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Teacher's assistant certification allows a professional to legally work as a teacher's assistant in a given region. There are widely varying requirements for getting teacher's assistant certification; it is important to check with county or regional school officials to determine the exact requirements for a specific area. Generally, in order to receive this certification, a candidate will need to complete secondary education, have some college experience, and pass a certification examination.
Almost all regions require teacher's assistants to have a high school or secondary school diploma, or an equivalent certificate. Students still attending high school may be able to get valuable classroom experience nonetheless, by serving as a volunteer tutor, or in-class assistant. While younger aspiring teachers will not be able to obtain the salary or responsibility of a qualified teacher's assistant, they can still get a head start on teacher training by working as a classroom volunteer.
Some teacher's assistants are working toward a teaching certificate that will allow them to become full-time teachers. During his or her education, getting teacher's assistant certification can help an aspiring teacher get on-the-job training and experience in a classroom environment. Though a degree in education is usually not required to receive certification, some areas may require proof of enrollment in an educational degree program, or a certain amount of units completed in an education-related field. In regions with educational requirements, qualifying classes can often be found at trade schools, online programs, and community colleges, as well as four-year universities.
Tests for teacher's assistant certification may be required in some areas. These tests may be standardized or specific to the applicant's region. Tests may be multiple choice, or essay-based, and may cover one or several subjects at once. Tests may be given on appointment, or may be held at regular intervals throughout the year. If a standardized test is required, it may be a good idea to visit the testing website for practice tests and study booklets before taking the tests. Some bookstores may also carry study guides and practice books for certain types of certification tests.
There may be some background requirements for teacher's assistant certification. In many regions, all teachers and school workers must submit to background checks, and may find it difficult or impossible to get a job with a criminal history. Regional education departments may have specific information on job prohibitions due to a criminal record. If possible, those who wish to become teacher's assistants may want to see if there is a way to have their criminal record expunged.