As I may, or may not, have mentioned earlier I am currently studying externally in my spare time. My course of choice is a Certificate III in Education Assistance for school students. This Certificate focuses on the general application of aid for a student who may require more assistance than others, which the teacher of a classroom may not have the ability to give. Education Assistant’s (EA) may also help the teacher with administrative tasks, such as photocopying and classroom maintenance.
This isn’t to say a teacher is not able to handle all this on their own. It is more for the fact that teachers may not be able to leave a classroom or class unattended while they perform these specific duties. Having an EA at this level is more so that a teacher is able to focus on teaching during the class time, and keeping the general order.
As an EA becomes more qualified they begin to specialise in administering more direct assistance towards students which require direct or special attention. These students may have difficulties learning in a certain area, may have missed class and need help to catch up, or may have a disability which prevents them from learning at the same rate as the rest of a class.
After this Certificate, I plan on passing on to the Certificate IV, which starts to focus more on the students with disabilities. Again externally, as I have a full time occupation, which I enjoy and use to fund my studies and lifestyle in general.
In a full-time capacity, this course would only take 6 months to complete, with two 3-week in school placements, or Practical Components (Prac). Since I am external, My first stage took me roughly 6 months and I recently had my first Prac. It certainly was an experience I will never forget and it solidified my decision to continue in my studies and progress on to further studies, with a hope of maybe one day even studying teaching. Now all I have to do I keep my focus and not let my life and day dreaming distract me.