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Fort Worth ISD Celebrates National Teacher's Assistant Day

Friday, September 29 is National Teacher’s Assistant Day and the Fort Worth ISD wants to recognize its many incredible teacher assistants (TAs)! Most Fort Worth ISD teacher assistants work in elementary schools across the District, and their job is vital in the classroom every day.

While teacher assistants provide an invaluable service to the teachers they work for, the students in the classroom benefit from the teacher assistants more than anyone else. Brittney Brown Johnson is a TA at Charles Nash Elementary School, and she knows how important it is to bring positive energy to school every day.

“You have to be 100% at all times because [TA’s] set the tone and the atmosphere for the school,” Brown Johnson said. “If they see you excited and happy and enjoying being in a safe place, they are excited and happy to be in safe place.”

While teachers are helping lay the foundation for their students’ educational future, teacher assistants are helping students make the transition to being away from home and in a classroom every weekday for the first time. Teacher assistants help build students’ confidence, provide a safe and comfortable learning environment, and provide support for those students struggling to adjust to school.

Teachers and teacher assistants form a dynamic duo in the classroom designed to provide students with every opportunity to learn and grow. Lorena Vasquez is a TA at W.J. Turner Elementary School, and Vasquez believes TA’s help teachers foster student growth and adjust to life in the classroom.

“It’s just backup,” Vasquez said. “It’s assisting the teacher and trying to be there. We have all these different little personalities that we must try to conform ourselves to and try to help them and get them to learn how to sit and pay attention, and how to do different things that they have never experienced before.”

The benefits of having a TA in the classroom extend beyond the teacher and students. TAs across Fort Worth ISD said the most fulfilling part of their job is when they see the light bulb go off when a student finally understands something they are being taught. Diana Araiza is a TA at M.H. Moore Elementary School and has been a TA for more than 25 years. A quarter of a century later, seeing the light bulb go off for a student is still the most fulfilling part of Araiza’s job.

“[My favorite part of the job] is getting through to the children and getting a spark out of them when they finally get something,” Araiza said. “[The lightbulb moment] makes me feel giddy inside. The repetition that I have to do constantly, it finally pays off when he or she finally gets it. It’s nice to know that the stuff I make is working. All the manipulatives, it warms my heart that students use it, and then they get it.”