Teacher Assistant (TA): 9 Things You Should Know (Explained)

If you’re the type of person who has an interest in teaching and enjoys contributing to the education of society then we’re sure you’ve contemplated being a teacher’s assistant at one time or another.

Before you commence down the road to becoming a Teachers Assistant(TA), here are 9 Things You Should Know

What Is It Like Being A Teacher’s Assistant (TA)?

Being a teacher’s assistant (TA) is a rewarding and enjoyable role, contributing to the education and growth of students. It’s also a great way to explore life in the classroom before deciding on training to become a teacher. 

However, it can be challenging to juggle the heavy workload, social life, and studies simultaneously.

If you’re worried about whether you can handle this or not, don’t fret.

Keep reading below to learn just what it’s like being a teacher’s assistant.

What Teacher’s Assistants (TA) Do (each day)? 

The job description of the Teacher’s Assistant is pretty self-explanatory.

If you happen to land this coveted post, be ready to help your teacher run class smoothly.

Much of the teacher’s assistant’s everyday routine can revolve around clerical duties like keeping track of who comes late to class, attendance, and checking tests and homework.

However, as a TA expect to do some spying for your boss too.

Teacher’s assistants are also required to monitor the students in the class, noting down anyone not paying attention and supervising their behavior inside and outside class.

As a teacher’s assistant, you also need to help the teacher prepare for classes.

Stressful Being A Teacher’s Assistant (TA)?

Yes, being a Teacher’s Assistant can be stressful. Many Teachers’ Assistants often find themselves buried under a huge workload and having to manage their classwork simultaneously, causes stress.  Other causes of stress are having to deal with difficult pupils who have extreme behavioral problems. 

Being a TA can’t be considered a part-time job, as it can be pretty time-consuming, so, it can get pretty stressful being a teacher’s assistant at times.

Then there is a parent demands that can make life as a Teacher Assistant stressful. Some parents neglect to parent at home expecting kindergarten or school to pick up this responsibility.

With all the responsibility of managing a classroom of children, low pay is also a cause of stress.  The median annual wage for teacher assistants was $27,920 in May 2019, which is fairly low.

Elementary and secondary schools; local $28,520
Elementary and secondary schools; private 27,700
Child daycare services 24,680

Source: Teachers Assistant LBS

So, while there is some stress involved, being a teacher’s assistant can be excellent for your job prospects once you graduate.

However, you gain immense exposure as a TA, and mentoring from a respected teacher will look good on your CV and experience support you to become a certified teacher if that’s what you want to do.

Being A Teacher Assistant (TA) hard?

Yes, being a Teacher Assistant (TA) can be hard. While being a TA can be an enriching experience, it comes with some downfalls too.

One of the things that can make your job as a teacher’s assistant hard is to grade your pupils

Instead of the teacher, people – sometimes your students – will have you to blame when they get a bad grade.

Furthermore, there are times when the class won’t take you seriously.

Expect to be swamped with requests to extend the deadlines, or with students asking to speak to the teacher themselves.

It can also be hard to manage your schoolwork while handling an entire class.

Some teachers choose to let their TA’s handle making and grading tests and exams, so expect to have a heavy workload.

Are Teacher Assistants (TA) happy?

When it comes to happiness, most teacher’s assistants rank average.

While there are immense opportunities that you get, the work can be challenging.

It can get hard to manage your social life, schoolwork, and duties as a teacher’s assistant.

TA’s can find themselves tired and stressed out at times.

However, most jobs do come with heavy workloads, and a career as a TA allows you to learn, hands-on about your field.

You get a chance to mingle with the experts and gain deep insights.

Furthermore, the challenge can make the job interesting for many, so don’t let the workload scare you away.

Do Teacher Assistants (TA) Get Paid Well?

No Teachers Assistants (TA) do not get paid well. While being a teacher’s assistant comes with various benefits, the pay scale is not one.

The pay a teacher’s assistant gets is usually up to the teacher’s discretion, but the average income is $12.86 hourly or $29,000 per annum.

While this may not seem like much, it’s also the payment you get before you actively enter the job market, making it not such a bad bargain.

It can be an excellent way for you to gain invaluable experience while making some extra money on the side.

Do Teacher’s Assistants (TA) Get Paid Over Summer Breaks?

No, in most cases, Teacher’s Assistants (TA) don’t get paid over the summer as they are paid on hourly contract rates or contracted for a term. Most Teacher Assistants (TA) have to get a second job over the summer break. 

Typically, Teacher Assistants (TA) only get paid when school is in session.

However, a teacher’s assistant working in summer school can get paid in the summer months too.

However, the contract can vary from teacher to teacher, and some TA’s may be able to find a better deal than others.

Teacher Assistant (TA) Still In Demand?

Yes, Teacher Assistants are still in demand, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting that the teacher’s assistants’ employment rate will grow by 4% by 2029.

The funding for educational programs is steadily increasing, which opens up new avenues for students.

The high rate of student enrolment across all states means that teacher’s assistants will be heavily in demand.

It can be incredibly hectic for one teacher to handle several classes of hundreds of students at once, making teacher’s assistants essential.

How Do You Become A Teacher’s Assistant (TA)?

Each state and school can have its requirements for becoming a teacher’s assistant. The minimum degree required, however, is a high school diploma.

Furthermore, in some states, the minimum requirement is having an associate’s degree.

While there are varying requirements across states, if you’re looking to start a career as a teacher’s assistant, it can be beneficial to have an associate’s degree in an education field.

Having a license can significantly improve your chances and let you get a job under respected professors.

Prior internships can also win you some brownie points, so be sure to put yourself out there.

Once you have all these achievements under your belt, you can start applying!

Final Thoughts

Working as a teacher’s assistant can open up many job prospects for you in the future.

It gives you the chance to work with and learn from some of the most skilled individuals in your chosen field.

As a teacher’s assistant, you might have a lot of work, but the skills you get can make all of it worth the effort.

So, if you’ve been eyeing that TA position, make sure you apply for it!

Hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful, for further reading on Teaching related articles you might be interested in Do Kindergarten teachers like their job?