Why Penn Foster?

  • Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Teacher Aide Program Overview

You can complete Penn Foster’s Teacher Aide training program in as little as two months, and our program costs 83% less than the average traditional school. Learn from comprehensive instruction that will prepare you to assist teachers in conducting learning activities in any setting. Study at home, on the go, and at a pace that’s right for you.

Your teacher’s aide lessons include information on learning theory, classroom management, student supervision, curriculum content, instructional materials, educational technology, as well as overcoming language barriers, working with families, and helping abused children. Plus, this program includes a Work Experience Option, which allows you to gain field experience relative to your program and career goals.

Curriculum Details

Unit 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Introduction to Teacher Aide

With the right credentials, you can work in a classroom, for afterschool programs, or at a day care or preschool center.

Objective:

  • Understand the role and duties of teacher aides.

Unit 2

Skills for the Effective Teacher Aide

Learn about the most important skills a teacher aide can have: communication, planning, and teamwork.

Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of communication, planning, and teamwork.
  • Describe the different ways people communicate.
  • Apply your new knowledge and skills to real-life situations involving teacher aides.
Child Development and Human Behavior

You’ll explore how a child’s mind and body change with growth.

Objectives:

  • Describe how physical growth influences intellectual and social development.
  • Identify major milestones of normal development in children between the ages of three and young adulthood.
  • Outline the stages of language development, social-emotional development, and Piaget’s cognitive development.
  • Recognize and handle the development of nonadaptable behaviors such as aggression, anxiety, and depression.

Unit 3

How Children Learn

Find out what experts know about how we learn.

Objectives:

  • Describe how people learn through their five senses.
  • Identify and accommodate different types of learning preferences.
  • Motivate students who may not be interested in learning.
Enhancing Children’s Self-Esteem

Discover just how important a healthy self-image is to a person’s happiness and ability to cope with life circumstances—both as a child and as an adult.

Objectives:

  • Foster a sense of self-worth and self-respect in children.
  • Enable each child to better fulfill his or her unique, individual potential.

Unit 4

Classroom Management Techniques

Classroom management means instilling order, enforcing rules, and working to change unacceptable behavior.

Objectives:

  • Describe the basic philosophy that classroom management is essential to learning.
  • Maintain order in the classroom and guide students toward appropriate behaviors.
  • Train students in self-discipline and how to get along with others.
An Overview of Teaching Techniques

This lesson deals with the different teaching techniques that are used in the classroom.

Objectives:

  • Compare teacher-centered education with student-centered.
  • Ask appropriate, higher-level thinking questions.
  • Manage small groups and supervise individual instruction.
Student Supervision

You’ll explore your future role as a student supervisor, in and out of the classroom.

Objectives:

  • Describe how a good supervisor relates to students and to coworkers.
  • Use practical techniques to effectively supervise students.

Unit 5

Curriculum Content

In this lesson, you’ll learn about the curriculum content for kindergarten through grade 12.

Objective:

  • Describe and understand the components of school curriculum.
Instructional Materials: Their Preparation and Use

Instructional media is an integral part of the learning process.

Objectives:

  • Utilize various kinds of instructional equipment and materials.
  • Obtain and prepare instructional materials.
Technology in the Classroom

Technology can supplement student learning, and it’s important for you to be comfortable with the technology that you use.

Objectives:

  • Expand both your vocabulary and your understanding of educational technology.
  • Increase your effectiveness as an instructional aide through utilizing technology.

Unit 6

Language and Other Barriers

Understanding, acceptance, and positive interactions are the building blocks of an antibiased education.

Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of nonbiased education.
  • Assist English language learners.
The Teacher Aide in the Special Education Setting

Many children with physical or mental challenges can often learn very effectively in regular classrooms.

Objectives:

  • Study the laws requiring public schools to provide programs to assist special needs children in a regular school setting.
  • Learn how to assist and tutor special needs students.
Early Childhood Education and After-School Day Care Programs

Learn about the beginnings of early childhood programs and the types of schools that are available to children between three and eight years of age.

Objectives:

  • Learn how to promote positive behavior.
  • Understand the importance of educating the whole child in preschools and kindergartens.
  • Help children fully develop physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively.
  • Provide developmentally appropriate activities for young students.
  • Identify professional organizations and various child advocacy groups.

Unit 7

Children, Families, and Society

In this lesson, you’ll explore new issues concerning children based on your knowledge of child development and behavior. 

Objectives:

  •  Learn how the social environment affects a child’s development and behavior. 
  •  Explore children’s reactions to events in their lives such as divorce, custody, and  homelessness. 
  •  Learn to identify behaviors that may signal stress in children. 
  •  Learn about factors that may help children cope with stressors in their environments.
Helping Abused Children

This lesson is designed to help you recognize and address child abuse.

Objectives:

  • Outline the history of abuse.
  • Describe physical, sexual, emotional, and neglectful abuse.
  • Recognize signs of abusive parents.
  • Support children with behavioral and physical signs of abuse.
  • Assist children who come to you for help.
Work Experience Option

This program includes an optional work experience component. The goal of this work experience is to provide you with the hands-on experience necessary to develop the skills of a teacher aide. We provide you with a Work Experience Option Supplement to to help you find a position as a teacher aide in a school.


Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows XP® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view a Teacher Aide sample lesson, click here.

Teacher Aide State Requirements

Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements. These requirements vary from state to state.

Here are a few qualities that effective teacher aides have in common:

  • Communicative: You listen and talk through situations with students, teachers, and parents.
  • Cooperative: You are pleasant and helpful.
  • Sociable: Spending time with others is fun and rewarding.
  • Creative: Teacher aides often need to think outside the box to engage young children.
  • Compassionate: You care about the health and well-being of others.

Check out the Community’s Teacher Aide academic group, and hear what students, grads, and faculty are talking about!

We make sure you have everything you need:

  • Graduate debt free with 0% interest
  • Learning aids included
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our world-class faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online campus, plus immediate membership in the Teacher Aide academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Why should I invest my time and energy into the Teacher Aide Career Diploma Program?

Whether you’re a parent, professional caregiver, or just someone interested in learning more about how to help children develop to their fullest potential, you can gain insight that will help you in both personal and professional life.

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