Becoming A Teacher’s Aide: Everything You Need To Know
Working with children as a teacher’s aide is an incredibly rewarding experience. Becoming a teacher’s assistant is a great way to support the development of children during their education journey and make a difference to not only their school-experience but also the teacher’s as you relieve some of the stress!
What is a Teacher’s Aide?
A teacher’s aide is a support role to a lead teacher within a school. They help teachers execute both in-class and out-of-class activities while providing support to individual students who may need extra help.
Teacher’s aides are not required to teach any of the classroom content, but rather help guide children to stay on task while helping to develop critical numeracy and literacy skills.
Furthermore, teacher’s aides help with the administrative side of teaching including, organising and preparing materials for a lesson, assisting with any necessary paperwork involved with lessons and reporting back to the teacher with any insights into a child’s progress.
Types of Teacher’s Aides
There are different types of teacher’s aides that vary slightly in their focus or specialisation.
General Teacher’s Aide
This type of education support worker is generally hired by schools to help assist school teachers with the day-to-day running of a classroom. Often, they find themselves assigned to classes with children who have trouble concentrating, need extra help due to physical or intellectual special-needs, or who have English as a second language.
As a general teacher’s aide, you can work with a range of ages from Prep to high school-aged. Those who prefer to work with older children may also look into youth work, as this career path provides support to children in a more informal education setting.
Integration aides are very similar to general teacher’s aides but have a more significant focus on children with special needs, such as those who may have any intellectual, social or physical issues.
Integration aides can work with a wide range of children from those who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down’s Syndrome or those who have unpredictable behavioural patterns. Depending on a school’s funding, these types of aides are required on a ‘needs-basis’ for special education support.
Early Childhood Teacher’s Aides
These types of teaching assistants work specifically with preschool aged children (generally five years and under), so enjoying working with young children is a must!
Preschool teacher’s aides assist with classroom activities such as story-time and art projects to ensure the lead teacher has time to complete any necessary paperwork and just generally have a break.
Preschool years are essential to a child’s educational and social development; hence, teacher’s aides are required to note any children who may struggle with either or both.
The future industry growth for education aides is projected to be very strong, with an estimated 17,000 job openings per year until 2023.
Demand for education aides is highest in Queensland (27.3%), Victoria (22.2%) and New South Wales (21.7%).
A teacher’s aide often works part-time due to most schools hiring extra help on an ‘as needed-basis.’ Hence, many receive an hourly wage rather than a salary. The average hourly rate for a teacher’s aide is $29.97.
This industry is female-dominated with 90% of current workers being female.
This career path is an excellent choice for those who are looking to return to the workforce or change career paths, as the majority of workers fall into the 45-54 years age bracket (34.1%), with a close 25.6% falling in the 35-44 age bracket.
35.2% of teaching assistants acquire a Certificate III or IV in Education, while another 16.5% will progress to complete a Diploma or Advanced Diploma. Only 11.6% of teacher’s aides hold Bachelor’s Degrees. Many aides who proceed to complete a Bachelor’s tend to specialise in working with children with disabilities or wish to become a fully qualified teacher.
How to Become a Teacher’s Aide
Becoming a teacher’s aide can lead to an incredibly fulfilling career, and there are many education pathways available to achieve this! The length of study depends on the level of formal qualification you choose.
Certificates III and IV
A Certificate III or Certificate IV in Education or Education Support is a nationally recognised qualification that will teach you all the basics involved with children’s learning needs, learning support and lesson planning. These qualifications will help you gain confidence in providing support to students who may face challenges in their learning, helping to cultivate a safe space for all children to learn.
A Diploma in Education not only teaches you the basics of how to support learning within a classroom but also extends this knowledge even further to include managerial skills. A Diploma does take longer to complete but prepares you more thoroughly for the workforce.
A Bachelor of Education usually takes three years of full-time study to complete and is more comprehensive than the Certificate or Diploma options. Within this qualification, you may choose to specialise in secondary or primary school teaching, and you will gain more in-depth knowledge in all aspects of teaching and support teaching.
It’s important to note that all education qualifications require a minimum amount of hours of Work Placement.
Work placement is hands-on practical experience at a formally recognised education provider. It’s essential everyone receives this experience because it allows you to put your theoretical knowledge into practice in a safe environment.
Teacher’s aides are critical to the Australian education system as it’s these individuals who support our teachers and children who may need extra attention throughout their education journey.
If you’re good with kids, have excellent social skills and are patient becoming a teaching assistant is the right career move for you!
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