Instructional Assistant Job Description
Instructional Assistants provides support to teachers, instructors and faculty members in an educational setting. They assist with a variety of functions, including implementing instructional programs, assessing student performance and other tasks as needed by instructor.
The Instructional Assistant works under the direct supervision of the instructor. They often work with a specific learning population, such as preschool-aged children or special education children. They can work in a wide variety of educational institutions including private and public schools as well as child care facilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the field will grow roughly 6 percent over the next ten years, which is about average.
Instructional Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
In order to assist instructors, an Instructional Assistant performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Instructional Assistant in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.
Perform Clerical Tasks
Part of supporting the Instructor involves completing clerical duties as needed so that the Instructor can focus on teaching. The Instructional Assistant completes administrative duties such as taking and recording attendance, drafting and sending out progress reports for students, answering emails and phone calls from families and maintaining supply inventory for the classroom.
Instructional Assistants often perform exams on students in order to assess their progress, strengths, and weaknesses. While the Instructor typically designs the assessments and exams, the Instructional Assistant will administer them. They usually grade the exams as well and document all grades and student progress accurately.
Prepare Instructional Materials
In order to support the Instructor, the Instructional Assistant will prepare and organize lessons and educational programs under the guidance of the Instructor. They prepare all materials for the lesson, including any handouts, worksheets and exams. They’ll also set up any displays or work areas prior to the lesson. This work often includes operating printers and copy machines.
Assist with Instruction
The Instructional Assistant assists the instructor in implementing instructional plans. This can include providing support while the instructor is teaching, giving lessons independently when the instructor is unavailable and providing small group tutoring to students who need additional assistance.
Instructional Assistant Skills
Instructional Assistants have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal, that allow them to effectively monitor and instruct students as well as build and maintain meaningful relationships with students and their families. They have high levels of patience and enjoy working with children. Extremely organized and great and multi-tasking, Instructional Assistants are able to organize and plan on behalf of Instructors, providing them with adequate administrative support.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Instructional Assistants with these core skills. If you want to work as an Instructional Assistant, focus on the following. Go getter enthusiastic ambitious
- Possessing a High School diploma or GED
- Having experience working with youth
- Demonstrating basic reading, writing, and mathematical skills
- Showing basic record-keeping abilities
- Operating basic office equipment
- Completing and passing state-specific proficiency exams
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Instructional Assistant toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Bachelor’s degree in education or related field
- Associate’s degree in related field
- Specialized teaching experience such as ESL or special education
- Experience with administering and grading standardized testing
Instructional Assistant Resources
We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as an Instructional Assistant. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
Breezy Special Ed – Blog by a special education high school teacher
Daily Edventures – Blog from Microsoft’s VP of Education
Homeroom – Official blog of the U.S. Department of Education
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages – One of the biggest organizations for ESL teachers
Association of American Educators – Largest association for American educators
National Association of Special Education Teachers – Leading organization for special education professionals
Instructional Assistant Books
How Children Succeed – Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
Effective Classroom Management – An interactive textbook on classroom management
The Smartest Kids in the World – A book on growing intelligent children through education
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