Educational Assistants

Educational assistants are responsible for delivering programs under teacher direction to meet specific needs of identified students and/or program needs within the school.

Instructional Responsibilities

  • Provide/deliver direct instruction with student
  • Develop a professional working relationship with the teacher and perform duties in a professional manner
  • Provide feedback to the teacher so that he or she can effectively report and communicate with parents
  • Provide appropriate encouragement and positive reinforcement for students
  • Respect the teacher's expectations for the tone in the classroom(i.e., quiet work periods)
  • Share successes and challenges experienced by students
  • Assist large groups while teacher works with individual or small group
  • Assist the teacher with preparing materials and equipment
  • Reinforce or drill the lesson and assist with follow-up assignment (EA must know material and match the teaching strategy with the student's learning style)
  • Encourage student independence and the development of unique talents
  • Deliver the appropriate program as outlined in the IEP
  • Track the progress of the student with the IEP under the direction of the teacher
  • Understand and assist with the physical needs of the student, i.e. allergies, medication, mobility, lifting, feeding
  • Assist students with hygienic and personal care such as toileting, catheterizing, and life skills
  • Assist in occupational, physiotherapy, speech, and other therapy or behavioural programs as directed
  • Be knowledgeable on board and school philosophy, procedures, and policies (i.e., physical intervention, violent incident reports, medication, etc.)
  • Administer medication in accordance with Board policy and administration regulation
  • Assist with the supervision of in-school and out-of-school student activities
  • Assist with the loading and unloading of school buses or taxis as directed
  • Participate in school-based meetings at the discretion of the Principal
  • Assist in the development, implementation, and tracking of instructional programs
  • Report information if a child discloses information of abuse
  • Communicate regularly with school support staff and provide input
  • Direct parents to discuss concerns and issues with the teacher

Behaviour Management

  • Assist the teacher in observing, recording, charting learning or behaviour, making anecdotal records, etc.
  • Promote behaviour management and maintenance of appropriate behaviour after teacher has provided goals and management strategies
  • Encourage and apply general classroom management strategies
  • Observe and record behaviours of specified students as needed for assessment procedures
  • Supervise in community settings
  • Provide feedback to the teacher
  • Foster the social integration of the student with special needs with his or her peers. (i.e., establish with the teacher a buddy system with peers in the class)

Ethical Responsibility

  • Be part of school team (may request a team meeting to address any concerns)
  • Be responsible for professional conduct and demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to the policy of confidentiality
  • Show dignity and respect for staff and students
  • Develop a plan for personal and professional growth
  • Be a role model for students
  • Build a relationship with the whole class (i.e., circulate around the room)
    • Foster independence/social interactions and model for the students a way of appropriately interacting with students with special needs
    • Answer students' questions as honestly and directly as you can, while avoiding too much detail
    • Help to find common interests and experiences
    • Highlight students' abilities by providing activities that allow for various skill levels, (i.e., art projects)
    • Treat students as normally as possible, (i.e., use the same tone of voice, apply your house rules to all)
    • Comment positively on interactions taking place between students
    • Teach students about the value of differences in ability as well as race, culture, etc.
    • Organize activities in which students are interdependent, (ie., sharing materials)
    • Respect students by not talking in front of them as if they do not understand
    • Allow students some space, by not overdoing adult presence in children's activities; students will usually do fine by themselves
Best Practice
Educational assistants should have procedures and plans for the student that are clearly outlined and readily available for a supply EA. This folder/Duo-Tang should include a timetable, detailed description of duties for each day, important personal information about the student, calendar outlining scheduled appointments and therapy times held during school hours, plans informing procedures necessary in the event of an emergency, map of school, etc.

For more details about the EA's role in the classroom, leadership role, and interaction with parents and teachers, view our Education Assistant Resource Guide.