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Career and Education Opportunities for Teaching Assistants in Gulfport, Mississippi

There are many career and education opportunities for teaching assistants in the Gulfport, Mississippi area. There are currently 13,060 working teaching assistants in Mississippi; this should grow 14% to 14,860 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%. 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 $21 per hour or $42,442 per year in Mississippi, 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 Mississippi and not quite as good as general Specialized Education category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: educational resources center instructional paraprofessional , exceptional children teacher assistant, and teacher's aide.

There are six schools of higher education in the Gulfport area, including one within twenty-five miles of Gulfport where you can get a degree to start your career as a teaching assistant. Given that the most common education level for teaching assistants is a high school diploma or GED, 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 Gulfport include:

  • Elementary School Teacher. Teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College - Perkinston, MS

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, 51 Main Street, Perkinston, MS 39573. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is a medium sized college located in Perkinston, Mississippi. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,215 students. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has an associate's degree program in Teacher Assistant/Aide.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Gulfport, Mississippi

Gulfport, Mississippi
Gulfport, Mississippi photo by Charlie Brenner

Gulfport is located in Harrison County, Mississippi. It has a population of over 70,055, which has shrunk by 1.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Gulfport, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Gulfport are valued at $108,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred forty-two new homes were constructed in Gulfport, down from three hundred twenty-nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Gulfport are health care, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.1% of Gulfport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Gulfport is 9.3%, which is less than Mississippi's average of 9.5%.

The percentage of Gulfport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Saint Johns Catholic Church, Saint James Baptist Church and Broadmoor Baptist Church are all churches located in Gulfport. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Gulfport is home to the Harrison County Courthouse and the West Side Community Center as well as Cowan Road Field and Harbor Square Park. Shopping centers in the area include Great Southern Shopping Center, Gulf Mart Shopping Center and Hardy Court Shopping Center. Visitors to Gulfport can choose from Best Western Seaway Inn, Crystal Inn and Best Western Seaway for temporary stays in the area.