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Career and Education Opportunities for Teaching Assistants in Rockford, Illinois

There are many career and education opportunities for teaching assistants in the Rockford, Illinois area. There are currently 43,060 working teaching assistants in Illinois; this should grow by 18% to 50,760 working teaching assistants in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for teaching assistants are expected to grow by about 10.3%. In general, teaching assistants perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents.

The average wage in the general category of Specialized Education jobs is $20 per hour or $45,826 per year in Illinois, and an average of $22 per hour or $38,002 per year nationwide. Teaching assistants earn less than people working in the category of Specialized Education generally in Illinois and less than people in the Specialized Education category nationally. Jobs in this field include: esol teacher assistant , examination scorer, and computer lab assistant.

There are twelve schools of higher education in the Rockford area, including one within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can get a degree to start your career as a teaching assistant. Teaching assistants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a teaching assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, teaching assistants perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. They also serve in a position for which a teacher or another professional has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

Teaching assistants supervise students in classrooms and gymnasiums, or on field trips. They also tutor and assist children individually or in small groups to help them master assignments and to reinforce learning concepts presented by teachers. Equally important, teaching assistants have to consider assigned duties with classroom teachers to direct instructional efforts. They are often called upon to enforce administration policies and rules governing students. They are expected to type and duplicate materials. Finally, teaching assistants distribute teaching materials such as textbooks and pencils to students.

Every day, teaching assistants are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for teaching assistants to observe students' performance, and record relevant data to gauge progress. They are often called upon to ready lesson materials, bulletin board displays and demonstrations. They also present subject matter to students under the direction and guidance of teachers, using lectures, discussions, or supervised role-playing methods. They are sometimes expected to furnish extra assistance to students with special needs. Somewhat less frequently, teaching assistants are also expected to participate in teacher-parent conferences regarding students' progress or problems.

Teaching assistants sometimes are asked to distribute teaching materials such as textbooks and pencils to students. They also have to be able to take class attendance and maintain attendance records and furnish disabled students with assistive devices and assistance accessing facilities such as restrooms. And finally, they sometimes have to laminate teaching materials to increase their durability under repeated use.

Like many other jobs, teaching assistants must be reliable and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Rockford include:

  • Elementary School Teacher. Teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.
  • Graduate Research Assistant. Assist department chairperson, faculty members, or other professional staff members in college or university by performing teaching or teaching-related duties, such as teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving examinations, and grading examinations or papers. Graduate assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program. Graduate assistants who primarily perform non-teaching duties, such as laboratory research, should be reported in the occupational category related to the work performed.
  • High School Teacher. Instruct students in secondary public or private schools in one or more subjects at the secondary level, such as English, mathematics, or social studies. May be designated according to subject matter specialty, such as typing instructors, commercial teachers, or English teachers.
  • Instructional Systems Specialist. Develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology in specialized fields that provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses.
  • Middle School Teacher. Teach students in public or private schools in one or more subjects at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable State laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Teaching Assistant Training

Rock Valley College - Rockford, IL

Rock Valley College, 3301 N Mulford Rd, Rockford, IL 61114-5699. Rock Valley College is a medium sized college located in Rockford, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,030 students. Rock Valley College has an associate's degree program in Teacher Assistant/Aide which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Rockford, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois photo by Kranar_drogin

Rockford is situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. It has a population of over 157,272, which has grown by 4.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rockford, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rockford are valued at $125,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were built in Rockford, down from one hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Rockford are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and machinery. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.8% of Rockford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rockford is 17.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Rockford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, South Park Covenant Church and Souls Harbor Church are among the churches located in Rockford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Rockford is home to the McPhail Hall and the Mary McGaw Hall as well as Ken-Rock Park and Jamestown Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alpine Village Shopping Center, Eleventh Street Plaza Shopping Center and Fairview Shopping Center. Visitors to Rockford can choose from Extended Stay America - Rockford East, Courtyard Rockford and Hampton Inn Rockford for temporary stays in the area.