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Career Story: First Grade Teaching Assistant In A Suburban School

First Grade Teaching Assistant In A Suburban School

Job Title: Teaching Assistant

Type of Company: I work for a school district in suburban Boston.

Education: BA, Elementary Education

Previous Experience: None

Job Tasks: As a teaching assistant I have many responsibilities. I help teach first grade students math, reading, writing, and science. I often work with particular students or smaller groups that need additional instruction. For example, I sit with a small group of students in math to explain confusing concepts or help read and clarify directions. During reading time, I alternate taking small leveled reading groups and practicing grammar and reading and comprehension skills. During the writing block, I sit with particular students who are struggling and assist them, either giving them ideas or helping them to sound out their words or clarify their ideas. I also help with classroom management, keeping the students quiet and under control. While the students are in special classes, like art or music, I help to plan lessons and correct students' work and tests.

I have non-academic responsibilities, as well. I monitor students during morning recess. If a student were to get hurt during recess, I'd check the student and depending on the severity I would either choose a student to walk him to the nurse or take him myself. I also have lunch duty. I have to make sure the students eat their lunch and are safe.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is being able to talk with and watch young students. They have a very different perspective on life and can be very entertaining. The smallest things can interest young people and they do not hesitate to show their excitement and tell anyone with ears their story.

The worst part of my job is having to deal with difficult students. Some students have no sense of authority or consequences. They're hard to discipline and it's hard to make them understand what results from their actions.

Job Tips: There are many bad days in teaching, but there are many great days, too. It's best to try to remember the great days to keep up your spirits and be able to give a positive perspective to young people. You need to go into a classroom with a sense of humor so you can just laugh some things off.

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