Career Story: Kindergarten Teacher's Assistant

Kindergarten Teacher's Assistant

Job Title: Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

Type of Company: I work for a school district in the Barnstable County area in Massachusetts.

Education: BA, Psychology, Roger Williams University (Bristol, RI) •• Certification in Education

Previous Experience: I have worked with children in several capacities, most recently as the technology teacher in the computer lab teaching kindergarten through 4th grade.

Job Tasks: My job consists of assisting in kindergarten classes. My time is split between two classrooms. The responsibilities of my job include taking the lunch count each day for 40 students and reporting it to the cafeteria, as well as working in small groups with students to help with their alphabet and number skills. My job allows me to help 5-6 year olds develop social skills as well as to help them develop learning skills while in the classroom. I am responsible for assisting them with their art projects and making sure they have what they need in order to do the project themselves. The more they are able to do on their own, the more confidence they gain. I am there to assist them, but not to do things for them. In kindergarten we want to foster a love of learning. My job is to be there as an extra set of hands, eyes and ears as these children learn to do for themselves.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is watching these children come in at the beginning of the year so dependent and skill-less, and follow their growth as they learn to become more independent individuals. One of the best parts of the job is watching them learn their letters, 'til by the end of the year, they're reading books or simple words on their own.

Job Tips: Have a love for all types of children. Be willing to take on many different roles: being a nurse when kids hurt themselves, being a consoler when they are sad, being a friend when they need encouragement and a judge when they are argue. Kindergarten is a time when the foundations of learning are being laid. It's a time when kids still get to play, but it is also the start of their academic journey, and the main goal is to help them enjoy it and develop a real love for learning.

Additional Thoughts: Being a teacher's assistant has been a wonderful experience for me. I love being in the classroom with the students and helping them learn. It is a rewarding experience helping children at that age, they are so enthusiastic about being in school; they are like sponges taking in all this information and growing into strong individuals.

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