Education support officers often work with children with emotional and behavioural challenges. They need patience and empathy to communicate effectively with these students.
They may also be called on to carry out administration tasks such as organising classroom resources, coordinating excursions and incursions and maintaining student records. This role usually requires little on-the-job training and may be performed by people with different backgrounds.
Education support professionals are the heart of every school community. They keep classrooms running and students safe in schools, libraries, administration offices, and transportation facilities. Without them, children would get less help and attention. They also serve as role models in the way they treat students.
Education supporters work full-time during school hours. They generally receive several weeks off of work throughout the year for school and federal holidays.
Education support staff members—from teachers aides and secretaries to custodial workers, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers—make up one out of three public school employees nationwide. They are essential to student learning and success and deserve decent wages, good working conditions, and respect for the important role they play in their schools’ communities.
Learning Support Officers
School learning support officers, under the supervision and direction of a teacher, provide a wide range of assistance in classroom activities including helping students with disabilities to manage their behaviour, participate in class lessons and manage routines. They may also assist the teacher in classroom management and the organisation of resources.
Effective communication between teachers and education support staff is essential. In the case of SLSOs, this should be on a professional level and focuses on establishing clear boundaries between them and the role they play in their classroom.
It can be helpful to run the SLSO through a training program and ensure they are aware of how they will fit into your classroom environment. It is important that they understand that their role is not to replace the teacher, rather to supplement and enhance the teaching of the student/s. They should always refer any questions or concerns they have regarding a particular student back to the teacher.
Student Support Officers
As the name suggests, student support officers look after the varied needs of students at a school or university. They might offer guidance with subject and course selection, connect students with other support services or organise student events. They also liaise with education staff about issues affecting student wellbeing.
They are often part of a wider wellbeing team and may be trained social workers or youth workers. Their responsibilities include conducting counselling sessions or mentoring for students who need assistance. They also provide students with information about the college and its programmes, liaise with the administration on matters such as enrolment and fee collection and analyse attendance data.
Those who work as advocates have a higher level of education than student support officers and are more likely to hold a master’s degree. However, their average salary is lower than the student support officer’s annual wage. This is because they are responsible for a range of administrative tasks, which makes up a significant proportion of their total wage.
Administration Support Workers
Administration support workers provide administrative, clerical and typing services. They assist in the development and monitoring of processes, and with the planning and preparation of communications, events, records, statistics, reports and documents. They also interpret agreements and ensure delivery of service levels.
This group includes a variety of positions, ranging from entry-level support work to management of all administrative support functions for a state facility or agency. Some positions require a high school diploma and some have more advanced education, certification or licensure requirements.
This is one of the largest groups of employees in the State, and DEED’s Employment Outlook indicates that it will continue to be a large occupational group in Minnesota. However, the number of positions in this occupation will contract slightly during this period as employees leave to move to other jobs or retire. This can be partially offset by hiring new employees to replace those leaving. This is where a well-written job description is critical.