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What Does a Teaching Assistant Do?

An assistant to a teacher has two main jobs: supporting the teacher in charge and supporting students in the classroom. As the job title implies, teacher assistants assist the lead teacher to ease their workload and help out with everyday classroom tasks, such as grading homework or taking attendance. If a student needs extra support or instruction, a teacher assistant might be asked to work with that student one-on-one. Teacher assistants might also work with the supervising teacher to discuss the progress of students and provide insight.

The day-to-day of a teaching assistant might look different depending on the age group of their students, but for the most part, their responsibilities include:

  • Grading tests and homework
  • Record keeping
  • Monitoring student behavior
  • Taking attendance
  • Getting the classroom ready for lessons
  • Overseeing students during non-classroom times, such as lunch, recess, or field trips
  • Supervising group activities
  • Working with the lead teacher to monitor class schedules
  • Documenting student progress and communicating with parents to keep them informed
  • Teaching small groups who need additional help or guidance
  • Attending training classes, conferences, or faculty meetings
  • Listening to children read, reading to them, or telling them stories
  • Helping children who need extra support to complete tasks

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