What Does a Teaching Associate Do?

Kristie Lorette
Kristie Lorette
Teaching associates may grade homework assignments and tests.
Teaching associates may grade homework assignments and tests.

A teaching associate assists teachers and professors in the classroom. The assistance that a teaching associate provides allows the primary teacher to focus more of their efforts on coming up with lessons plans and implementing those plans. In essence, a teaching associate is the administrative assistant to the teacher.

Some of the duties that a teaching associate is responsible for is in the classroom, while other duties are behind the scenes, or outside of the classroom setting. For example, while a teacher is giving a lesson in the classroom, the teaching associate is also present. The associate may be walking around the classroom to answer any questions that students have during the lesson or to assist the students who are struggling with completing an assignment.

Most teaching associates have at least some familiarity with different pedagogical methods and theories.
Most teaching associates have at least some familiarity with different pedagogical methods and theories.

Another primary role of a teaching associate is to help the teacher by sometimes instructing the students and teaching the class lesson rather than having the primary teacher do it. In most cases, this is to assist the teaching associate in gaining teaching experience. In other instances, the teaching associate fills in for the primary teacher if they are out on vacation or for other reasons that take teachers out of the classroom.

A teaching associate may teach an occasional lesson, taking over for the primary teacher.
A teaching associate may teach an occasional lesson, taking over for the primary teacher.

The other primary duties of a teaching assistant involves administrative or clerical work. The associate may be responsible for helping the teacher grade papers and tests, or the teaching associate may be solely responsible for grading papers and tests.

In addition, an associate helps the teacher to track and record grades in the grade book or in the grading system that the school uses. A teaching associate may be the one that picks up and goes through all of the teacher’s mail and memos, handling what they can on their own and then passing on what the primary teacher needs to handle or know about.

A teacher assistant can work at various levels of education. The most common types of teaching associates work at the primary and secondary school level. There are, however, teaching associates that work in preschools and daycare centers. No matter what setting the teaching associate works in, they provide individual attention to the students in the classroom that the students may not receive with only a teacher being available in the classroom. While an associate may be assigned to a general classroom, some associates are assigned to the classroom because there are students with special needs.

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    • Teaching associates may grade homework assignments and tests.
      By: Olga Grygorashyk
      Teaching associates may grade homework assignments and tests.
    • Most teaching associates have at least some familiarity with different pedagogical methods and theories.
      By: Monkey Business
      Most teaching associates have at least some familiarity with different pedagogical methods and theories.
    • A teaching associate may teach an occasional lesson, taking over for the primary teacher.
      By: michaeljung
      A teaching associate may teach an occasional lesson, taking over for the primary teacher.