Special Education Assistant's Job Description
Students' needs are always unique, but a teacher tries to plan her lessons in such a manner that every student can achieve the educational objectives. Some of the students have difficulties in reaching those goals because they have some disabilities. In this case, a special education assistant in collaboration with the teacher will work with them.
A special education assistant will work with students or even toddlers, which have some kind of disability and by using games and exercises, under the supervision of a therapist or the teacher, will try to help them and guide them in and outside the classroom.
Job duties and responsibilities
Depending on the students' specific disabilities, the special education assistant will first provide support for the teacher so that she will know how to handle them. Secondly, this individual has to work with students and their parents and to help with lesson planning.
From these three responsibilities, working with students is the hardest and involves duties as helping with homework preparation, providing personal assistance (if necessary) in toileting, dressing, feeding, learning, writing, mobility.
Regarding interaction with the parents, the special education assistant has to communicate with them and to set meetings for informing about their children's progress.
Providing support for the teacher means to help in modify the plans and the curriculum. Likewise, the assistant helps evaluating the child's progress. The evaluation process can be made after each learning step or can be made in the form of a general evaluation after a completely learning unit. The teacher, assisted by the assistant, with tests and exams, makes the last evaluation type. After the evaluation, the assistant can propose new activities for improving the results.
For a better learning, children with difficulties may need more time and special materials. The special education assistant will help the teacher in preparing these materials for the students.
The educational program and activities developed for a child with special needs are different and the assistant has to use different teaching methods and to carry out the best practices available in order to obtain the best results.
Required knowledge skills and abilities
A special education assistant has to have first many knowledge and information about stages of child development and behavior.
Great communication written and verbal skills, responsibility, motivation, patience, are important skills that every special assistant should possess.
In order to work as a special education assistant, one should have a High school diploma and an associate's diploma obtained after completing a two-year program.
As we have seen, a special education assistant has to help children with special needs, to prepare their materials, to supervise them in and outside classroom and to teach them to take care of themselves and to be independent. Depending of the child's needs and disability, the work can be more or less harder, but in any case, a special education assistant has to be a person with a lot of patience and experience which can help the child integrate in a normal class and which can support him/her all the way.