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Helping children learn: What is it like to be a Teacher's Aide

by Chloe Baird
Posted: June 17, 2021

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Working in a classroom can be a satisfying career for many. While it doesn’t come without its unique challenges, watching children learn and grow can be hugely rewarding.  

You’ll also have the chance to build strong relationships with kids and young adults as you provide help and guidance along their education pathway.  

Have you thought about working in education as a Teacher’s Aide?

Read on to discover what’s involved with being a Teacher’s Aide, the skills needed for the job, and how you can become a Teacher’s Aide in Australia.

Teacher's Aide

What does a Teacher’s Aide do? 

A Teacher’s Aide may also be referred to as a Teaching Assistant or an Education Aide. Teacher’s Aide is commonly shortened to simply ‘TA’.  

A Teacher’s Aide, or Teaching Assistant, is someone who supports the Teacher in a classroom. A TA’s responsibilities including assisting individual children as needed, supervising students and providing any help with non-teaching duties like arts and crafts and lunch duties. They also perform general classroom administrative duties, such as preparing resources and materials, filing and handing out worksheets.  

As a TA, you may choose to specialise in a particular area, such as working with children with special needs, or children who have English as a second language.  

A TA is different to an Assistant Teacher, as TAs are not qualified to give instructional support.

Is education a good career choice in Australia? 

Here are four reasons why you might find a career as a Teacher’s Aide enjoyable and fulfilling: 

1. There is high demand for education workers 

This is an issue about supply and demand. In a nutshell, there is a rising demand for Teachers and other education professionals because current numbers cannot meet the growing population of students.  

2. You get to help shape the minds of the next generation 

You get to enjoy the privilege of helping shape young minds and helping them develop and grow.  

3. It’s both challenging and rewarding 

Working in education certainly has its ups and downs. But by keeping in mind that you’re helping children and young adults to learn and grow, you can stay focused and feel fulfilled knowing you’re doing an important job. And when you help a student reach that ‘a-ha!’ moment, you’ll know it’s all worthwhile.  

4. Technology in education can make the job interesting 

As technology continues to evolve, it’s imperative that the education system keeps up with the latest trends and patterns. It’s important that we give kids the opportunity to learn through innovative new ways. Laptops in classrooms are commonplace, and the importance of teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects means that technology is being introduced to the classroom in new and exciting ways. 

Why are Teacher’s Aides important? 

TAs are important as their job is to help support the Teacher. Recent reports have shown that the rising demand for qualified Teachers is in part due to the fact that many Teachers leave their roles within five years of starting out. The two main factors seem to be long working hours and feeling underappreciated for all the hard work they do.  

Having a qualified Teacher’s Aide in the classroom to assist with day-to-day, non-instructional duties can be a huge benefit for many Teachers.  

More than that, Teacher’s Aides also play an important role when it comes to interacting with kids one-on-one and giving them equal attention so no child feels left out. This is especially important when it comes to helping children with learning difficulties or other social or mental development issues.

Teaching Assistant

Skills needed to be a Teacher’s Aide

Working with children takes patience, commitment, empathy and a positive attitude. But there are other skills you’ll need to have if you want to become a successful Teacher’s Aide:

  • Good communication skills: Communicating with children is different than communicating with adults. You’ll need to make sure that the children your helping comprehend what you’re saying, and that you’re also listening to them properly in turn.
  • Strong organisational and time management skills: Running a classroom takes a lot of time, planning and effort. Most of this will be up to the Teacher, but to help out the Teacher as much as possible you’ll also need to be on the ball, especially in a full classroom.
  • Collaboration: You and the classroom Teacher need to work as a cohesive unit so that the kids in your care get the most out of their education. Being a team player is an important part of being a successful TA.
  • Tech skills: As we mentioned before, there are some really interesting innovations in tech entering the education space. Kids born today are introduced to technology at a very young age, and grow up with an understanding of how it works and what it can do for them. So if you’re going to help kids in the classroom, you need to know just as much – or more – about technology as they do.
  • Emotional intelligence (EQ): Emotional intelligent people generally have well-developed social skills and a strong sense of empathy. They are very self-aware and socially perceptive, self-motivated, and are always able to keep calm in stressful situations. Having a high EQ can be important when dealing with children.
  • Creativity: Helping kids learn and develop will occasionally mean you have to think outside the box. Every child is different, and they all have different learning styles. If you’re working in a classroom with twenty kids, you need to be able to recognise their learning styles and how they respond to certain situations, and think creatively to help them get the most out of their education.

How can I become a Teacher’s Aide? 

To become a TA, you’ll generally need to complete formal training and hold a VET qualification such as the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support.  

While it’s possible to become a TA with no experience, holding a qualification could improve your career prospects.  

OC offers this qualification as an online course. Benefit by learning from qualified Trainers and Assessors with industry experience, and enjoy the convenience and flexibility of an online course.  

The HC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is a nationally recognised VET qualification, which means it’s recognised anywhere in Australia.  

What are you waiting for? Enrol today and discover just how rewarding a career in education could be.

 

Chloe Baird

Chloe is an Open Colleges alumnus who now works full time for OC as a Content and Copywriting Specialist. She is passionate about encouraging others to pursue their goals through education.

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