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A kindergarten teacher's assistant supports the teacher of the class in educating 5- and 6-year-old children. An assistant basically handles tasks that free the teacher to focus on the learning agenda for the day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teacher assistant jobs are expected to show growth of 15 percent between 2010 and 2020 because of demand for child care, increased student enrollment and the need for special education services.
Keeps Things Organized
A teacher's assistant keeps a classroom organized by preparing and passing out project materials, setting up audio equipment, and tracking attendance, among other tasks. In addition, the teacher's assistant maintains classroom supplies and helps children retrieve materials, clean up work spaces and gather belongings. If homework or money for a field trip is due in the morning, for example, she is responsible for collecting the items and maintaining records.
The teacher's assistant may copy and distribute school information that must be sent home to parents Also, the assistant is responsible for making copies of worksheets and laminating materials to be used by the class. The assistant may follow up on an absent student's homework by giving it to an older sibling to take home.
Conducts Small Group Work
While the teacher moves on with the rest of the class, a small group of students who need additional help with math, for instance, can be helped by the assistant. The assistant also takes groups of kindergarteners to the restroom or other places on campus during class time. She helps children solve conflicts by discussing their feelings, supervising social interactions and re-directing a group's attention back to the activity at hand.
Because the teacher cannot always stop when children don't pay attention or break a rule, the assistant is there to identify and correct behavior. For example, if a child continuously stands when asked to sit, the assistant will go over to the child and help him comply. She also reminds students about classroom rules and how to act on the playground, and she anticipates the needs of children who require more direction or attention so that classroom disruptions are minimal.
Follows Teacher's Lead
The assistant is there to support the teacher and follows through with requests, such as grading tests, checking homework and attending parent-teacher conferences. She must receive direction effectively and communicate with the teacher about ways to improve the classroom setting, children who need help and parental concerns she hears about, for example.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.