Free course being offered for aspiring teacher assistants

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Westerly Education Center and Community College of Rhode Island are offering a new course this spring for aspiring teacher assistants. A teaching assistant, teacher's aide, or education assistant is an individual who assists a teacher with instructional and classroom responsibilities. Applicants need to be Rhode Island residents holding a high school diploma or GED. Tuition is waived, and no fee will be charged for the entrance exam.

This course will be held in the evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Westerly Education Center, 23 Friendship Street starting March 16. Applications will be accepted through February 14. Successful completion of the entrance exam and submission to a Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) will be a requirement.

The course provides appropriate training for anyone interested in being employed as a full-time, part-time, or substitute teacher assistant in Rhode Island. Topics are consistent with R.I. Department of Education state standards and include: roles and responsibilities of the teacher assistant, human development, diversity, special education, basic rights, school health and safety, the instructional process, school laws, computer and technology skills, positive classroom climate, and team-building.

Under the direct supervision of a teacher, TAs provide one-on-one instructional reinforcement and support services; assist with classroom management; provide instructional assistance and support in a computer laboratory, library or media center; and may act as a translator.

A certificate recognized by RIDE is awarded upon successful completion of all classes, assignments, job shadowing, and the final exam. Class size is limited so applicants are encouraged to apply in advance of the February 14 deadline.

To register, contact Faith Hanson at faith.hanson@riopc.edu or call 584-4931.

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