The associate teacher position was created to meet class size requirements. The position is currently held by 48 teachers in the St. Johns County School District. Associate teachers must meet the same qualifications as a lead teacher, but they’re given fewer responsibilities and receive less pay than lead teachers. While a starting teacher in St. Johns County can expect to earn $42,000 a year, an associate would start at $26,000 with full benefits.
While some associate teachers are fresh out of college, many are experienced teachers who have recently re-entered the workforce or moved to St. Johns County. Others are educators that enjoy the opportunity to teach alongside lead teachers while gaining the instructional experience. If student growth demands a need for an additional classroom teacher, associate teachers are considered for the position.
Florida state law requires that core classes are no larger than 18 students in pre-kindergarten through third grade, 22 in fourth through eighth and 25 in high school.
Responsibilities for lead and associate teachers vary per the lead teacher, associate teacher and administrative understanding of best practices and effective teaching and learning for students. In most cases, Lead teachers oversee the vast majority of the overall classroom management and responsibilities. Associates work collaboratively in the same classroom with the assigned lead teachers. Associates may be required to progress monitor and assess student’s performance, lead small and whole group instruction and participate in parent conferences. Associate teachers, like lead teachers are full-time certified employees with benefits that are required to work 7.5 hours a day.