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Teacher Assisting - Overview


Teacher assisting programs prepare people to help teachers in the classroom or other educational settings. Students learn to assist with preparing and conducting lessons and activities. They also learn how to supervise students in different age groups and with special needs.

Have you ever joined your classmates in torturing substitute teachers and your own teachers by pulling pranks? If so, you might have an idea of how overwhelming a teacher's job can be. And if passing years have brought you wisdom, you may even feel sympathy for these overworked teachers, if not some remorse for your part in their exhaustion!

The fact is, the number of students per class is growing rapidly, forcing many schools to hold classes in trailers. Besides limited physical space, teacher resources and attention are also dwindling per student.

Enter the teaching assistant. Teaching assistants help teachers and other educational professionals in many ways. They might circulate among small groups in classrooms, helping students with projects they're working on or answering questions they might have. They might also help prepare teaching materials for use in the classroom.

Teaching assistants also work outside the classroom, in the school cafeteria, the school hallways, or even as a monitor on the school bus. Besides schools, they can work in other educational settings such as day-care centers, churches, or community centers. They also work with students of different age groups, of different cultures, or with special needs.

As a student in a teacher assisting program, you learn about the growth and development of a person, from childhood to adulthood. You study teaching and classroom management methods. You also study general educational concepts and theories.

Over 100 schools offer teacher assisting programs, also known as teacher aide or instructional aide programs. You can earn either a certificate or associate degree, which take between one to two years of full-time study after high school.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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