Students who enroll in online teacher aide courses typically study subjects like how to recognize when a child may have a developmental problem, how to work with children who have special needs, how to give first aid to children and how to relate to a diverse group of students in the classroom.
Teacher aide course skills
An overview of curricula for various online teacher aide courses turns up variety between individual courses, but some common overlap in terms of skill objectives:
- Educational psychology
- Infant and toddler care
- First aid
- Child development
- Managing student's behavior
- Student assessments
- Language development
- Classroom organization
- School health and safety
- Classroom management
Single course vs. full teacher aide program
If taking an online course as part of a larger teacher aide training program, students are also usually be required to take electives that can help them become more seasoned educational professionals. Sample courses cover topics such as sociology, public speaking, composition, mathematics and rhetoric.
Applying teacher aide skills in the workplace
O*NET Online identifies the following skills as the top five most important for teacher assistants:
- Active listening: Paying full attention to a speaker and absorbing the key points of conversation
- Speaking: The ability verbally communicate information in an effective manner
- Social perceptiveness: Reading the reactions of others and discerning reasons behind them
- Critical thinking: Identifying issues and solutions based on logical thought
- Instructing: The ability to teach others in an effective manner
Written and verbal communication skills can help teacher's aides communicate with the students in the classroom, as well as the teachers they assist. These skills can be useful in performing duties like helping teachers complete certain administrative duties defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These duties include calculating students' grades, supervising students' behavior inside and outside of the classroom and reinforcing teacher lessons to students in one-on-one or small group settings.
Additionally, the skills that students learn in teacher aide courses can be leveraged to pursue several other careers, according to the BLS. For example, the teaching skills that students gain in their online classes can help them become career and technical education teachers -- a job that entails developing and executing lesson plans, creating and enforcing classroom rules and monitoring student performance on assignments and tests.
Similarly, students who take teacher aide courses can potentially use their understanding of child psychology and development to begin on the path to becoming childcare workers. These jobs entail supervising children and ensuring that they are safe, changing diapers and paying attention to children's behavior to determine if they have developmental issues.
- "25-9041.00 Teacher Assistants," O*NET OnLine, July 17, 2014, http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/25-9041.00
- "Career Diploma in Teacher Assisting," Ashworth College, June 27, 2014, http://www.ashworthcollege.edu/career-diplomas/teacher-assisting
- "Career and Technical Education Teachers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/career-and-technical-education-teachers.htm
- "Child Development-Teacher Aide Certificate," Black Hawk College, June 27, 2014, http://www.bhc.edu/2011/02/child-development-teacher-aide-certificate/
- "Childcare Workers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/childcare-workers.htm
- "Teacher Aide Certificate," Triton College, June 27, 2014, http://www.triton.edu/collegecatalog/teacher-aide-certificate.htm
- "Teacher Aide Certificates," South Suburban College, June 27, 2014, http://www.academyart.edu/graphic-design-school/
- "Teacher Assistants," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/teacher-assistants.htm
- "Teacher Assistant Training," Community College of Rhode Island, June 27, 2014, http://www.ccri.edu/cwce/career/teacherassistant.html