Teacher aides in Texas are most often referred to as paraprofessionals. They must meet various qualifications according to their classification and are only eligible for certification after they have been hired by a Texas school district. Teacher aides perform various job duties, depending on their job assignment.
Texas has three different classifications of educational aides. All educational aides must have at least a high school diploma or GED. Educational Aides I must have experience working with parents and/or children. Educational Aides II must have either 15 college credit hours or two years experience as an Educational Aide I. They must also be able to demonstrate competency in at least one specialized area and have experience working with parents and/or children. Educational Aides III must have either three years experience as an educational aide or 30 college credit hours with an emphasis in child development or education.
Highly Qualified Teacher Aides
Any teacher aide who is paid from federal Title I funds must have at least an associate degree or 48 college credit hours from a college or university and must be able to demonstrate their knowledge of reading, writing and math through some type of assessment. Texas teachers aides typically take the ParaPro assessment (see Resources) in order to qualify for a certificate. The required passing score varies according to the hiring school district.
Teacher aides can not apply for certification until after they are hired by a Texas school district. Once you are hired, the hiring school district enters some basic information into the online certification program. Initially, you need to set up an account at the Educator Online Certification System (see Resources). The Texas Education Agency charges a fee of $30 (as of 2011) for all teacher aide certificates.
Teacher aide duties vary widely depending on the individual's job assignment. Some teacher aides may be assigned to assist one particular classroom teacher with classroom instruction, material preparation and classroom management. Other teacher aides may be assigned to assist a certain group of students, such as special needs children. Still other teacher aides may assist the librarian, supervise students in a computer lab or provide translation services.
According to the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, Texas teacher aide salaries vary from one Texas school district to another. Salaries are often not enough to fund basic living expenses, which may cause teacher aides to apply for government benefits such as food stamps.
- Texas Education Agency: Requirements for Highly Qualified Paraprofessionals
- Texas Education Agency: Becoming an Educational Aide in Texas
- Texas Education Agency: Educational Aide Application Instructions
- Association of Texas Professional Educators: Educational Aide Certification Requirements and Role Descriptions
- State of Texas: Educator Online Certification System
- Educational Testing Service: ParaPro
- Educational Testing Service: State and School District Requirements