01.04.07 - Teacher Assistant Job Description

Teacher Assistant Job Description Policy Number and Last Update

Title: Teacher Assistant

Responsible To:  Hired by the Head Start Director and Education Coordinator; reports to and is supervised by the Education Coordinator.

Supervises: None


General Summary

As part of the education team, under the general direction of the Education Coordinator, with support from the Teacher, the Teacher Assistant helps plan and participates in classroom, playground, and field trip activities. These activities are designed to foster or enhance all areas of the child's development.

Qualifications and Requirements:

Preschool Teacher Assistants

  • A Preschool CDA; or
  • Illinois Gateways credential.

Infant/Toddler Teacher Assistants

  • High school diploma or equivalency certificate (GED)

All Teacher Assistants

  1. General requirements for personnel as stated in DCFS licensing requirements, as well as those required for an assistant teacher by the Head Start Bureau;
  2. Knowledge and experience with the basic principles of child development;
  3. Preferred Spanish-speaking, experience with migrant farm-workers;
  4. Proof of a physical examination within the last six months, which includes a tuberculosis test, and comply with other background checks as required by the Agency and/or DCFS licensing; and
  5. Personal qualifications as required in Part 407: Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers, emotional maturity, willingness to cooperate with the aims of the program, respect for children and adults, flexibility, patience, good personal hygiene, and physical and mental health which does not interfere with responsibilities.

Essential Functions:

  1. Participate in grantee and delegate component pre-service training;
  2. Implement IMSHS curricula in the classroom;
  3. Perform the functions of this position with a strong understanding of the Head Start Performance Standards and the component plans;
  4. With the teacher, guide and facilitate activities of the children, including: daily activities, field trips, selecting and arranging equipment and materials in the classroom;
  5. Cooperate with other staff and classroom groups to maintain the smooth functioning of the center, which at times may require changes to meet the needs of the children;
  6. Write weekly observations per assessment procedure;
  7. Use home visits and parent conferences to discuss the child's individual development and progress, assist the parents in developing observational skills and solicit parent observations;
  8. Eat with and assist children in development of social and self-help skills, and sound nutritional practices;
  9. Meet with mental health consultant monthly to discuss mental health needs of children;
  10. Guide children's acquisition of social skills;
  11. Attend staff training and meetings, and board and parent meetings as requested;
  12. Assist in providing and maintaining a safe and healthy developmentally appropriate environment;
  13. Assist in conducting the daily health and environment check list;
  14. Assist in implementing children's I.E.P. (Individual Education Plan) or I.F.S.P. (Individual Family Service Plan) seeking clarification for any aspects that are not well understood;
  15. Assist in recruiting and orienting volunteers, providing them with guidance as needed;
  16. Assist the teacher in the completion of required reports;
  17. Complete timely and accurate time sheets;
  18. Assist, as requested, in transition activities;
  19. Distribute newsletters, flyers, and other information to families as instructed by the supervisor;
  20. Actively participate in the development and implementation of the Teacher Assistant Professional Development Plan;
  21. Perform other duties, as may be required.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by a person in this position. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all duties that may be performed in such a position.

Additional Requirements:

  1. Successful experience working in a team setting;
  2. Ability to present a positive image of the organization to members of the community;
  3. Ability to work with the Teacher to plan, organize and implement position responsibilities effectively, providing input;
  4. Visual and auditory acuity within professionally determined normal ranges, with correction if need;
  5. Manual dexterity sufficient to operate a computer and office equipment, including, but not limited to, the telephone, fax machine, copier, and tape recorder;
  6. Must be able to travel;
  7. Must be able to enter and exit a vehicle without assistance, and withstand exposure to adverse weather conditions;
  8. Must be able to lift 55 pounds; and
  9. Experience successfully working with a culturally diverse staff and clients.

Working Conditions:

  1. Possible exposure to blood and bodily fluids or tissues;
  2. Possible exposure to communicable diseases;
  3. Job requires standing for long periods of time, as well as stooping, squatting, and running; and
  4. A moderate amount of driving is required.