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Roles of an Education Assistant

By: Suzanne Adams

Published On: July 19, 2022

Across Canada, EAs assist teachers with many instructional and non-instructional tasks in the classroom and other school activities. They work under the supervision of one teacher or several different teachers, work independently with students or in the classroom, work with a particular student or a group of students, and work as part of a multidisciplinary team. Depending on the province, school district and school, your specific role will be set up for you.  

Below is a listing of ALL the possible roles you could be responsible for after completing a teaching assistant course 

Instructional Support 

  • Provide assistance in all curriculum areas/one-on-one or in small groups as directed by the teacher 
  • Help with organizing notebooks, timetables, agendas and lockers 
  • Scribe notes from board, scribe and read exams for students as required 
  • Modify and adapt the program for individual students as directed by the classroom teacher 
  • Assist in the implementation of IEP or IPP goals and adaptive devices 
  • Assist students with computer access 
  • Provide support for students utilizing various educational software packages 
  • Providing assistance to communicate with peers and adults in the school (ASL, assistive tech, devices 


  • Under direction of the teacher, observes, charts, and monitors individual student progress and behaviour 
  • Assist the teacher in maintaining a safe and secure environment for both students and staff through the application of de-escalation strategies and non-violent physical intervention techniques 
  • Provide behavioural management assistance for students with behavioural challenges (implementing predetermined non-aversive disciplinary methods) 
  • Give support to the student and assist with classroom discipline 

Student Assistance and Personal Care (EAs are trained by health unit nurses for a specific student) 

  • Assist student with personal care and hygiene, which may include food preparation, dressing, grooming, toileting 
  • Feed assistance (spoon or tube feeding), lifting and handling of medically fragile students 
  • Catheterization 
  • Respiratory therapy interventions, physiotherapy interventions and other medically related tasks 
  • Administer medication as required 
  • Toileting and diapering for students who are physically dependent 
  • Assist in exercising, implementing adaptive physical education, range of motion programs, fine and gross motor skills development, individualized or group communication techniques and life skills management 
  • Monitor feeding, tube feeding and breathing apparatuses, seizure management 
  • Operate specialized equipment to support instruction for students with physical care needs (wheelchairs, mechanical lifts, toilets, commodes) 

Speech Therapy/Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy 

  • Help student with speech language difficulties, as instructed by Speech Pathologist 
  • Update progress on a daily basis for IEP/IPP purposes 
  • Provide physiotherapy program as directed 
  • Model and practice speech program 
  • Liaise with members of Assistive Technology Team to monitor progress and use of devices 

Communication and Reporting 

  • As requested by the teacher, communicate observation regarding health and behaviours to the teacher (logs, charts, data sheets, sub-book) 
  • Maintain accurate medication data sheets, record medical situations 
  • Participate in student team conferences when requested by the teacher 
  • Under the direction of the classroom teacher, maintain a home-school communication book 

Assist Teacher/Classroom Preparation 

  • Organize bulletin board display, photocopy material, laminate articles and prepare snacks 
  • Modify and prepare materials for special needs student 
  • Ensure equipment and facilities are kept in a clean, safe, orderly manner 
  • Assist in marking, testing, and filing of students work 
  • Prepare, set up and dismantle displays, information areas and work areas 

Supervise Students 

  • Supervise and assist students in preparing for special activities (swimming lessons, skating, etc) 
  • Supervise playground, classroom and hallways 
  • Supervise small groups on field trips 
  • Assist students boarding and disembarking from buses 

Student Personal Development 

  • Assist in building the self-esteem and self-confidence of students 
  • Encourage students to participate in classroom activities to build social skills 
  • Provide and encourage routine and repetitive personal care to students 
  • Administer first aid as required 

If you would enjoy helping children and aiding their development, look no further than this fantastic career. Ashton College’s education assistant program provides an in-depth education to best prepare students for this challenging but fulfilling field.  



The information contained in this post is considered true and accurate as of the publication date. However, the accuracy of this information may be impacted by changes in circumstances that occur after the time of publication. Ashton College assumes no liability for any error or omissions in the information contained in this post or any other post in our blog.


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