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Five minutes with a teacher’s aide

by Yvette Maurice
There are many fulfilling careers, but none so much as electing to work with children in a classroom setting, helping kids to learn, grow and achieve their best – particularly those that need a little bit of extra attention.

Teacher’s Aides help and assist teachers in the classroom and give extra help to students to support them with their learning and development. Teacher’s Aides (also called Education Assistants) work in a range of classroom contexts, including public and independent schools and community education settings.

So what’s it like to work in this important sector? Open Colleges spoke to Barbara Lippiatt of the Western Australian Association of Teacher Assistants to find out.

Hi Barb, for those who don’t know, explain what a Teacher’s Aide is.

As a Teacher’s Aide or Education Assistant I assist the teacher in preparing and delivering a full education programme to help and encourage children to become independent, resilient and enjoy learning.

What does a Teacher’s Aide do on a day to day basis?

In my case, I worked in a pre-primary situation, so my tasks were very varied! Some of my daily duties were things like setting up the classroom for the daily activities then setting up the outdoor playground.

After that it would be time for preparation for the activities, then I’d help with supervision of some small group activities. I would then assist with preparing and cutting fruit for sharing at fruit time and in general, I interacted with children by reading books to them and helping them with puzzles.

In your opinion, what are the best parts of the job?

For me the best part of the job was interacting with the children every day and watching them grow, develop and learn.

What skills/attributes do potential Teacher’s Aides need to have?

Some of the skills I think that are required for the job as a Teacher’s Aide or Education Assistant are firstly a love of children, then attributes such as patience, tolerance, initiative, the ability to work independently, and to be able to follow instructions. All these things are important.

Lastly, what are your favourite things about working in the teaching industry?

My favourite thing about working in the teaching industry is having an influence on the learning and development of the children and seeing the results when they achieve!

Thanks, Barbara, for sharing your story with Open Colleges.

Open Colleges offers a Certificate III in Education Support that can be studied completely online. If you are interested in becoming a Teacher’s Aide, click here to find out more.

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