What Does an Educational Assistant Do?
An Educational Assistant, also known as an E.A., is responsible for providing support and help to students as well as the instructors in a variety of classroom settings. Specific roles and responsibilities will depend on the setting you work in, whether it is in an elementary school or an adult learning environment. According to the Alberta Teacher's Association, E.A.’s are part of a school’s support staff. They help to enhance students’ overall learning environment.
Working within an educational program, you will be assisting the instructors with various tasks that ensure students can maximize on their learning. This results in meaningful work, which is among the top reasons to become an educational assistant.
The following roles and responsibilities are part of an educational assistant's daily life:
1) Assist Students with Lessons
This is done under the supervision of the teacher, and can mean providing extra help and support to students who need it to understand their course material. It can also involve taking groups of students for various evaluations and activities.
2) Support Special Needs Students
This will include assisting special needs students with mobility, communication and personal hygiene, as well as with their school work. The students also need help with forming peer relationships and learning how to navigate their environment.
3) Help Teachers Mark Tests and Assignments
Aside from grading papers and assignments, EA’s also help with classroom inventory, crafts projects, and classroom displays or bulletin boards. They help the teachers put together learning plans and help execute them in the best way possible.
4) Monitor Students
EA’s will help supervise students during noon hour and breaks to ensure students are safe. They can help facilitate peer relationships, as well as student-to-educator relationships. They will keep records on students’ progress and advise teachers, based on their level of expertise. This can include recommending students for speech therapies, and other forms of assistance.
5) Accompany students
A teacher's assistant is also responsible for accompanying students on field trips, and other activities. This includes in school activities like the library, music room, gymnasium and more.
6) Implement Various Support Programs
These can be behavioural modification programs, personal development and any other therapeutic programs required by the students, that EA’s carry out under the supervision of relevant professionals.
7) Other Supporting Roles
The educational assistant's main role is to assist the teachers, the school, and the students, which is reflected in the various roles they play in supporting everyone involved in the learning process.
This role will provide you with an excellent and fulfilling opportunity to truly help students excel in their academic, and ultimately personal, lives. Are you considering becoming an educational assistant or furthering your career with enhanced training? Check out the Education Assistant Diploma program offered by ABM College in Calgary.