Let’s be honest, in today’s education system a lot of teachers are overworked. With bigger classroom sizes to handle, keeping standardized test scores high, rapid changes in curriculum each year, building lesson plans, and grading assignments teachers have a lot on their plates. Luckily, the education system has started incorporating teacher assistant staff, or a lower-wage employee who provide support to educators by participating in instruction, lesson planning, paperwork (grading), and general supervision. They are the behind-the-scenes crowd which takes a load off of the teacher’s already creaking back and does so enthusiastically as this position is often filled by prospecting educators who need entry-level work. With the demand for teacher assistant constantly rising, let’s take a look at their effects on student learning, classroom behavior, and individualized success.
The rise in funding for teacher assistant positions has shown to increase student success rates. Having an assistant in the classroom who can provide support, answer questions, and help out with a tough classroom allows the educator to focus, without distraction on other students who need it. When there is a teacher assistant in the classroom handling a given lesson or the general attention of the class, this gives the educator the opportunity to give individualized attention to students who may be having trouble understanding concepts presented on a given day. When students have the opportunity to receive one-on-one, guided direction their learning improves. This is huge. Much like a chain reaction, the better learning improves, the higher students will score on tests. The higher student’s score on tests, the better reputation a school will have. Eventually, if a school’s reputation gets high enough, an influx of students will start transferring there. With more students, schools receive more funding and the value of education continues to grow. Teacher assistants can make this possible. In fact, schools with a higher numbers of support staff often deliver higher test scores.
When teacher assistants are used in an organized, progress-based staffing implementation program, student success rates sky-rocket. So how exactly is this achieved? Surely, adding an extra pair of hands to lend a helping hand to basic classroom functioning is helpful, but is it results-based? In specific environments, teacher assistants can have a huge impact on students learning. Specifically, when used to deliver structured, high-quality support to small student groups, teacher assistant shine. Often making an additional 2 to 4 months progress, we can conclude that the incorporation of focused, individualized attention is improving test scores. Whether this type of classroom setting is delivered by the TA themselves or made possible by the TA for the educator themselves, positive results are owed, directly, to hiring low-wage education assistants.
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