Teacher Assistant Dartmouth Campus | Sydney Campus |

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Become a Teacher Assistant in 24 Weeks

This program is pending approval.

Education is constantly changing with the implementation of the all-inclusive classroom. As a result, there is a growing need for support staff in the classroom. The 24-week Teacher Assistant program includes both academic and practical work-term study. The work placement applies the academic techniques taught in the classroom and allows feedback. This program is excellent for someone wishing to work with children in a public school setting.

The Teacher Assistant program designed by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to meet the needs of the Nova Scotia School Board is a great fit for someone who:

  • Loves working with children
  • Wants to see children succeed in their education
  • Likes the idea of working one-on-one with students
  • Wants a consistent work schedule
  • Likes variety in their position

Working with kids of all ages isn’t always easy, but it’s also extremely rewarding. We all have a teacher or someone who worked in our schools as a kid who was special to us. That one person who took a bit of extra time and made us feel loved and supported. That person can be you!

Teacher Assistants work under a teacher’s supervision to give students additional attention and instruction. Assistants may also help students with research skills or help teachers by grading tests, checking homework, and taking attendance.

There are many varied day-to-day tasks for a teacher assistant and many opportunities for them within a school or grade level. For example, some teacher assistants work only with special education students. These students often attend regular classes, and teacher assistants help them understand the material and adapt the information to their learning style. With students who have more severe disabilities, assistants may work with them both in regular classes and separate classes. Teacher assistants may help these students with basic needs, such as feeding or personal hygiene. Young adults may help students with disabilities learn the skills necessary to find a job after graduation.

It’s also possible to specialize within a subject or area of learning. For example, as a teacher assistant, you may work in the computer lab, teaching students how to use computers and helping them use the software. Or you may work as a recess or lunchroom attendant, supervising students during these times.

In addition to earning your Teacher Assistant diploma, you will also earn the following certificates:

  • Workplace Health Management Information Systems (WHMIS)
  • Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Non Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI)
  • Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)
  • Food Handlers Safety
  • Mental Health First Aid

Get started today in this exciting career at our Dartmouth or Sydney campuses.

Total program length
Instructional weeks: 16 weeks theory, 8-week placement

admission requirements

Standard Admissions Policy:

  • Grade 12 or GED equivalent
  • Admissions Interview

Mature Student Admissions Policy:

  • Must be a minimum of 21 years of age and have been out of school for at least one year
  • Demonstrate the necessary numeracy and literacy skills which may be documented in an assessment tool such as TOWES

In addition to the above, applicants must also provide the following:

  • Vulnerable Sector Check – must be completed within six months of acceptance into the program
  • Child Abuse Registry Check
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Be able to demonstrate proficiency in the official language in which the program is delivered (English)

Program Outline

  • Communication and Collaborative Skills for Teacher Assistants

    In this module, the learner will discuss and learn skills needed for communication and collaboration within an inclusive education setting. There will be a look at various observation and documentation tools and how to objectively record information. There will be a focus on professional communication and collaboration, examining policies and procedures within RCEs in Nova Scotia. The module will also examine the roles of LST and Specialists within our system and how the TA may support them (i.e. SLP, Psych, Specialists, Schools Plus, Student Support Workers, and others).

  • Introduction to the Inclusive Classroom

    This module introduces the learner to the development of inclusive education in Nova Scotia. It will examine the Inclusive Education Policy and discuss Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Pedagogy, and the role of the TA within these. Learners will also examine essential foundations for learning which include Mental Health, well-being, and the issue of trauma, especially the historical roots of trauma in families, including newcomers/immigrants, First Nations, and African Nova Scotian communities.

  • Introduction to Personal Health, Care and Safety

    This Module introduces the learner to elements of personal safety as well as provides learners with the necessary training they will require to meet the physical, medical, and social-emotional needs of the students they will be working with. They will also focus on the acquisition of skills and competencies for how to maintain their health and well-being while working with students. Opportunities will be provided for practical, hands-on training, as well as certification in WHMIS, Standard First Aid/CPR (Level C), and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training.
    Learners will also gain an understanding of the Provincial guidelines, policies, and protocols for safely administering medications, as well as how to follow Plans of Care for students.

  • Learning Differences and Barriers to Learning

    This module introduces the learner to the many learning differences which may be encountered in the school setting and the barriers students face to the curriculum. They will look at the diverse strengths and challenges that these differences present to the student and to their families and at the impact these may have on a student’s well-being and achievement. The module will also introduce various terms used in Nova Scotia education and how these are used in programming.

  • Overview of Accessible and Assistive Technology to Reduce Barriers

    This module will introduce and familiarize the learner with the use of the most current forms of accessible technology and assistive technology services to reduce barriers to learning for students. The lessons, activities, and hands-on learning format will allow the learner to become familiar with various operating systems, a range of assistive devices, apps, extensions, and software often used in the classroom and other learning environments. Universal Design for Learning principles will be discussed and considered within the context of the use and application of appropriate Accessible and Assistive Technology to enhance performance and ensure all students can engage in independent access to any given task.

  • Overview of Behaviour Supports

    This Module will focus on constructing an understanding of what behavior is and its function. The learner will learn how to objectively observe and record behaviors they may see in the classroom using a variety of instruments commonly used in schools. There will also be a focus on supporting a student to become a more independent learner.

  • Overview of Child and Youth Growth and Development

    Upon completion of this module, the learner will have an overall view of the study of human development, learning about the transition from conception to birth, and the many milestones that cross the lifespan until adolescence. Physical, cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional development will be examined, giving learners an understanding of the factors that influence each, and an appreciation of the importance of early foundational support.

  • Strategies for Seeking Employment

    This module provides the learner with an introduction to basic communication skills required by workplaces within schools. The learner is introduced to concepts in interpersonal communication, written communication and documentation, and basic computer applications used in today’s workplace. There will be an examination of the role of social media in today’s society and its implications. The learner will also explore effective job search techniques

  • Placement I

    In this Module, learners will function under the direct supervision of a principal and teacher (licensed in Nova Scotia) in either public or private schools and under the indirect supervision of the Placement Supervisor (Education Provider). All placement hours must be completed by the learners to meet program requirements and may occur during the school year and within school hours.

  • Placement II

    In this Module, learners will function under the direct supervision of a principal and teacher (licensed in Nova Scotia) in either public or private schools and under the indirect supervision of the Placement Supervisor (Education Provider). All placement hours must be completed by the learners to meet program requirements and may occur during the school year and within school hours.

  • Understanding the Role of the Teacher Assistant

    This module introduces the learner to the role of the TA within an inclusive education setting. It will examine issues such as roles and responsibilities, ethical standards, confidentiality, social media use, and inclusive education policy.

job market

Teacher Assistants work throughout Nova Scotia in both elementary and secondary schools. Teacher Assistants help support students, teachers, and counsellors with teaching and non-instructional tasks. For example, they help in personal care, teaching and behaviour management under the supervision of teachers and other childcare professionals. They work in both public and private schools.

Average Pay: $18.00/hour
NOC: 4413

Wage information can be found at https://explorecareers.novascotia.ca/occupation/206

This program prepared me and gave me the confidence to enter the real business world. The close knit atmosphere CBBC has, made me very comfortable. Each and every staff member at CBBC was extraordinarily helpful on my journey in obtaining a full-time Administrative Assistant position in Cape Breton. Courtney MacPhail Administrative Assistant / Offshore Technical Services

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