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Assistant Teacher Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Assistant Teacher, also known as a Teaching Assistant provides assistance to Teachers in a classroom setting. Their duties include initiating classroom activities, preparing supplemental instructions and collecting materials from students.

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Assistant Teacher duties and responsibilities

The duties of Assistant Teachers depend largely on the needs of a Teacher. Senior Assistants supervise Assistants within an education staff. Generally, their main duties include:

  • Preparing classrooms and instructional materials for lessons and events
  • Assisting Teachers with correcting work and recording performance
  • Helping Teachers with the planning of learning activities, creating appropriate materials
  • Supporting and encouraging students in general
  • Providing tutoring, which may be one on one, in small groups or whole classes
  • Monitoring and recording the progress of students, providing Teachers and parents with regular updates
  • Supervising activities outside of the classroom such as revision sessions or after-school clubs
  • Organising students into small groups for social education
  • Creating a welcoming and inspiring atmosphere in the classroom
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What does an Assistant Teacher do?

Assistant Teachers take care of administrative tasks that aide Teachers. Both private and public institutions of education employ Assistant Teachers. These facilities include colleges, nurseries, primary and secondary or special-needs schools. Assistant Educators have a wide range of duties, including record-keeping, instructing and liaising back to Teachers. Assistants Teachers speak with parents regarding the progress of their children. Depending on the work environment, Assistant Teachers deal exclusively with special needs directly. Some Assistants work during extra-curricular hours and on school trips.

Assistant Teacher skills and qualifications

Assistant Teachers need strong interpersonal skills as their job requires them to work with people on a constant basis whether with students, co-workers or parents. In addition, a successful Assistant Teacher candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include: 

  • The ability to actively listen to the needs of their students and Teachers
  • Strong verbal communication skills to effectively guide students and provide feedback to Teachers
  • The ability to multitask, as they often have to deal with multiple tasks or issues concurrently
  • Basic computer skills and a working knowledge of relevant software programs, such as Excel and Word
  • The ability to remain calm in stressful situations

Assistant Teacher experience requirements

The experience an Assistant Teacher needs depends on their school’s qualifications or the credentials of its Teachers. Whereas some candidates secure entry-level positions without experience, other roles require proven knowledge — especially with children. Consider if your candidate needs experience from an EYFS history or with ADHD and special needs students.

Assistant Teacher education and training requirements

Assistant Teachers need at least a GCSE in maths and English at grade 5 level or above. They must demonstrate adequacy in common literacy and numerical skills. They’ll need to complete a first aid course. To prove their proficiency in your field, Assistant Teachers have professional qualifications such as a Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools. You’ll also find candidates with a Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education. Many of them build strong careers with a Teaching Assistant Advanced Apprenticeship.

Assistant Teacher salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Assistant Teacher in the UK is £18,065 per year. Salaries differ depending on factors like location, education and level of experience.

Job description samples for similar positions

If this job description isn’t a good fit for the job opening you currently have, here are a few job description samples of similar positions to look at:

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Assistant Teacher job description FAQs

What are the hours of an Assistant Teacher?

Assistant Teachers typically work Mondays to Fridays during term time. Apart from being present throughout the school day, they assist with after-school activities also. In addition, they attend ceremonies, training days and parent events.

What's the difference between an Assistant Teacher and a Supply Teacher?

Assistant Teachers provide support for Teachers, but Supply Teachers are qualified Teachers who step in to take over the duties of a full-time Teacher. Supply Teachers work in the full or partial absence of a Teacher. They function as fully independent Educators, conducting lessons and recording the progress of their students.

Can Assistant Teachers take classes on their own?

No. Assistant Teachers only facilitate class activities under the supervision of a Teacher. They work with a reasonable scope in educating students but are not qualified as Teachers. Higher Level Assistant Teachers (HLTAs), however, do take on full classes. Some temporarily take classes when a Teacher requires emergency assistance.

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