If you’re ready to dive into the world of education, working as a teacher assistant can be the perfect first step. With these jobs sometimes hard to come by when funding constraints loom, having a top-notch teacher assistant resume is essential.
Also known as paraeducators or teacher aides, this role supports classroom teachers in all grade levels and may focus on specific subject areas, special education or English to speakers of other languages (ESOL).
Teacher assistants are an invaluable resource for both teachers and students, offering one-on-one attention during lessons. They help with the onslaught of papers to grade and materials to organize. Plus, teacher assistants benefit from real-world experience with students and mentorship opportunities with seasoned teachers.
Unfortunately, when school districts are short on cash, their first staff cuts are often teacher assistant positions. That's when these roles can become harder to come by. So how can you make sure your teacher assistant resume lands on the principal’s desk?
This resume guide, along with the corresponding teacher assistant resume example, will cover the following topics.
- What does a teacher assistant do?
- How to write a teacher assistant resume
- Advice for each resume section: summary, employment history, education and skills
- Professional resume layout and design tips
What does a teacher assistant do?
Reducing overcrowding in public schools has been a hallmark issue of educational policy for much of the 21st century. Studies have shown that schools that reduce their class sizes improve their students' test scores and learning outcomes.
According to research presented by Brookings Institute, the average pupil/teacher ratio for public schools has decreased by 21 percent in the last 20 years.
Nonetheless, large class sizes continue to be an issue. To reduce the stress on teachers and to help control some of the commotion in large classrooms, schools often turn to teacher aides who can offer disciplinary support and one-on-one help for struggling students.
While teaching assistants are primarily focused on students’ academic success, they can also have a big impact on their pupils’ personal lives. Because they work with students one-on-one or in small groups, they are often better positioned to offer a listening ear and form close bonds with their students.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the need for teaching assistants will grow by 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, consistent with the average for other occupations. Most of these jobs will not come from new positions but from openings left by other assistants leaving their roles.
While some teacher assistants work specifically with ESOL or special education students, many are asked to be jacks of all trades, responsible not only for assisting in the classroom but also handling bus duty, lunch duty and whatever other duty might be thrown their way. Understanding these realities can help you tailor your treacher assistant resume to the school's exact needs for an extra set of helping hands.
How to write a teacher assistant resume
The goal of this writing guide, along with the teacher assistant sample sentences, is to help you build a resume with the following elements:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The education section
- The resume skills section
Acing the ATS
While your students are busy preparing for the SAT and ACT, your challenge is the ATS . Applicant tracking systems are algorithms that scan resumes for keywords and rank them against the rest of the application pool. Only the most qualified candidates are passed on to the HR department or the principal. So how do you get your resume in that pile?
- By understanding the role of a teacher assistant and tailoring your resume to the individual needs of each school and posting and
- By using the most important keywords from the job description (or through researching the employer’s needs and leanings) in your resume, most notably in the summary and skills sections.
Word cloud services like Worditout.com or Wordle can help take the guesswork out of finding the most important keywords if the job requirements seem vague or needlessly wordy. Just input the job description and the service will generate a visualization of the most frequently used words — easy peasy! This can also help you spot hidden patterns (if there are any) as to what the employer values or how they think.
Choosing the best resume format for a teacher assistant
For virtually all occupations, including teacher assistant, the chronological format is ideal for structuring your resume, especially if you have worked mostly in employee positions rather than being self-employed.
If you are new to the workforce or your job background is quite varied, take a look at alternative resume formats . Having a background of consulting work, or transferable work skills from occupations that aren’t directly related, may be well-suited to a functional resume structure.
Resume summary example: Top of your class
When it comes to getting hired, your teacher assistant resume summary is the hiring principal's first impression, so you’ll want to ace it. It’s also one of the few chances on your resume to convey a bit of personality and creativity.
Your summary should include a dash of job experience and your top classroom skills, with just enough detail to leave a principal wanting to read more. The summary (also known as the profile or personal statement ) is the only free-form section of your resume, on a page dominated by bullet point lists. Make use of these three or four sentences to convey an image of someone with excellent personal and professional qualities. Use strong action verbs describing specific tasks, qualities or achievements. Every word here is worth its weight in gold, so make them powerful.
To save space, cut "I“ pronouns: "Helped students achieve high grades and excel in extracurricular activities” suffices. If the job description calls for a teacher assistant in a specific subject area, mention your relevant experiences or competencies. That's fine too if it's a more general position, as long as you come across as versatile and flexible.
You can find a teacher assistant resume example summary below.
Energetic and empathetic teacher assistant entering the field of education. Adjusts well to a variety of teaching styles and classroom needs. Able to effectively manage a classroom of 20 or more students through fair and firm discipline. Attentive to students’ individual needs and able to break down lessons and assignments into more easily-digestible tasks. Enjoys creative lesson planning and working as a team with classroom teachers. Experienced at helping in math and technology classrooms.
Employment history sample: An educational career
Think of your employment history as your own personal report card. It shows principals what material you’ve covered and what you accomplished in each of your previous job experiences.
As a teacher assistant, you have not likely worked yet as a full time teacher. You might even still be completing your college coursework. That means education or childcare-related activities like tutoring, nannying or volunteering might comprise your relevant experience. The trick is showing how these positions taught you the skills needed to succeed as a teacher assistant. Focusing on specific tasks from the job description coupled with your most notable achievements is a great way to do this.
While the vast majority of teacher assistants work in schools, some also work in daycare centers, in healthcare and in the social services field, according to the labor statistics database ONET.
If you’ve already worked as a teacher assistant, then you have inside knowledge of the job and its requirements. Use that to your advantage by telling the principal exactly how you would make your experience count at this school to improve the environment for students and fellow teachers. A few things to ask yourself about previous roles:
- How did I demonstrate an ability to follow instructions?
- How did I keep a class or student calm and focused through a challenging task?
- What are my strategies for rewarding good behaviors and deterring negative ones?
- What is my teaching style? How did I keep things fresh and adapt to new situations?
- How did I communicate and work effectively with other teachers or parents?
- What improvements did my students show based on my efforts?
- How did I make life easier for the teacher or administration?
You can find a teacher assistant employment history resume sample below.
- Effectively managed noise and distraction level of 27 fifth-graders during group reading activities
- Taught computer skills to all elementary grade levels, changing curriculum based on student ages and needs
- Followed teacher lesson plans to lead group review activity for 6 high school biology classes
- Helped bring struggling math class average up from C at the beginning of the year to B+ at the end
- Implemented behavioral strategies to keep problem student and rest of class focused
- Disciplined rowdy students during bus duty and made sure safety rules were followed.
If this teaching assistant position will be your first job inside of a classroom, congratulations! Working with kids, while sometimes stressful, can lead to a career of rewarding moments and funny stories. In school districts that have had to cut back on teacher assistants due to funding shortages, competitions for open positions may be fierce. That’s why if you’ve never worked in a school before, it’s especially important to tailor your previous experience to this new role.
Think about any outcomes you achieved that closely mirror the desired effect of a teacher assistant. Did you help kids use new technology to complete their homework during after school care? Help a child you were nannying ace a worrisome math exam? These tasks are not insignificant if they show you can bring out the best in kids and keep them disciplined and focused.
- Developed and taught beginner Spanish lessons to 10 students between the ages of 7 and 12 during 2-week summer camp program
- Supervised two children, ages 9 and 12, through weekly English homework and helped them improve their creative writing skills as part of ongoing nanny duties
- Coached boy’s high school volleyball team to county finals by encouraging discipline and hard work
- Organized preschool classroom and helped write parent reports for busy teacher
Teacher assistant resume education example
Most states require teacher assistants to complete at least two years of college coursework or hold an associate’s degree. Some schools may require more or less depending on their needs and standards. Therefore, your resume education section may be small but mighty. It’s best to include your highest degree, which means it’s rarely necessary to include a high school diploma if you hold an associate’s degree or higher. You can add your GPA alongside your college degree, as long as it’s a 3.0 or higher. If it’s not, just include the GPA for your major.
To become a teacher assistant, you may not be required to have studied teaching. In fact, a math teacher who has majored in physics and not education may be a great asset to a school. Some states allow or require teaching assistants to complete specific licensure with courses on identifying child abuse and best classroom practices. New York, for example, offers four licensure levels corresponding to different levels of classroom responsibility.
You may not be required to complete such a course until you are hired, but if you already have it under your belt, it’s an important qualification to include in your education section. Mention the year and name of the program, and be clear about whether or not it’s the state-required licensure.
Below you can see an education section from a teacher assistant resume example.
2007 – 2011: Washington High School, White Oaks, NH
2011 – 2015: University of Maine, B.S. Applied Physics, Orono, ME
Major GPA: 3.7
2017 – State of New York Level II Teaching Assistant Certificate
CV skills example: Focused on the assignment
As a teacher assistant, you’ll want to focus on the skills that make you a standout helper, both to students and fellow teachers. While there is some overlap between the skills of a teacher and teacher assistant, it’s important to convey that you recognize your role duties and are equipped to accomplish them.
For many assistants, that means breaking down teaching material to small groups of students and being patient while they attempt to get it right. Teacher assistants may also have to grade and organize papers or classrooms and do some of the more hands-on tasks a busy teacher doesn’t have time for. A positive attitude can be a great help in this area.
If you’re working as an assistant in a specialized area — say special ed or a language — you’ll want to focus on the specific skills needed to be effective. Knowledge of specific teaching methods for students who don’t speak English, or the ability to help disabled students with everyday hygiene tasks, will be a great help to an overworked teacher.
Differentiating the types of skills can help you see the big picture and prioritize for your resume. Hard skills are generally those that require specific knowledge or relate to a practical task/action. Soft skills are mostly interpersonal or social — like emotional intelligence for teachers or bedside manner for doctors.
If you’re still having trouble deciding what skills belong on your teacher assistant resume, try brainstorming a master list of every imaginable ability that you might have. Be generous to yourself! Then apply your critical thinking and cherry-pick the most appropriate ones for this specific employer.
As a teacher assistant, you’ll likely lean more toward soft skills. But try to include at least a handful relating to classroom technologies or student tools in place at this school. Here, again, it’s important to tailor your list to the subject area you'll be assisting in. If you don’t know your placement yet, keep it general.
Check out a resume sample for the skills section below.
- Well organized
- Excellent teacher and administration communication
- Effective classroom management
- Promethean interactive whiteboards and smart projectors
- Microsoft Office Suite including Word and PowerPoint
- Conversational French
- Texas Instruments graphing calculators
- Special ed behavior management strategies
- ESOL reading strategies and curriculum.
Resume layout and design: The perfect match
It’s performance evaluation time and your teacher assistant resume is on the line. While it’s true that hiring principals will start with your teacher assistant resume summary, they might not even make it there if your layout is a mess.
A strong layout shows that you are professional and organized, both on paper and in the classroom. In the education field, you’ll want to keep your resume visually simple. While one accent color may be acceptable, it’s best to keep the overall look and feel clean, free of unnecessary icons or pictures. If you need help getting started, try our field-tested resume templates to rise above the competition and meet your class in no time.
For a teacher assistant position, we recommend templates in the creative and m odern categories for a bit of flair without going overboard. For a timeless classic look, simple templates are good if you’re applying to an educational facility that’s a bit "stricter” or more prestigious.
Finally, after putting in all that effort to craft the perfect resume, you’ll want to make sure the formatting you save is the formatting the principal sees. That’s why a PDF is the best file format for uploading, emailing and printing. The resume builder makes it easy to save your resume as a PDF in just a few clicks.
- Teacher assistant opportunities can fluctuate with school budgets so jobs can be very competitive. A top-notch resume is one of your best tools to get ahead.
- Classroom management is essential to the role and an important skill to convey throughout your resume.
- Education-related experience can be molded to fit the role, just make sure to highlight measurable accomplishments.
- Keep your education section short, but don’t forget the essential details of your degrees and certificates.
- A clean and professional layout is essential to highlighting your experience and landing the job.
Now it’s time to stop working in front of your computer and start working in front of the class. Try our field-tested resume templates and builder tool to craft the perfect teacher assistant resume and meet your students in no time!
Other related educative resumes examples:
- Early Childhood Educator
- College Student
- High School Student
- Academic Librarian
- Health Educator
- ESL Teacher
- Substitute Teacher
- Middle School Teacher
- Elementary School Teacher
- College Professor
- High School Teacher
- Academic Tutor
- College Admissions