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Classroom Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
A classroom assistant's daily duties and responsibilities can vary, but certain core tasks are universal. Based on our review of job ads, some of these tasks are:
Reteaching and Reinforcing Concepts Students who are struggling due to learning disabilities can benefit from individual instruction or small-group instruction after the teacher has taught the lesson. Classroom assistants reteach parts of the lesson to help the students understand or give helpful feedback to students who need encouragement.
Help Students Develop Appropriate Social Skills Because a large part of the classroom assistant's schedule is devoted to working directly with children, helping children develop their social skills is important. Classroom assistants provide direct guidance to students or implement social learning activities to promote these behaviors.
Assisting with Classroom Set-up and Maintenance The supervising teacher may ask the assistant to decorate bulletin boards, gather resources, move desks and chairs, or pass out learning aids. In addition, the teacher may request the assistant make copies of worksheets, help with grading tasks, or laminate and cut out learning aids.
Supervising Children as Needed throughout the School Classroom assistants may be asked to monitor school crosswalks before or after school, monitor in the cafeteria during lunchtime, or actively supervise playground activities. Their schedules may change, depending on urgent needs.
Classroom Assistant Salary and OutlookThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the national median annual salary for a classroom assistant as $26,260 with a median hourly wage of $12.63. A classroom assistant in the 10th percentile earns approximately $18,460 a year (or $8.88 an hour), while the highest-paid in the field make $39,780 a year ($19.13 hourly). According to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, over 1,308,100 classroom assistants are employed in the United States. Projected employment growth for this sector is 8 percent from 2016 to 2026.
Classroom Assistant Helpful Resources
To help you decide whether to pursue a career as a classroom assistant, it's useful to gather as much information as you can. We searched the web to find some of the top industry resources. Click on the following links to learn more.
National Resource Center for Paraeducators (NRCP) - The NRCP will be most helpful to classroom assistants via its online community and paraprofessional information. Direct training for paraprofessionals is also available.
National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) - The NJCLD provides the most current information and advice related to learning disabilities and ADHD. Resources include articles, multimedia, expert columns, essays, and forums.
Paraeducator Resource and Learning Center (PRLC) - The PRLC offers classroom assistants vital information and resources in six topic areas: teamwork, inclusive education, cultural sensitivity, characteristics of disabled children, roles and responsibilities of paraeducators, and implementing teacher-planned instruction.
The Paraprofessional's Handbook for Effective Support in Inclusive Classrooms - Author Julie Causton-Theoharis Ph.D. created this guide to give paraprofessionals a resource for user-friendly, practical content to help them succeed in the inclusive classroom.
Behavior Support Strategies for Education Paraprofessionals - Written especially for education paraprofessionals by Will Henson, this book covers everything from understanding the underlying reasons for challenging behavior to specific behavior management skills.
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