Being a teacher aide, or a TA for short, hints at one's inner aptitude to contribute to the wellbeing of another. A student with sentinent is more surprising than an adult, because they are showing desire to appreciate what an education means by experiencing it through a different approach. This is also a choice, and one that is not obligatory at all. A choice to be able to change a stressed teacher’s life. You must have a great will to work, the willingness to bond with a teacher, and the necessary responsibility to be a successful teacher aide.
Be warned though, with this choice comes responsibility. The responsibility of taking care of a teacher. You have to think of their needs first. Cherish this responsibility, as they learn to put trust in you. You see, being a TA is kind of like a friendship. You put in what you want to get out of it. If you put in responsibility, then you will be rewarded with trust. The feeling of trust is so good because they can count on you to know your morales. Your morales have a part in trust, because they put trust in you based on your decisions. For example, stealing something from their class, changing a grade on the computer, or changing an answer on a test are all ways TAs get their trust taken away. With trust a teacher’s assistant can do many things. When the teacher leaves, know how to handle it. Tell other students why a teacher is not here and help them as if you were the teacher. Your morals will come into play if the teacher leaves you with valuable things. A grade and money, for example, are some things everyone wants to do well in, or have, but morals tell us what to do.
Teachers are prone to the commonly known disease of untidiness syndrome. Especially English teachers. You are the only cure. Clean up after them as they leave messes and do this in a lively fashion. “How long will one clean last you before you have to do it all again?” is a constant question I have when I’m in this situation. Over time, teachers will build up the mess again and again. Take care of this as if it were your own. Teachers just procrastinate until the mess becomes out of control and in doing so, others have the burdensome task of managing it, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. It brings joy to TAs to know that we are helping teachers manage their lives better.
Someone wanting to come into this business should know this: working for a single teacher is not how the school rolls. You’ll be working for the whole department. Different teachers will be asking for extra help and your assigned teacher will be ever so kind to let you be their slave for the day. You must help them as you do with others. In doing so, you share your handiness, help out poor teachers, and make yourself more known as a helping hand. Being known is good also. Everyone you know can ask you to do a favor and trust you in doing so because you work for many other people. Doing this will put more trust in you as a TA and strengthens your bond with this teacher.
I am known as an efficient and smart worker. My favorite teacher sometimes doesn’t need me and I still want to work for that day. Other teachers get a chance to have me when this rare occasion happens. I get known because I am so willing to work for strangers. Even ones in other departments. Every teacher generally has the same needs and wants, but you never know. Take advantage of this time to help as many people as you can.
Speaking of bonding, tell them what activities you’re doing once in awhile and how you feel towards something. They get joy from the conversation. They will even do the same. Feel with them and share the same emotions as if you were in their shoes. Even if you don’t care what they’re saying, pretend to care. It’s basic human etiquette. It would crush them to know they are boring. You wouldn’t like it if the name calling would have been reciprocated.
A truly great assistant can read a teacher like a book. This is essential to try and understand a teacher’s day. With this quality, you will be able to know and appreciate what teachers do with and for the school. Understand what they go through. From whole classes misbehaving for a sub to having students who can’t stop talking, these teachers go through it all.
You must do all of these all inclusive of the period in which you work. First of all, a teacher wants someone who is reliable. Don’t sign up to be a TA if all you want is an off block or you don’t want to learn how to be a TA or if you are just plain lazy. You make a commitment right when you ask the teacher if they could use you. Never make them regret their decisions and all of a sudden become unreliable. If you choose to follow through, you’re awesome. Once you are in class, the teacher will give you various jobs including but not limited to grading, hanging stuff on the wall, cleaning, errands, shelving, and counting. Always do your best. The size of the jobs may intimidate you, but I assure you, it gets easier as you go along. When the bell rings, don’t jump right up like you are going anywhere. Come to an appropriate stopping point and leave the job as you want it to be tomorrow. Clean up if you cleaned out something. A teacher is not a parent and certainly not a slave. Take three extra minutes to pick up after yourself and that will tell the teacher that you are responsible.
If I am in the middle of a job and I need to go, I don’t panic, I simply stay after school if I have permission, or come in before school the next morning and get the job done. My schedule focuses on teacher’s due dates and what they say to their students. It may take time to adjust to teachers spontaneous planning, but all that matters is that the job eventually gets done, and the teachers don’t have to break a sweat. I view TAs as people who just do the jobs that are too hard or too long for the teacher to do themselves, but I am always happy to help.
Being a teacher aide is a good experience for people who plan to work with other people because it strengthens personal relations and teaches someone how to satisfy one's needs. Later in your life, you will never regret having bonded with teachers, caring for them, and working for them.