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Im a diploma qualified kindy assistant. Very physical job, always carrying kids, mobing furniture, assembling equipment and pulling it down, running to keep kids from fighting, breaking up fights, always getting down to their level etc. Work load is hard, my teacher is abit lazy though so i pick up alot of slack esp with the paperwork/observations etc. Pay isnt great, but isnt the worse either. Kids are cool- i like kids. Some are arseholes though. Lots of parents are arseholes!!!
I've been a Teachers Aide for 6 years and love my job. I work with Primary kids age 9-12. It's not physically demanding at all.
Pros - very rewarding, build up a rapport with the children, hours are great, school holidays!
Cons - the money isn't overly good.
I've done both. Both extremely rewarding but in my opinion teacher/integration aide is loads easier. Don't get me wrong, it's certainly challenging at times but less draining. Early childhood 18 years and school 8 years. I absolutely love my job. I wouldn't say teachers aide is very physically draining at all. Pros are definitely the connections you build with students. I couldn't imagine working in any other field really :)
Kindy teacher assistants set up outdoor play equipment, which is heavy and awkward. They hang work up around classrooms, requiring stability on step ladders. They are constantly squatting to children's height to converse with them and assist them, even someone with great knees will find them sore in their first few weeks.
Don't become a T A if you have back and knee issues.
Awesome job but consider employment opportunities. Depending on where you live, it can be hard to get into, you'll be on contract with no guarantee of hours, probably no school holiday pay and permanency if incredibly hard to secure.
(I am previous poster - have been a Teachers Aide for 6 yrs)