A teacher's aide is an education professional who provides support to a teacher. Teacher's aides work in elementary and grammar schools in both general education classrooms and special education classrooms. This educational career may require a degree and certification, depending on regional laws. People who are interested in working as teacher's aides can get more information from the department of education in their region.
The teacher's aide assists a teacher so that the teacher can focus on instruction, rather than on the administrative tasks associated with teaching. Teacher's aides are involved in the preparation of lesson plans, helping teachers develop plans that will be accessible and appropriate for the students. They also handle the acquisition and distribution of class materials, from worksheets for spelling tests to special equipment for the classroom. Organization of class trips and special visitors may also be part of a teacher's aide's job.
Teacher's aides can be tasked with getting instructional materials like videos, musical instruments, and other tools that will be used in the class. They also handle the recording of grades, student evaluations, and other administrative tasks. In the classroom, the teacher's aide helps students who appear to be struggling so that all students in the class have an opportunity to learn the material and succeed. Some teacher's aides may work with a particular teacher full time, while others may travel between classrooms, interacting with many different students and teachers.
Individualized attention has been demonstrated to be key to educational progress, especially for younger students. A teacher's aide gets to know the students very well and can provide interventions when students are having difficulty. Teacher's aides can also identify at-risk students who might be in need of evaluation for learning disabilities, counseling to provide assistance with problems at home, and other interventions. Early intervention can make a significant difference for the student as well as the rest of the class, as students in need of help can become disruptive.
Students with disabilities are also supported by teacher's aides. Increasing integration of classrooms has resulted in a need for aides who can help students with disabilities who are being mainstreamed in classes with non-disabled students. This assistance can include help with classroom tasks, keeping students focused on classwork, and help with medications and other needs that the student may have. Aides can be assigned to a specific disabled student or act as floaters in an integrated classroom to provide help where needed.