Approximately 4 in 10 teacher assistants work part time. However, even among full-time workers, about 16 percent work less than 40 hours per week. Most assistants who provide educational instruction work the traditional 9- to 10-month school year. Teacher assistants work in a variety of settingsincluding preschools, child care centers, and religious and community centers, where they work with young adultsbut most work in classrooms in elementary, middle, and secondary schools. They also work outdoors supervising recess when weather allows, and they spend much of their time standing, walking, or kneeling.
Seeing students develop and gain appreciation of the joy of learning can be very rewarding. However, working closely with students can be both physically and emotionally tiring. Teacher assistants who work with special education students often perform more strenuous tasks, including lifting, as they help students with their daily routine. Those who perform clerical work may tire of administrative duties, such as copying materials or typing.