Teacher Assistant/Aide Positions: Process and Timing for Hiring

Here’s a question via email from our EDU Edge friend Erin, an aspiring teacher who has recently finished student teaching and preparing for the teacher interview process:

“Hi, I’m a recent grad, and I’ve decided that instead of subbing this year, I’d rather be a teacher assistant (if I don’t get a teaching job).  For these teaching assistant positions, when do districts typically do their hiring?  Do they wait until the end of summer to schedule interviews? Thanks for any tips! –Erin”

Erin– Thanks for contacting The EDU Edge.  First, we commend you on your way of thinking.  Working as a teacher assistant or teacher aide is increasingly becoming a smart and legitimate first step into the field of teaching if you are not able to land a teaching job right out of the gate.  As we have stated in a previous Blog Post, in this tough teaching job market, while others are sitting at home twiddling their thumbs waiting for a job to come to them, YOU will be in a classroom every day with students earning wages and benefits, possibly accruing time credits in your state’s retirement system, gaining educational contacts, improving your resume and interview materials, honing your craft to become the best teacher that you can be, etc.  Good for you!  We hope you get the job of your dreams by September … but if you don’t … your way of thinking and taking these proactive steps will get you there a lot sooner.  You can also read more about the advantages and evolution of these positions in The Insider’s Guide to the Teacher Interview.

Now to your questions:  The EDU Edge administrators are all over the place on this one.  From the responses to your question that we have received, it appears that administrator’s answers vary depending on the size and location of the school district.  Large urban school districts, for example, will try to set up large scale interviews later in the summer for multiple positions that need to be filled.  While, in smaller school districts, the norm seems to be that they will post Assistant and Aide positions when they come available. 

Overall, there is a definite tendency toward hiring late in the summer.  The general train of thought is that hiring early proves to be frustrating and a loss in time for administrators who hire early on in the summer only to lose their favored candidate(s) to full-time teaching positions in other districts.  Although, this preferred strategy and timing was countered by a few administrators who stated that they have had great results locking up teacher assistants early and retaining them, these appear to be from administrators in more affluent, suburban school districts.  In general Erin, it appears that you are correct.  The preferred strategy is to wait until most full-time positions have been filled and then go find the “diamonds in the rough” at the end of the summer. Directly connected to this, our EDU Edge consortium of administrators report that they are always trying to hire teacher assistants that will:

  • do a fantastic job with their school’s students and staff
  • grow and develop as teachers
  • eventually slide into open and available full-time teaching positionsin their schools firing on all cylinders. 

Because there is some variation to the timing of these positions being filled, to be safe, The EDU Edge recommends that you keep your nose to the papers and utilize every other available resource to stay on top of these openings.  Because of the transient nature of these positions, they can and do pop up all during the year and a position that was filled on a Friday could be open again on the following Monday.  It is wise to search daily and ensure that your credentials and application materials are on file and up-to-date in every school district you may be interested in. 

Good luck to you Erin!  Good luck to all of you following The EDU Edge.  Please come back and let us know how you make out so we can all learn together. 

Yours in a Partnership in Learning,
The EDU Edge

(Please feel free to contact us with additional questions … we’re on Twitter, Facebook and you can email us at info@theEDUedge.com.  Tell us what interview obstacles you’re dealing with and trying to overcome.  We’ll do our best to respond and try our best to help you.)

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