How to Become a Special Needs Teacher's Aide

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A teacher’s aide is someone who assists a teacher in running a classroom. A teacher’s aide may have varied duties. Such duties may include supervising children or assisting the teacher with academic tasks. Very often a teacher’s aide will with work with individual students. Many students with special needs, such as learning disabilities or sensory deficits, may work with a teacher’s aide throughout the school day or for a few hours each day. In order to become a special needs teacher’s aide, there are several steps that must be followed.

Graduate from high school. Most school districts vastly prefer to hire candidates with at least a high school diploma.

Complete at least 1 year of college. Candidates with at least 18 credits of college education are given hiring preference in many school districts.

Master a foreign language. Many school districts have a large influx of nonnative English speakers, particularly in states such as California and New York. Very often these students have special needs. A candidate who knows an additional language will have more chances of employment.

Take classes in special education and psychology. College credits in such areas not only will help a potential teacher’s aide gain employment but also will help her understand the needs of the population she is working with.

Apply for employment. Many school districts may hire teacher’s aides during the entire year; however, chances of employment are often best during the start of the school year or during the transition from one half of the school year to the next. Contact the local school district offices. Some school districts hold hiring halls where candidates are interviewed and selected.

Contact local individual schools. Names and numbers can be found in the local yellow pages. Ask for an interview with the principal or assistant principal. Many schools have the power to hire candidates they like independently. Emphasize your interest and background in this subject.

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