how to do something.
  2. Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  3. Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  4. Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  5. Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  6. Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  7. Actively looking for ways to help people.
  8. Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  9. Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Knowledge
Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Teacher Assistant commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Knowledge of:

  1. Principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  2. Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  3. Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  4. Instructional technology and computer hardware and software, including applications and computer-based instructional tools.

Abilities
Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Teacher Assistant commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Ability to:

  1. Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  2. Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  3. Speak clearly so others can understand you.
  4. Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  5. Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  6. See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  7. Focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  8. Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  9. Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  10. Identify and understand the speech of another person.

Tasks
Note: 
The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Teacher Assistant.  Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed. 

  1. Discuss assigned duties with classroom teachers in order to coordinate instructional efforts.
  2. Prepare lesson materials, bulletin board displays, exhibits, equipment, and demonstrations.
  3. Present subject matter to students under the direction and guidance of teachers, using lectures, discussions, or supervised role-playing methods.
  4. Tutor and assist children individually or in small groups in order to help them master assignments and to reinforce learning concepts presented by teachers.
  5. Supervise students in classrooms, halls, cafeterias, schoolyards, and gymnasiums, or on field trips.
  6. Conduct demonstrations to teach such skills as sports, dancing, and handicrafts.
  7. Distribute teaching materials such as textbooks, workbooks, papers, and pencils to students.
  8. Distribute tests and homework assignments, and collect them when they are completed.
  9. Enforce administration policies and rules governing students.
  10. Grade homework and tests, and compute and record results, using answer sheets or electronic marking devices.

INTERESTED?

Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics.  These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation.  When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.

The occupation of Teacher Assistant has Social and Conventional characteristics as described below:

Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Generally this is not required for Teacher Assistant positions in state government.

EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

The Department of Labor provides the following information:

Teacher assistants provide instructional and clerical support for classroom teachers, allowing teachers more time for lesson planning and teaching.

Educational requirements for teacher assistants vary by State or school district and range from a high school diploma to some college training, although employers increasingly prefer applicants with some college training. Teacher assistants with instructional responsibilities usually require more training than do those who do not perform teaching tasks. In addition, as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, teacher assistants in Title 1 schools—those with a large proportion of students from low-income households—will be required to meet one of three requirements: have a minimum of 2 years of college, hold a 2-year or higher degree, or pass a rigorous state and local assessment. Many schools also require previous experience in working with children and a valid driver's license. Some schools may require the applicant to pass a background check.

A number of 2-year and community colleges offer associate degree programs that prepare graduates to work as teacher assistants. However, most teacher assistants receive on-the-job training.

COMMONWEALTH COMPETENCIES

Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured.  When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work.  Competencies help lay out a road map to career success.  You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.

The Commonwealth Competencies are:

  1. Technical and Functional Expertise
  2. Understanding the Business     
  3. Achieving Results
  4. Serving the Customer
  5. Teamwork
  6. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  7. Leadership and Personal Effectiveness

The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job.  The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences. 

Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others.  Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!

For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.virginia.gov/cc_planningctr.htm.  For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each.  Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like. 

COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH

Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor.  That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills.  For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group.  The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)

For example: Teacher Assistant

PAY BAND

PRACTITIONER ROLES

     

3

Trainer and Instructor I

     

4

Trainer and Instructor II

     

5

Trainer and Instructor III

     

Sample Career Path

Trainer and Instructor I

The Trainer and Instructor I role provides career tracks for Teacher Assistants that ranges from entry level to lead worker/supervisor responsible for providing support to training and instructional staff and/or delivering instructional training. Duties include assisting with the implementation of course curricula and lesson plans; providing course registration and administration; assisting with or providing computer-aided instruction and testing; setting up classrooms and laboratories; assisting with the reproduction and distribution of course materials; or supervising the daily operation of a large center or laboratory complex that supports student learning.

Trainer and Instructor II

The Trainer and Instructor II role provides two separate career tracks for technical instructors and teachers responsible for providing a variety of training, instruction and student services to employees, students, and/or clients.

Trainer and Instructor III

The Trainer and Instructor III role provides career tracks for the employee performing at the advanced level of expertise. Employees are responsible for coordinating and determining training or organizational development needs and services for an agency, or a geographical division of an agency responsible for several dispersed facilities, or outside entities.

ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: 

O*NET (Occupational Information Network) 

http://online.onetcenter.org/gen_search_page

Virginia Employment Commission 

http://www.alex.vec.state.va.us/

Career One Stop

  http://www.careeronestop.org/

Virginia Career Resource Network 

http://www.vacrn.net/

American Federation of Teachers

http://www.aft.org/

National Education Association

 http://www.nea.org

National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals

 http://www.nrcpara.org