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III. EXPLORING POSITIONS

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Position 18: Teaching Assistant (Preparation level 3)

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. Teaching assistants may perform duties such as working with individual pupils or groups of pupils on special instructional projects, assist pupils in the use of available instructional resources, and assist the teachers in the development of instructional materials. Teaching assistants often utilize their own special skills and abilities to augment instructional programs in such areas as: foreign languages, arts, crafts, and music. (NYS Part 80-5.6)

Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions: Teaching assistants need knowledge of child development and general education with which to assist the instruction individual students under the direction of the Teacher. Skills such as reading and oral communication are needed along with child behavior guidance skills. The teaching assistant needs to be cooperative, able to follow directions and work independently, interact positively with children, and maintain self-control.

Employment Settings: Teaching assistants are typically employed in public schools (see SECTION II.F)

Required Qualifications: Certification requirements for teaching assistants will change on February 1, 2004. The following describes requirements prior to and after that date.

Applications prior to February 2004

Temporary License - Candidate must have completed high school. The temporary license is good for one year from date and no more than two temporary licenses may be issued to same person.

Continuing certificate - Candidate has completed six semester hours of appropriate collegiate study in or related to the field of elementary and/or secondary school service with one year of experience as a licensed teaching assistant.

Application on or after February 2, 2004

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 baccalaureate 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 baccalaureate 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, 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

Job Outlook: The need for teaching assistants varies within school districts and is dependent on policies and budget.

Earnings: Teaching assistants earn above minimum wage. Some are hourly employees, but many are full-time, academic-year (September-June) employees with benefits.

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.

Related Careers:

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 – Educational products sales