Secondary Thinking about becoming a teacher

i_love_the_hoff

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Thread starter #1
Hi all,

I'm in year 11 next year and it's time I started thinking of career options.

so just recently I was thinking about becoming a Secondary School Teacher for Maths, Italian and maybe Drama or something.

Is anyone here a teacher? Is it a fun job?

What would be the pro's and cons?

What is the pay like?

I don't know whether I should become a teacher though because when I told my Maths teacher she said my grades proove I can do something a little more extravagent.

I just think it would be intruiging job thats all.

Any thoughts?
 

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Simon_Nesbit

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#2
Brisbane lioness just about covered it. Here's some (rather cynical) thoughts.

Why do you want to become a teacher?

If it's too make a difference - forget about it. You will burn out within 5 years. (most do), unless you are really lucky, or REALLY good.

If it's for the money - forget about it. Whilst starting salary might be ok at high 40s/low 50s, it caps out very quickly at 70 without going into management - which has less to do with what your capabilities are, and everything to do with your ecopolitical relations.

If it's because it's easy hours - forget about it. Unless you are one of the (unfortunately huge %) teachers who are prepared to do little/no work and just cruise by in life (or a PE teacher :p) you will end up working well more than 40 hours a week. At a private school you can expect to give up 10 hours a week for extra-curricular activities, along with your 10-20 hours of planning/preparation/marking/reporting time, and the 35 hours of onsite time too.

I was similar, very good at maths, loved 'teaching' and mentoring other kids - in 1st year uni I was actually tutoring a class I was undertaking!

When I got to the 'real' world - I had no way of interacting with kids who just didn't care, who's parents didn't care, and who couldn't see any point to anything. Thousands of hours, every recess/lunch spent developing relationships, finding meaning in kids lives....in the end all I did was get a reputation as being "great with the deadbeats", and given a class full of them.

It was too much, and I ended up quitting due to stress at the end of the year.

=======================
teaching at the moment attracts three types. Those that can count, and those that can't. I'll call them the 99ers and the 1s.

The 99ers are middling students, who don't have much hope of getting a degree in anything other than arts/communication/etc. (There's nothing wrong with these degrees, but IMO they should not be the realm of universities). They see teaching as a solid income, where it's almost impossible to be fired (once your 'in'), and the hours are easy.

The 1s, are those people who excel at school, and have a genuine enjoyment in developing the wellbeing of others....these people often go on to be doctors, nurses, etc. Very, very few go on to be teachers - and most that do end up leaving soon after due to lack of support (again IMO often as senior teachers and power-wielders are fearful of their own performance failing to measure up).

===================

having said all that, please try and become a teacher. We need you.
 

i_love_the_hoff

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The 1s, are those people who excel at school, and have a genuine enjoyment in developing the wellbeing of others....these people often go on to be doctors, nurses, etc. Very, very few go on to be teachers - and most that do end up leaving soon after due to lack of support (again IMO often as senior teachers and power-wielders are fearful of their own performance failing to measure up).

===================

having said all that, please try and become a teacher. We need you.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
That's me. I have the grades to become a doctor and all that shit, I just dont have the INTEREST.

I dunno I just think it would be an interesting career path and yeah.

Thank you for the comment man. Much appreciated.
 

Hoggy

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#5
Sub teachers get paided more daily than normal full time teachers apparently.
Correct.

I'm working atm at Whittlesea Secondary, I get paid $43 a period. Each day I take home $258. Literally having a laugh.

You don't get holiday pay or know if you're working five days a week though. It evens out.

The annoyance thing with being relief is, you are taking other people's classes, so you don't have the ability or license to be able to direct a class to a different direction, other than what is lined out for you by the teacher in question.

I'm lucky as I am getting all of the PE classes left for me when a teacher is away in that department (I'm a PE teacher). This is happening a lot at the moment with sports days, and also one of the teachers is having trouble with his close family illness wise. I'm working four days this coming week, mostly PE.

Unfortunately getting six periods of practical PE a day, is around abouts five hours a day of running around with kids playing sports, you're getting absolutely ****ed at the end of the day!

Two more weeks of this term, and then two weeks off, and then I'm about to start a contract at another school, doing PE and Sose (my other method) I'm really looking forward to having control of my classes and the direction I take them. And especially not having to take any home ec, art, music classes or whatever.

BTW Relief teachers do cop a lot of shit, but I seem to go ok. I can relate to them on their level, ask them how they did in footy etc, it works well. Quite a lot of muppets out there that don't have a clue.
 

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#6
I have been pondering the same question. Will be finishing my degree this year, and do not particularly enjoy the work. I would be able to teach maths and geography if I was to complete a dip ed. I find myself thinking about it more and more, which for me is a pretty big thing,

So Funky, what do you reckon, what are the pro's and con's in your view?
 

Hot Spenny

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#7
Pros:
-Can continue being a learner yourself. Study your discipline further.
-Multi-faceted. You could be teaching Maths in the morning, Sose in the arvo then coaching sports after school. Its always different.
-Despite what others say, teachers do care and are very helpful to other teachers.
-If you're good at it, and go in for the right reasons, you will get lots from it.
-You have lots of freedom on the job.
-The money is pretty good particularly if you dont want a family, and can get into a leadership position

Cons:
-It is hard work. Sometimes the lessons are the easy part.
-Some kids can be awful (especially in the govt sector) but good schools should have processes in place
Yeah I can imagine what it would be like handling some of these kids...

I am liking the pros there... it's something to seriously consider. Thanks for that.
 

pacemaker

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#10
Hi all,

I'm in year 11 next year and it's time I started thinking of career options.

so just recently I was thinking about becoming a Secondary School Teacher for Maths, Italian and maybe Drama or something.

Is anyone here a teacher? Is it a fun job?

What would be the pro's and cons?

What is the pay like?

I don't know whether I should become a teacher though because when I told my Maths teacher she said my grades proove I can do something a little more extravagent.

I just think it would be intruiging job thats all.

Any thoughts?
Hi there.

If you like to pass on your knowledge and enjoy working with younger people then you will enjoy teaching.

Im a student -teacher in WA got 1.5 years to go.
Im sure it may have been mentioned but you will need to select a major and minor. Im not sure if drama or italian would be considered as major or minor subjects but could differ from uni to uni.

I'm majoring in HPE as i love sport and yeah i did enjoy my pracs.
The pay varys from state to state, its pretty good in WA now.

And don't listen to your teacher. My career teacher at the time when i was in year 12 had a meeting with my parents towards the start of the year to tell them i couldnt become a teacher due to my previous grades. what a load of shit that was

All the best:thumbsu:
 

Simon_Nesbit

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#11
Wow, playing the man there a bit....

Unless this is an awesomely funny joke, that's 2 types. Seeing as though very little of your post makes sense, I'll assume its not a deliberate joke.
Yes it was a deliberate joke. It couldn't really be much more obvious. It wasn't particularly funny either, just fitted my thoughtline.

Firstly, 'other than arts/communication' is a huge area. What exactly are you referring to? History/English/Media/PR/Technical writing/Theology/Politics/Linguistics/language/sociology/LOTE/music/dance/drama etc etc.??

What should universities teach? Maths, science, corporate branding and 85 different hospitality certificates?
From my (yes, limited, I only went through uni twice) experience, the people who chose Arts/Communication degrees where generally those who either didn't know what they wanted, or were unable to get into what they needed.

Secondly, you should know that selection into dip eds. is now very competitive and only the best from these individual fields are accepted. Hardly 'middling'.
Hopefully. That can only be a good thing. When I was 'invited' into Education, there was zero requirements. Hell, there were people with sub-standard math/english skills in my early classes.


Actually most teachers are aware of the rise of contract placings, so they are fully aware they can be out on their arse. And NOBODY who completes a dip ed is under any illusion that hours are easy.
Of this I'm glad - from my experiences (inside and outside) the public system, the ratio of 40+ to <30 hour committed teachers is very poor. If those coming into the system now realise it's not a cushy job, then perhaps over the next generation we shall see some improvements over this one.

And don't speak on behalf of all teachers, you have embarrassed yourself. You can't possibly know about what drives many of us to become teachers so don't bother attempting to.
I was under no illusions I was speaking on behalf of others - merely relaying thoughts and opinions from my time as a teacher. My 'sample size' is probably as little as 100 or so teachers.

Again, you are wrong.

You clearly weren't cut out to be a teacher judging by the fact you could only do it for one year, so stop projecting your failings on to the rest of us
I was a teacher for (more or less) seven years - however the sheer lack on interest from other teachers; and my particular successes/aptitude resulted in the "class from hell" being created. I worked my arse off for/with those kids, and for some of them I was possibly the biggest positive influence they had towards education.

I regard that year as an absolute success professionally, however the situation which caused it was other teachers taking the 'easy' option.

Virtually every teacher I ever spoke with, had the same message. Don't work so hard. Don't take it personally. Don't get attached to the kids. Don't trust them. Don't get involved in their lives. Don't involve yourself with the family. You'll burn yourself out.

I didn't listen, I believed in the kids, (and most of the parents too), but eventually I reached a point where the frustration at other teachers lack of support, interest or care in the development of our students overcame any sense of enjoyment I gained from the kids I taught.
 
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Simon_Nesbit

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#12
You've inspired me to find some stats Funky. I don't have much on this machine, but I do have some bits and pieces from an end-of-year submission I did for additional funding to go towards a support network (imaginitavely titled "the safety net") for those most at-risk students.

In my class of 34 students, I had 29 rated 'at risk' or worse.

* Prior to that year, those 34 students combined for 174 suspension days. My year they had 42, and only one suspension (10 days) in term 3. 20 were from one incident before Easter.
* They combined for 324 unexplained absences the previous year. My year there were 82, with 56 from one student, who didn't have a single absence in term 3.
* The students comparison testing (completed at easter and eoy) showed a higher rate (%) of improvement than any other class in the school. Obviously helps when you're starting with single figure results though. (Ie most improved student went from 7% of expected to 24% of expected. Still an overall fail, but a massive 350% increase in 6 months).
* 27 students 'qualified' for their camp. 25 of those were under very strict restrictions in order to get to go. (6 failed due to two suspensions, one for egging the prinicpal's car on the morning of the trip). Not one had a discipline issue whilst on camp.
* 31 of those students finished high school the following year. (they attended - many would not have undertaken year 10 maths/english).
* Two of them asked me to be a Godfather to their child.
* Almost any time I bumped into one of them, I got the "you were the best teacher, you made me like school" etc comment.
* One went on to win an academic award at university, and apparently thanked me personally in his speech as "the person who inspired me to apply myself at school". I hadn't spoken to him since the end of that year - 8 years prior. (Nor was I there to hear it, a former classmate of his told me some time later).

...I gave everything to the kids, (too much as it turned out) and eventually had a mental breakdown of sorts - it took me nearly 12 months to realise, and get help. Even now, I doubt I could return to the classroom - not because I couldn't cope with the kids, but I couldn't cope with the lack of support/care/interest from other staff, and even worse the parents of these kids.

(This wasn't a particularly 'bad' school either, at the time they were one of the better public schools, and located in an average middle-class suburb)

PS: Sorry to all for the spiel, but for me at least it was cathartic.
 

Alberton_Magpie

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#13
Im at University to become a teacher and also I do part-time work at OSHC and the one thing I have learnt for when I become a teacher is you cannot change the world. Not eveyone is a "Ron Clarke" type figure, sometimes the best you can do for a child is not what you would expect but thats life.
 

Colin D'Cops

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#14
Had a sub in for 4 of 6 periods today and he did absolutely nothing to keep the class under control. People were playing racing, music, etc on their phones and he didn't give a rats. Easy, easy job being a relief teacher.

He wasn't required to do anything; and that was his attitude. Just rock up, mark the roll and let them do anything imaginable. Easy as pie.
 

DamianBis

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#16
Is it true that teachers in private schools get paid more than in Public schools?
in SOME private schools.

Some private schools (usually religious) they have small fees and they're basically a public school that has mandatory religion subject. The teachers at schools like that aren't likely to be much better paid than teachers at an average public school.
 

i_love_the_hoff

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Thread starter #17
Hi there.

If you like to pass on your knowledge and enjoy working with younger people then you will enjoy teaching.

Im a student -teacher in WA got 1.5 years to go.
Im sure it may have been mentioned but you will need to select a major and minor. Im not sure if drama or italian would be considered as major or minor subjects but could differ from uni to uni.

I'm majoring in HPE as i love sport and yeah i did enjoy my pracs.
The pay varys from state to state, its pretty good in WA now.

And don't listen to your teacher. My career teacher at the time when i was in year 12 had a meeting with my parents towards the start of the year to tell them i couldnt become a teacher due to my previous grades. what a load of shit that was

All the best:thumbsu:


Hahaha, thanks mate.

At The University of Adelaide, you have to do
- Bachelor of Teaching and Bachelor of Economics
- Bachelor of Teaching and Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
- Bachelor of Teaching and Bachelor of The Arts
or
- Bachelor of Teaching and Bachelor of Science.

I'd probably go for mathematical comp science or economics, and then that becomes my MAJOR subject and then you get to study 3 of the following minors.
  1. SOSE (Studies of Society & Environment)
  2. Geography
  3. History
  4. General English
  5. Senior English
  6. Music
  7. Classroom Music
  8. Instrumental Music
  9. Languages Other Than English
  10. Chinese
  11. French
  12. German
  13. Indonesian
  14. Italian
  15. Japanese
  16. Modern Greek
  17. Spanish
  18. Vietnamese
  19. English as a Second Language
  20. Language Methodology
  21. Science
  22. Biology
  23. Chemistry
  24. Junior Science
  25. Physics
  26. Mathematics
  27. Junior Mathematics
  28. Senior Mathematics
  29. Information Technology
  30. Business
  31. Accounting
  32. Business Studies
  33. Economics
  34. Psychology
  35. Adult Learning

And then you have to like, study a different course to do RE


So it should work out.
 

volcboy

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#19
Pros:
-Can continue being a learner yourself. Study your discipline further.
-Multi-faceted. You could be teaching Maths in the morning, Sose in the arvo then coaching sports after school. Its always different.
-Despite what others say, teachers do care and are very helpful to other teachers.
-If you're good at it, and go in for the right reasons, you will get lots from it.
-You have lots of freedom on the job.
-The money is pretty good particularly if you dont want a family, and can get into a leadership position

Cons:
-It is hard work. Sometimes the lessons are the easy part.
-Some kids can be awful (especially in the govt sector) but good schools should have processes in place
As a teacher, I'd agree with most of what Funky says. I teach senior science (Physics, Chemistry) and some maths, currently at a private school but previously at a government school.

I previously worked as a professional scientist, and could make more money doing so, but I like my job much better. The points I would expand on are:

- I like the freedom of going into a classroom and deciding how things are going to happen, even going with the flow when students show interest in a particular topic raised in class. This doesn't happen in many other jobs.

- I'm always learning, from my colleagues and from the questions students ask.

- Don't believe the hype that teachers have it easy and get too many holidays. It is hard work if you do it properly. I get up at 5am every morning to get ready for classes that day and stay at work from 7.30am to 5pm every day. I coach a school sports team for half the year two nights a week and Saturday morning. I work another half to one day on the weekend marking students work (a bigger commitment in senior classes). I get some extra 'holidays' but, if you consider 40 hours to be an average working week for 48 weeks a year, that is at least what I'd be working.

- I wouldn't personally go into leadership. Teaching classes is the most fun part of my job, and I wouldn't give that part up to focus on the boring stuff!

If you are coming straight from school, I'd advise maybe trying another job before teaching or, after a couple of years of teaching, take a break and do something different. Having some different experiences to draw on in the classroom is invaluable.
 

iDon

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#20
Am currently becoming a PE teacher The course is great in parts but terrible in others. The university I am at seems to be run by a large amount of academics (not a huge amount of teaching) and they do everything out of a book that insist of you being an academic, everything must be written down, everything must be followed by the book. But when you arein the schools doing teaching rounds its not by the book, its outside of the box and you need to think on your feet. I feel for a few people I am going through at the moment are going to struggle when they actually are running their classes on their own, getting a job and realising they can't fall back on a supervising teacher because it is too hard or a student has done something that isn't by the book.

The school i am at this semester is great. Its a school with a lot of issues but it keeps my time there interesting and you dont know what you will get from lesson to lesson

More practical, more classroom time, better teachers.
 

Simon_Nesbit

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#21
More practical, more classroom time, better teachers.

By far the biggest issue in the education degrees.

I came into teaching backwards - I was offered a teaching job (0.4 head of IT, 0.6 primary PE) before enrolling in a course, and so was teaching full-time before I even started doing the course.

I was amazed at the lack of insight most students had towards 'real life' teaching - not helped by the entire first year having no 'in-class' time, and as far as I can tell, no discplinary strategies were taught in any of the compulsory units - there was one on 'controlling boys' but that only lasted one year (and was the most interesting and useful subject I undertook at uni).

I think about the student-teachers I had (only 3), and I feel I let all 3 down, as I couldn't develop them to the point where they could control a class.

Sure, if I was physically in the room the kids were quiet and on-task, but the teachers looked to me for help at the slightest incident. I spoke with other senior teachers thinking my 'hands on' style wasn't suited to new teachers (though I myself was one), however their feedback was that most 'rookies' needed a psychological confrontation to their teaching attitudes so they could re-evaluate their career choice before graduating.

Creating content wasn't an issue (indeed all 3 were far better than I at creating 'a' lesson plan - however they had no flexibility for learning levels, abilities or attitude. Time management was an issue (but is for all teachers at times).

Unlike my students, my student teachers all failed - only one graduated, and as far as I know never won a position. So I guess I failed there too.
 

iDon

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#22
By far the biggest issue in the education degrees.

I came into teaching backwards - I was offered a teaching job (0.4 head of IT, 0.6 primary PE) before enrolling in a course, and so was teaching full-time before I even started doing the course.

I was amazed at the lack of insight most students had towards 'real life' teaching - not helped by the entire first year having no 'in-class' time, and as far as I can tell, no discplinary strategies were taught in any of the compulsory units - there was one on 'controlling boys' but that only lasted one year (and was the most interesting and useful subject I undertook at uni).

I think about the student-teachers I had (only 3), and I feel I let all 3 down, as I couldn't develop them to the point where they could control a class.

Sure, if I was physically in the room the kids were quiet and on-task, but the teachers looked to me for help at the slightest incident. I spoke with other senior teachers thinking my 'hands on' style wasn't suited to new teachers (though I myself was one), however their feedback was that most 'rookies' needed a psychological confrontation to their teaching attitudes so they could re-evaluate their career choice before graduating.

Creating content wasn't an issue (indeed all 3 were far better than I at creating 'a' lesson plan - however they had no flexibility for learning levels, abilities or attitude. Time management was an issue (but is for all teachers at times).

Unlike my students, my student teachers all failed - only one graduated, and as far as I know never won a position. So I guess I failed there too.
I wouldn't say you failed them, I would have to say they failed themselves. If you aren't getting the feedback off your supervising teacher you can ask to teach a different class to "randomize" your day. The best experiences or the ones that I have learnt the most out of are from the days when my class has been substitued with another class that I have never taught. It makes me think on my feet and the feedback I get off having a random class is the best thus far.

What frustrates me are the people that do a science degree, physc-social or arts degree then do a dip-ed at the end of it. The teachers I have come across or the students that are considering doing this think its easy, then can do it without a hitch. Dip-ed's should be at least 2 years long as you can't learn to become a competent teacher inside 1 year, and I am pretty sure I know which of my teachers had done a dep-ed. They were terrible!
 

Hot Spenny

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#24
I wouldn't say you failed them, I would have to say they failed themselves. If you aren't getting the feedback off your supervising teacher you can ask to teach a different class to "randomize" your day. The best experiences or the ones that I have learnt the most out of are from the days when my class has been substitued with another class that I have never taught. It makes me think on my feet and the feedback I get off having a random class is the best thus far.

What frustrates me are the people that do a science degree, physc-social or arts degree then do a dip-ed at the end of it. The teachers I have come across or the students that are considering doing this think its easy, then can do it without a hitch. Dip-ed's should be at least 2 years long as you can't learn to become a competent teacher inside 1 year, and I am pretty sure I know which of my teachers had done a dep-ed. They were terrible!
I guess you aren't much of a fan of the new Teach for Australia Scheme?
 

superfraser

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#25
I wouldn't say you failed them, I would have to say they failed themselves. If you aren't getting the feedback off your supervising teacher you can ask to teach a different class to "randomize" your day. The best experiences or the ones that I have learnt the most out of are from the days when my class has been substitued with another class that I have never taught. It makes me think on my feet and the feedback I get off having a random class is the best thus far.

What frustrates me are the people that do a science degree, physc-social or arts degree then do a dip-ed at the end of it. The teachers I have come across or the students that are considering doing this think its easy, then can do it without a hitch. Dip-ed's should be at least 2 years long as you can't learn to become a competent teacher inside 1 year, and I am pretty sure I know which of my teachers had done a dep-ed. They were terrible!
I take offence.

I'm a product of the Dip Ed system. (Ballarat Uni)

I did my first teaching rounds at a suburban Melbourne highschool. My second at a rural school (town of 1800 people. School was P-12 180 students). My third at one of Melbournes biggest Private schools.

All of my mentor teachers commented on how much better I was then the Bachelor of Education teachers they were used to. Mostly suggesting the issues that those teachers face was that they left year 12, then started studying to become a teacher.

It was suggested that it was my life experiences that really helped me.

I was 24/25 whilst doing the Dip Ed, so it was really only a few years of life experience different to the Bach Ed kids.

The two things that I think made me good on my rounds (and now see me being a good teacher) are: My people skills and my ability to complete tasks.
 
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