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Career and Education Opportunities for Teaching Assistants in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for teaching assistants in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. Currently, 34,960 people work as teaching assistants in Massachusetts. This is expected to grow by 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%. Teaching assistants generally 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. Earnings for teaching assistants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Specialized Education in Massachusetts and not quite as good as general Specialized Education category earnings nationally. People working as teaching assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: educational aid, classroom teacher, and inclusion paraeducator.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can study to be a teaching assistant, among 149 schools of higher education total in the Cambridge area. Teaching assistants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 Cambridge 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: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts photo by Scs

Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.