III. EXPLORING POSITIONS
Description: This is a public school full- or part-time position for a person providing instructional service to students under the general supervision of a licensed or certified teacher. The teaching assistant may perform duties such as working with individual pupils or groups of pupils on special instructional projects, assist them in the use of available instructional resources, and may assist teachers in the development of instructional materials. The teaching assistant often utilizes special skills and abilities to augment instructional programs in such areas as: foreign languages, arts, crafts, and music. (NYS Department of Education Commissioner’s Regulations, Section 80 – 5.6)
Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions: The teaching assistant needs knowledge of child development and general education in order to assist with the instruction of individual students under the direction of the Teacher. Skills such as reading and oral communication are needed along with positive guidance skills. The teaching assistant needs to be cooperative, able to follow directions and work independently, interact positively with children, and maintain self-control.
Required Qualifications: Certification is required for teaching assistants.
Level I teaching assistant certificate - Candidate has attained a high school diploma or its equivalent, achieved a satisfactory level of performance on the New York State Teacher Certification Examination Test of Communication and Quantitative Skills. Certificate is valid for one year from its effective date.
Level II teaching assistant certificate - Candidate has attained a high school diploma or its equivalent and has successfully completed a total of at least six semester hours of collegiate study acceptable toward meeting the requirements for a Bachelor's Degree, satisfactory level of performance on the New York State Teacher Certification Examination Test of Communication and Quantitative Skills. The certificate is valid for two years from effective date and not renewable.
Level III teaching assistant certificate - Candidate has attained a high school diploma or its equivalent and successfully completed a total of at least 18 semester hours of collegiate study acceptable toward meeting the requirements for a Bachelor's Degree and must be matriculated in a program registered as leading to teacher certification. The candidate has attained a satisfactory level of performance on the New York State Teacher Certification Examination Test of Communication and Quantitative Skills. The candidate has had experience as a teaching assistant for one school year under a Level I teaching assistant certificate, a level II teaching assistant certificate, or a level III teaching assistant certificate. NYS 80-5.6 (ii)
All persons holding this position must be cleared through the NYS Central Registry of Child Abuse and fingerprints submitted to required authorities.
Preparation: Accredited colleges offer coursework that can be used in preparing for Teaching Assistant positions. Typical courses include general education courses including communication, child development, and pedagogy.
Continuing Education: The Level III teaching assistant is required to successfully complete 75 clock hours of acceptable professional development during the professional development period.
Alternate Pathways: None
Opportunity for Advancement: With additional coursework, teaching assistants may serve as Substitute Teachers with a higher wage. With additional coursework and certification, Teaching Assistants can obtain a Teacher position.
Serving Children Directly – Tutor, special services aide, school library aide, camp counselor, governess/nanny
Serving Families Directly – Home visitor, family resource center worker
Providing Information, Goods or Services – Vendor of educational products