13 Reasons to Work as a Teacher’s Assistant (while getting your online education degree)

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Some people have trust funds, inheritances, or have their schooling and lives paid for while studying. The rest of us need to make our own way, and that means working while in school.

You’re in luck! Getting your Education Degree online offers flexibility and freedom to choose your schedule and your work while being extremely affordable compared to traditional schools. What better way to supplement your online education by working as a Teacher’s Assistant and learning the ins-and-outs of life as an educator, putting your freshly minted knowledge into practice as you go?

Here are thirteen great reasons to work as a TA while enrolled in an online education program:

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Hands-On Experience

Many teachers only get theoretical knowledge and a brief student teaching experience before they are thrust into their first teaching position. If you first work as a Teacher’s Assistant while getting your online education degree you will be exceedingly ahead of your peers. Teaching Assistants are often give the duties of a teacher such as: grading papers, implementing lesson plans, small group activities, and much more. You will learn how to conduct yourself in a school setting, the best way to work with colleagues, and most importantly how to control a classroom. Teachers often leave Teacher Assistants alone with the classroom so they can perform other tasks or attend meetings. What is better experience while on your way to becoming a teacher than actually being a teacher? This exposure alone is enough reason to become a TA.

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Pay

While we wouldn’t recommend chartering a jet to a private island on a TA’s salary, Teaching Assistants do make decent money. According to Payscale, TAs can start off making up to $15.00 an hour in some locations. In addition to getting a paycheck while in school, some Teachers Assistants also qualify for health benefits. Another perk to working as a TA is educational scholarships. Many districts award Teaching Assistants scholarships to further their education. Others even foot the entire bill, if you sign a contract to work with them.

The pay you receive while getting an online education degree will afford you an opportunity to get your credentials without stressing too much about money.

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Vacation

So you can’t charter that plane? No worries, Spirit Airlines has you covered. One of the great perks about working in a school is the vacation time. You will have plenty of opportunity to travel, perhaps catch up on school work, or even binge watch some of your favorite Netflix shows. Whatever you choose, you will never crave free time as a TA. In this line of work, you will even get the entire summer off! Or if you prefer to make some extra money, most districts also employ TAs for summer school, and you can use your credentials for freelance tutoring.

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Connections

Superintendents, principals, master teachers, and a variety of district staff are all people you will interact with as a Teacher’s Assistant. These invaluable connections will help you on your journey to becoming a fully qualified teacher. Many of these established colleagues have ties to graduate programs and their opinions matter to many people in the education world. A letter of recommendation from someone like that will put you on the fast track to a graduate school of your choice. Furthermore, keeping in contact with these people, or even just a friendly smile in passing, may be just what is needed to get a letter of recommendation for a job.

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Job Opportunities

A teacher or two may recognize you from district meetings you attended, or the hiring principal from a school remember a kind act you did for them. These simple forms of recognition can turn into a job opportunity for you when the time comes to get your first teaching job. Good thing you gave that seat up for the Superintendent that one time! Perhaps you made many friends in the school where you worked while getting your online education degree. People will line up to offer you jobs because they will already know and like you. In addition, knowing the ins-and-outs of district policy and politics makes you a natural fit with little to no transition time.

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Field Work Waivers

Becoming a teacher requires some field work in classrooms as well as an unpaid student teaching. Imagine if you were able to waive all that coursework because you are already employed in a school. Depending on the district in which you work as well as the online education school you attend, you may be able to forgo the unpaid portion of your field work component. It is certainly more appealing than working for free just to get experience. You don’t need an unpaid internship, you are a seasoned educator by now. Your master teacher will also feel more comfortable handing his or her classroom over to someone that is already vetted by the district, colleagues, and especially the students.

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Rewarding

Working as a Teacher’s Assistant is one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet. TAs have the unique opportunity to actually form close relationships with students. They are the first to understand and identify a student’s struggles, and are able to work hard with that student to overcome those obstacles. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing something finally click. Those “aha” moments are what will get you out of bed in the morning, and the best part is you will witness them daily.

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Flexible hours

In addition to amazing vacation time, school workers have flexible hours. There are many half days, superintendent meeting days off, and planning days in the school year. Teachers and teacher’s assistants are able to continue their education without fear of work interference. They can also plan to attend most of their families events. That means much less money for child or pet care. School schedules leaves employees happier, rested, and more productive. Having accommodating hours is beneficial to both educators and the district.  

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No Barriers

There are very few barriers to becoming a TA. In most states, one only has to attend a small training program and have no criminal background. Other places may require TAs have some college credits or be enrolled in University. That won’t be a problem, though. You will be enrolled in an online education degree program, right? Having little to no barrier of entry for your job, will allow you to focus more on things that are important, such as furthering your education. While the low barrier to entry make finding a position a bit difficult, districts usually favor candidates who are currently working on their credentials.

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Everyday is Different

Monotony can make an hour long task seem like an eternity. Variety is the spice of life right? Well, working as a Teacher’s Assistant will ensure everyday is different. Tuesday is the field trip to the children’s museum everyone has been waiting for, Friday the planetarium is coming for a visit, and next week is when the zoo is bringing in a few animals to show everyone. When you work in a school there are always different personalities and talents to learn from. Even a stressful day could never be described as boring. So put on your PJs for pajama day, and enjoy yourself.

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Students

Students are the absolute best part of working as a TA. Becoming a part of students’  lives on a day-to-day basis is really a privilege. Your students will get to know you, trust you, and respect you. There is no greater pay than a hug for a job well done. It is one of the few jobs where you have instant feedback for your work. Your students will simply not put up with anything less than your best effort. They will keep you on your toes, and would you really want it any other way? The satisfaction from a job well done is a feeling like no other. You will also have the added honor of knowing your work today can influence many generation to come. Working as an educator is a career that will bring you a lifetime of memories.

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Unique Skills

Are you able to play the guitar? Or maybe you like to paint. Whatever talent you have that is beneficial to the classroom is something that will set you apart as a TA. Show your silly side by replacing lyrics of popular song to make them educational. That would sure be a handy way to remember math facts. This is a job that will really allow your creative side to flourish. It also gives you the opportunity to pass that knowledge on to others.

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Team Teaching

Co-teaching is an amazing way to really learn your craft while you are earning your degree. Many master teachers believe that their TAs are an invaluable asset to the classroom and often utilize them to teach certain lessons. This is a method that will maximize both of your time and expertise. Co-teaching is a way to share planning, teaching, facilitate group activities, and much more.  Working alongside your teacher will allow you to earn your teaching stripes much faster than reading theory from a book.

 

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