Career Story: Teacher Assistant In A High School Math Class

Teacher Assistant In A High School Math Class

Job Title: Teacher Assistant

Type of Company: I assist math teachers in the high school with students who are at risk of failing or are in need of extra help during the class time. And I also work with ESL students who have only been in this country a short time.

Education: BS, Education, Eastern Connecticut State College (Willimantic, CT)

Previous Experience: I started out as an elementary school teacher in North Carolina and Georgia, but on returning to Connecticut, I took a job as a homebound tutor, primarily working with high school students. This allowed me in time to become a teacher assistant.

Job Tasks: My job is to assist the high school math department. My duties include working with students who need extra help with class work. The teacher gives me specific worksheets to help the students, or I correct homework and sometimes tests. I also am responsible for maintaining inventory of supplies for the department. I place orders for the items we need in one of two ways: going to our central office supply or locating items in catalogs or online and comparing prices. Of course, when the items arrive, I must check the order with the invoice and packing slip to be sure we got what we ordered and that it came in good condition. All items must be marked RHS Math Dept and numbered with a marker, and calculators must also have the number etched on them. This is to keep track of our school property.

During certain times of the year I also must collect information, like the number of students in each class. This is done 5 times a year. I have created tables for the teachers to fill in the necessary information that we have to summarize. I enjoy what I do since the department seems appreciates it. I do not like to miss work. I like this job because no two days are exactly alike and there is always something to do and it make the day go so quickly. It is also nice to have the summers off. The only drawback is that I only get paid during the school year. I do get paid sick days, personal days and holidays.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that there is always something to do and no two days are the same. So it is not boring. The worst part of my job is that I do not get paid vacations. I get no pay for the month of July and August, and little pay during the month of December and April, because of the vacation days.

Job Tips: You have to be very organized, able to multi-task and be very patient. I always ask what else I can do to help and if I'm not sure what is supposed to be done, I ask. I would also suggest that you familiarize yourself with Microsoft Word and Excel, if you don't already know them.

Additional Thoughts: If you are not sure if you want to become a teacher, this is a great opportunity to see how a school functions. Because of the hours, it would allow you to also go to night school to complete any degree that you might want to earn. I started out as a teacher and decided after moving back to Connecticut that it would be okay to be a para. I have always loved teaching and this lets me still do that without taking work home.

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