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Career and Education Opportunities for Teaching Assistants in Boston, Massachusetts

Teaching assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Boston, Massachusetts. Currently, 34,960 people work as teaching assistants in Massachusetts. This is expected to grow 7% to 37,310 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 $25 per hour or $40,707 per year in Massachusetts, 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 Massachusetts and less than people in the Specialized Education category nationally. Jobs in this field include: special education aide, exceptional children teacher assistant, and teacher.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Boston where you can study to be a teaching assistant, among 151 schools of higher education total in the Boston area. Teaching assistants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Boston include:

  • Adult Education Teacher. Teach or instruct out-of-school youths and adults in remedial education classes, preparatory classes for the General Educational Development test, literacy, or English as a Second Language. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.
  • Elementary School Teacher. Teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.
  • Farm Management Adviser. Advise, instruct, and assist individuals and families engaged in agriculture, agricultural-related processes, or home economics activities. Demonstrate procedures and apply research findings to solve problems; instruct and train in product development, sales, and the utilization of machinery and equipment to promote general welfare. Includes county agricultural agents, feed and farm management advisers, home economists, and extension service advisors.
  • 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.
  • Kindergarten Teacher. Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old. Promote physical, mental, and social development. May be required to hold State certification.
  • 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.
  • Self-Enrichment Education Teacher. Teach or instruct courses other than those that normally lead to an occupational objective or degree. Courses may include self-improvement, nonvocational, and nonacademic subjects. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.
  • Vocational Instructor. Teach or instruct vocational or occupational subjects at the postsecondary level (but at less than the baccalaureate) to students who have graduated or left high school. Includes correspondence school instructors; industrial, commercial and government training instructors; and adult education teachers and instructors who prepare persons to operate industrial machinery and equipment and transportation and communications equipment. Teaching may take place in public or private schools whose primary business is education or in a school associated with an organization whose primary business is other than education.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Teaching Assistant Training

North Shore Community College - Danvers, MA

North Shore Community College, 1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923-0840. North Shore Community College is a medium sized college located in Danvers, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,223 students. North Shore Community College has a less than one year program in Teacher Assistant/Aide which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Middlesex Community College - Bedford, MA

Middlesex Community College, Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730-9124. Middlesex Community College is a medium sized college located in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,511 students. Middlesex Community College has a less than one year program in Teacher Assistant/Aide which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Massasoit Community College - Brockton, MA

Massasoit Community College, One Massasoit Boulevard, Brockton, MA 02302-3996. Massasoit Community College is a medium sized college located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,394 students. Massasoit Community College has an associate's degree program in Teacher Assistant/Aide.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts photo by Ahonc

Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.

Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.