What Does A Teacher Assistant Do?
Teacher assistants play a very important role in the classroom. Working under the supervision of teachers, they provide enough students with additional attention so that lessons may be reinforced. Depending on the progress of students, they may review lessons with them on an individual basis or with small groups. Group remediation lessons are very important in subjects like math, reading and phonics to help students who can’t keep up with the pace of the rest of the class while one-on-one lessons are necessary for students who have been absent for a certain amount of time from class because of sickness or other personal problems.
Teacher assistants need to collaborate closely with the teacher so that they can prepare for the lessons for the day. While they don’t normally make the main presentations, it’s necessary that teacher assistants know the topics that will be presented because they will need to continue with the presentation in the event that the teacher gets called to the principal’s office or has to attend to a very important matter. Besides, they also need to know the lesson well so that they can address the difficulties faced by some students in the class.
Teacher assistants also see to it that the materials and equipment that are needed for the day’s lesson are prepared. They ensure that computers and other tools and supplies that the teacher needs are ready for use. If the teacher needs assistance in manipulating the equipment, teacher assistants are there to lend a hand. During PE classes when students are very mobile, teacher assistants are also there to look out for the welfare and safety of the students.
Aside from providing additional instruction to students in the class and getting equipment ready for the lesson presentation, teacher assistants also help teachers with paper work. They check the attendance and note which students are absent. They also help check test papers and record their scores. If there are academic or behavioral issues that they notice in a student, they also take note of it. They would confer this with the teacher who will also carry out her own observations and then meet with child’s parents to inform them of the behavior.
Teacher assistants also monitor students during recess and lunch times. They make sure that students don’t get rowdy during play times and that they don’t engage in food fights in the cafeteria. During field trips and other school-sanctioned activities, they ensure that all students stay with the group at all times. Teacher assistants do their best to inculcate in the children how they should properly behave in public places.
In schools which don’t have a school nurse on campus, teacher assistants may be required to undertake First Responder training so that they can provide emergency response to students who suffer from accidents while inside school grounds. They provide first aid and give medications as needed. They may also accept instructions from parents about any medicine that their child should take in school. Together with the teacher, they also know if a child has a medical condition that needs to be monitored and what medications should be administered in the event of an attack. For instance, they are taught to spot symptoms of hypoglycemia in diabetics and what emergency measures should be undertaken to bring the student’s blood sugar levels back to normal.
Teacher assistants see to the safety of students. In some schools, they may accompany the school bus to ensure that all students are sent safely to their homes. They also make sure that the classroom itself is safe, that there are no rough edges which could potential injure kids who are moving about doing their tasks. They also teach students to always be mindful about their steps.
The work of teacher assistants doesn’t end after dismissal time. They may stay after school to help a student with his homework when they know (either from experience or what the child or parents tell him) that his parents will not arrive until very late at night and won’t have the time or energy to review the kid’s lessons. They may also be assigned to head clubs and other after-school programs. These can be extra-curricular activities that focus on developing the student’s interests and talents like a cooking club for those who want to learn how to cook or bake or a running club for those who love athletics.