Q & A – Answers to questions you have or will have!
How do I get a job as a teacher?
Getting your first job is the hardest and few people get a permanent position straight away. Mostly you start with temporary relief days or short-term contracts which lead to longer term contracts and then a permanent position.
If you want a permanent position or long-term contract straight away you will most likely have to start in the country. Sounds horrific moving so far from the city! Most people, who do go to the country later describe it as the best years of their teaching lives – lots of social and other activities that you can’t get in the city, but it doesn’t suit everyone.
How do I apply for permanent teaching positions?
Give it a go – you may be lucky enough to get one straight away and it is important to develop your skills in writing an application and getting known with schools and preschools.
Department of Education Schools
When applying for Department of Education Schools advice can be found at https://www.education.sa.gov.au/working-us/working-teacher/recruitment-and-selection-information
The video clips are pretty boring but the information useful.
For Catholic Schools go http://www.cesa.catholic.edu.au/working-with-us/working-in-catholic-education/teaching-positions
This contain fairly basic information but is still useful. There is also a ‘positions vacant’ seach page which can be accessed through http://www.cesa.catholic.edu.au/working-with-us/positions-vacant
For independent schools, the Association of Independent School of SA (AISSA) has a job search function where you can view the latest vacancies https://www.ais.sa.edu.au/employment/
It is then a matter of applying to the individual school; some provide the information you need attached to their advertisement while others ask you to fill in an online application.
How do I register for contract and TRT positions with the Department for Education?
There is one gateway for both contract and TRT positions and that is the Employable Teacher Register. To be on the register you have to complete an online registration and will then be issued an Authority to Teach.
To apply to be on the Register click here.
For further information on the Register click here.
How do I get employed as a TRT (Temporary Relief Teacher)?
At first getting a TRT job is not always easy -until you get known by schools.
For Department, Catholic and Independent Schools the obvious way is to introduce yourself to individual schools.
Send emails to introduce yourselves to schools, but keep in mind schools get lost of these emails so it is worth targeting some schools and visiting them in person. You may not get to meet the recap or director but make sure you have introduced yourself to the front office and leave some information about yourself with them.
Schools and preschools look for people who are on time, excited about working with their students and who can mange behaviour with a new group of learners.
You might start with schools or preschool where you did your practicum placements – you will already know some people there.
For Department schools you can also join a TRT scheme which is a pool of available teachers. You can find more information here.
For Catholic Schools you can search for both TRT and contract positions on their website.
How do I get support as a new teacher?
- Talk with leadership and colleagues in your site. Usually they are only too happy to help and when you first start no-one minds you asking ‘dumb questions’ – they all did.
- Talk with the resource centre staff about what resources they have for your area of teaching. You won’t know all that’s there unless you ask.
- Ask for a mentor within your site. Whether you are there for a term, a year or longer, most sites will be more than happy to link you up with a mentor; in fact, it’s a professional expectation that they do.
- Seek out your own mentors – these can be other early career teachers (peer mentors), teachers you have worked with in placements, or someone you think is excited about teaching and is willing to listen and support you. Teaching can be very lonely so actively seek colleague friends and develop networks.
- Join a professional association. Not only is it expected that you do as part of the AITSL Standards, but associations are great places to build networks and access resources, ideas, mentors and professional learning. There is an association for every aspect of education. To find the best for you go to the Educators SA website at https://educators-sa.sa.edu.au/find-your-association/
- Regularly check into the Educators SA website, Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with education news and all the professional learning that is available.
- Get some work-life balance. Make sure you have some downtime and social time – teaching is a complex but rewarding job that can demand all of your time. So give yourself permission for some ‘me’ time.
- If you are struggling with planning, behaviour or anything don’t do it alone. Ask for help from your colleagues, from a site leader or from your professional association.
How do I get control of behaviour management?
You are in the people game, so it is all about connecting with children and young people. Some top tips for initially getting and maintaining control are:
- Remain calm -if you are agitated then everyone will be agitated.
- Model the behaviour that you want to see in your learners. If you yell or put down the students they are likely to do the same to you.
- Have some established behaviour expectations, preferably developed with the learners, and expect everyone to follow them including yourself.
- Be firm around the behaviour expectations and explain briefly how the learner is acting outside of the expectations and what they can do to change that.
- Don’t engage in long debate at the time but give the learner a chance to respond. If that is going to impact on the rest of the class, make a time to talk about it later.
- Avoid win/lose conflicts. More often than not you lose the control and the learner becomes the manager of the situation.
- Be clear about the behaviour that doesn’t meet expectations and the consequences.
- Treat all respectfully and politely.
- Focus on acknowledging positive behaviours; this reinforces how to behave rather than how not to.
- Ignore or minimise minor behaviours instead of disrupting the learning.
Remember disruptive behaviour is lessened when learners are interested in and see value to their learning.
Why would I want to join a professional association?
Professional associations are just networks of educators with a similar professional interest. They are a great way of associating with others who are passionate about being an educator. Being in a professional association is part of Standard 7.4 in the AITSL Standards as something professional educators do!
Most importantly it is a way of accessing great resources, mentors, ideas and professional learning. You know that the ideas and resources are great quality because they are coming from successful educators who are using them every day.
Professional association tend to attract the best educators because they are excited about what they do and want to network/associate with other who are also enthusiastic.
Professional associations are also changing. The number of early career and preservice educators in associations has increased dramatically in the last two years so not only can you access the wisdom of highly experienced colleagues you can also connect with other like yourself who are either training to be an educator or are early in their career. From literacy to mathematics, from early childhood to geography, from Nature Play to drama, there is an association among the 59 in SA that is for you. To connect go to https://educators-sa.sa.edu.au/find-your-association/
Why would I pay to be in a professional association?
Great question particularly as there are many free sites online. The reason for membership charges is simply to fund all the activities and resources that you will be able to access. All or our professional associations were created by educators for networking and associating professionally. They are all voluntary and not for profit; all money goes back into the activities of the association. So not only do you access all they can offer but your membership also contributes to promoting your profession and making it stronger.
How much is it to join an association?
The price varies according to the association and the degree of benefits they provide. They can start at $20 and go up to $90 all of which is tax deductible. Many associations offer significantly reduced memberships for preservice educators – some are even FREE! Check them out and if you have any questions contact the association directly or the Educators SA team on 84635870 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What else can I do to keep myself up to date as a professional educator?
All professional educators commit to keeping up to date and continually growing their practice as an educator. Challenging your own practice, hearing the latest ideas, knowing what works are a critical part of growing professionally.
Generally, the best professional learning is that run be educators for educators – it’s practical, useful and relevant.
It can be face to face or online, formal or casual but always focussed on teaching and learning.
To keep up to date with all the professional learning being run by associations go to the calendar on the Educators SA website.
Other great professional learning links are: